Does water reveal how a country takes care of its citizens – China versus India

February 3, 2016

This post explores which country is doing a better job of supplying water to its people—China or India.  When you finish reading and watching the two videos, you decide which country you would rather live in if you had to make a choice between them.

Is freedom of expression and of religion more important than water—what would be your answer if you had to make a choice?

The choices of world religions are many. According to Religious Tolerance.org, “There are 19 major world religions which are subdivided into a total of 270 large religious groups, and many smaller ones. 34,000 separate Christian groups have been identified in the world.”

One of the most common complains outside China is that its citizens do not have the abstract freedom of expression and all of those religions to choose from, because China only offers seven approved religions to choose from and freedom of public political expression is severely limited.

The National Geographic special issue, “Water, Our Thirsty World” (April 2007) compared the world’s largest democracy, India, with China. In “The Big Melt” by Brook Larmer, we see a convincing reason why China’s mix of socialism and capitalism may be the world’s answer to avoid future calamities. Where Western style democracies fail to act due to partisanship, special interests, religious beliefs and political agendas, China’s government, ruled by engineers and scientists, appears to be planning decades ahead.

The claims of Tibetan separatists—the 1% that lives in voluntary exile in India—and their supporters that China rules over Tibet with an iron fist also appears to be wrong when Larmer visits a family of Tibetan nomads. He writes, “There is no sign of human life on the 14,000 foot high prairie that seems to extend to the end of the world.” Larmer sees “the NOMADS’ tent as a pinprick of white against a canvas of brown.”

We meet Ba O, a Tibetan nomad. In Ba O’s tent, “there is a small Buddhist Shrine: a red prayer wheel and a couple of smudged Tibetan texts…” A few years earlier, Ba O had several hundred sheep and the grass was plentiful. Now the Tibetan nomad has about a hundred left and fears this way of life is ending.

Ba O says, “This is the way we’ve always done things. And we don’t want that to change.”

But no matter what Ba O wants, change is coming, and there is nothing he can do to stop it. The change is not from China’s government. It is coming from global warming. Because of drought, the Tibetan grasslands are dying and a way of life that has existed for thousands of years may be dying too.

To insure that the Tibetan nomads will have a place to live, China’s government has been building resettlement villages. The “solid built” houses are subsidized. When the Tibetan nomads can no longer survive on the open Tibetan prairie, it is the nomad’s choice to move into the new villages. The government does not force them to give up their old way of life. Nature does that.

Along with the house comes a small annual stipend for each family so they can eat as they find another way to earn a living. The home Larmer visited in one of these resettlement villages had a Buddhist shrine and a free satellite dish for a TV and maybe an Internet connection. In addition, the one child policy does not apply to the Tibetan people since they are a minority in China.

To make sure there will continue to be water to drink, China is planning to build 59 reservoirs in Tibet to capture and save glacial runoff.

In India, by comparison, the young wife of a fortuneteller spends hours each day searching for water. She lives with her husband and five children in Delhi, India‘s capital. There are fights over water. In a nearby slum, a teenage boy was beaten to death for cutting into a water line. The demand for water in Delhi exceeds the supply by more than 300 million gallons a day.

Here are a few other factors that reveal how a country treats its citizens.

China – Population 1.357 billion (2013) with one political party

  • 27.24% or 369.6 million live on less than $3.10 a day
  • illiteracy = 3.6% or 48.8 million
  • life expectancy = 75 today. It was 35 in 1949.
  • According to worldhunger.org, “Progress in poverty reduction has been concentrated in Asia, and especially, East Asia, with the major improvement occurring in China.”
  • Transparency.org ranks China #27 on the bribe payers index.

The Bribe Payers Index ranks the world’s wealthiest and most economically influential countries according to the likelihood of their firms to bribe abroad, and the United States is ranked #10.

India – Population 1.252 billion (2013) with six national political parties and 49 state parties

  • 58.1% or 727.4 million live on less than $3.10 a day
  • illiteracy = 27.9% or 338 million
  • life expectancy = 66 today. It was 36 in 1949.
  • According to bhookh.com, “Over 7000 Indians die of hunger every day.”
  • Transparency.org list ranks India #19 on its bribe payers index.

Patrick Henry (1736 – 1799), one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, is credited with saying “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

What happens to the pursuit of life, liberty, freedom of expression—the right to publicly complain about the government but nothing changes anyway—and the exploration of spiritual beliefs when there isn’t enough food to eat or safe water to drink?

______________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the unique love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

#1 - Joanna Daneman review posted June 19 2014

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Contaminated Water and Soil is a Global Problem – Part 5/6

February 19, 2012

INDIA

The Arlington Institute says, “Given that India does not regulate water usage, it should come as no surprise that there is also little regulation on pollution and even less enforcement of what regulations do exist. Millions have been spent on pollution clean-up, but no one knows where it went (most likely into the pockets of corrupt government officials) because no changes have been seen.


Contaminated Water Sickens Villagers in Eastern India

“In 2005, a government audit indicted the Jal Board for having spent $200 million on pollution clean-up achieving essentially no tangible results. A combination of sewage disposal, industrial effluents, chemicals from farm runoffs, arsenic and fluoride has rendered India’s rivers unfit for drinking, irrigation, and even industrial purposes.

“New Delhi alone produces 3.6 million cubic meters of sewage every day, but, due to poor management less than half is effectively treated. The remaining untreated waste is dumped into the Yamuna River…


India Water Pollution

“Every river in India is polluted to some degree. The water quality in underground wells violates the desired levels of dissolved oxygen and coliform, the presence of which is one measure of filth, in addition to having high concentrations of toxic metals, fluoride, and nitrates.” Source: World Bank Report on Water in India.

“India is facing a looming water crisis that has implications not only for its 1.1 billion people, but for the entire globe. India’s demand for water is growing even as it stretches its supplies. Water infrastructure is crumbling, preventing the government from being able to supply drinking water to its citizens. Pollution is rampant due to unfettered economic growth, poor waste management laws and practices.”


India’s sanitation crises

The CIA Factbook says, India’s land surface covers 2,973,193 square km. Arable land covers 48.83% of this area and permanent crops cover 2.8%.

The CIA says, ‘Environmental – current issues’ are, “deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing; desertification; air pollution from industrial effluents and vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage and runoff of agricultural pesticides; tap water is not potable throughout the country; huge and growing population is overstraining natural resources…

“Little economic reform took place in 2011 largely due to corruption scandals that have slowed legislative work…

“India has many long-term challenges that it has not yet fully addressed, including widespread poverty, inadequate physical and social infrastructure, limited non-agricultural employment opportunities, and insufficient access to quality basic and higher education, and accommodating rural-to-urban migration.”

________________________

This comment was originally posted at Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 6 on January 31 at 23:34 by an anonymous reader called Bosshard.

Deceit upon deceit?

Dear author, what we find most annoying in the behavior of others are those same behaviors of which we are equally guilty. You appear to dislike: lies, half truths and manipulation.

Regarding water-

You have much to learn.  Boiling water is good for killing bacteria and the like but does nothing to stave off the ill effects of heavy metals like copper, lead and the like. According to the BBC, at least 10% of all Chinese land is contaminated with heavy metals, which are not rendered inert by boiling. Thus, boiling water in China does no good when these elements are present.

When you made your comment, were you engaging in ““willful deception and a refusal to play by the rules?” when you state that boiling Chinese water is an anti-dote?

And an aside, do you personally drink the same water as the folks in Guizhou or Gansu, or do you purchase bottled water, a thing many of them cannot do?

As for your forgone conclusion that the need for water is greater than that of religion, I would disagree. Freedom of religion is paramount to many souls, just ask the Tibetans who will take their own lives in order to achieve such an end. If I were forced to give up my religion for water, I would not do so.

Please do not pretend to know the mind of the masses when yours may not be as open as you may believe.

This site has much information, but the author, like the Jesuits of old appears to have conjured up a China that he wishes us to believe in. The brutal reality of the communist regime  and havoc it brings to its people can best be understood by reading books like Empire of Lies, The Beijing Consensus, Poorly Made in China, The Party, and a host of others.

I will not return to this comment nor website but would like to offer this question:

If you have lived in China, and all of your readers, then you truly know the truth of this place. And if you truly know the truth of this place, then do you think it’s right to knowingly deceive the people about it?

God bless and keep all His children safe and informed.

Continued on February 18 at  Contaminated Water and Soil is a Global Problem – Part 6 or return to Part 4

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Contaminated Water and Soil is a Global Problem – Part 2/6

February 16, 2012

AMERICA

I’ve known about heavy metals, pesticides, drugs/medicine, chemicals, etc. in America’s water supply for some time, which is why we distill the water we drink at home. However, when I wrote Water, the Democracy versus the Authoritarian Republic, the focus was on which country was doing a better job supplying drinking water to its people—India or China—the topic wasn’t about water contamination, which I knew to be more of a global challenge due to our modern lifestyles.

Before I turn to America’s contaminated soil and fresh water , I want to point out that China’s enemies and/or critics only want to focus on China because their goal is to demonize China and the Chinese and they cannot achieve this when we compare an issue in China such as contaminated soil and fresh water with the same issue in other countries.


Clean Water Act in America

The total land area of America is 9,161,966 square km. and arable land covers 18.01% of that. Irrigated land covers about 230,000 sq km.

The CIA Factbook says of ‘Environment – current issues’ – “air pollution resulting in acid rain in both the US and Canada; the US is the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water pollution from runoff of pesticides and fertilizers; limited natural freshwater resources in much of the western part of the country require careful management; desertification.”

The New York Times reported in 2009, “Agricultural runoff is the single largest source of water pollution in the nation’s rivers and streams, according to the E.P.A. An estimated 19.5 million Americans fall ill each year from waterborne parasites, viruses or bacteria, including those stemming from human and animal waste, according to a study published last year in the scientific journal Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.”


Supreme Court Restricts Clean Water Act in the United States

Red Orbit.com, which is an education reference site, says, “Today’s soil contamination is a direct result of man-made chemicals or other changes in nature’s soil environment. This contamination most commonly occurs from underground storage tanks bursting, use of pesticides, discarding oil and fuel illegally, leakage of dirty surface water, draining of wastes from landfalls and knowingly dumping industrial wastes into the soil. The most widespread chemicals found are petroleum hydrocarbons, solvents, common pesticides, lead and additional heavy metals. This development of contamination is compared with the quantity of industrializations and the severity of chemical usage… Most of the contaminated land has been identified in North America and Western Europe. A legal foundation has been put in place to recognize and handle this environmental issue in many of their countries.


The Truth about Bottled Water – if you are not watching the videos, you are not getting all the facts.

“The United States may have one of the most massive soil contaminations, but is a leader in outlining and executing standards for cleanup. While other industrialized countries have an abundance of contaminated sites, they do not have the remediation the United States has put into place. Thousands of sites undergo cleanup in the U.S. each year. Cleanup is performed by using microbes, excavation and a more costly extraction or air stripping.”

“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that there are more than 450,000 polluted sites like these existing in the U.S…  Applications of intensive agricultural techniques, which involve the continuous overuse of fertilizers in any form, have been proven to cause salinity in soil quality due to an imbalance in the soil’s nutrient contents. Accordingly, more than a million hectares (10,000 square miles) of agricultural land have become unfit for the growth and production of agricultural crops.” Source: Bright Bulb.com


Contaminated Drinking Water in California

“In USA, there are 600 000 brown fields which are contaminated with heavy metals and need reclamation (McKeehan, 2000). According to government statistics, coal mine has contaminated more than 19 000 km of US streams and rivers from heavy metals, acid mine drainage and polluted sediments. More than 100 000 ha of cropland, 55 000 ha of pasture and 50 000 ha of forest have been lost (Ragnarsdottir and Hawkins, 2005).” Source: Pub Med Central, Journal of Zhejiang University Science, China, March 2008

You may also want to read up on heavy metal contamination from the U.S. Geological Survey of Contaminants in the Mississippi River.

For a better understanding of what is going on in America, I turn you over to Erin Brockovich for a sampling.

The real Erin Brockovich [Julia Roberts played her in the 2000 movie, Erin Brockovich] has been an American consumer advocate for 19 years and in her own words says, “She is still fighting!”

Brockovich says, “As early as 1965 this company knew that the facility in Hinkley, California was contaminating the ground water with high levels of hexavalent chromium and they chose to cover it up.”

Her current work includes the Gulf Oil Spill. She says, ” I am very concerned about the Oil Dispersant “Corexit” that is being used because some reports are coming in about people getting very sick.”

For the Environment, she says, “There is a new twist in the Cameron, Missouri cancer clusters and activist, Erin Brockovich. Families of cancer patients are now suing a hide tanning plant 37 miles away in St. Joseph.”

You may also want to see “America’s Top 10 Worst Man Made Environmental Disasters” at Earth First.com, or this CBS report on A Toxic Cover Up? by Rebecca Leung at 60 Minutes.

Leung says, “It happened in October of 2000, when 300 million gallons of coal slurry – thick pudding-like waste from mining operations – flooded land, polluted rivers and destroyed property in Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. The slurry contained hazardous chemicals, including arsenic and mercury.”

Then there is what On Earth.org calls The Largest Environmental Disaster in U.S. History, which took place in Tennessee. In addition, there is also Pharmaceuticals in Our Water Supplies – Are ‘Drugged Waters’ a Water Quality Threat?

________________________

This comment was originally posted at Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 6 on January 31 at 23:34 by an anonymous reader called Bosshard.

Deceit upon deceit?

Dear author, what we find most annoying in the behavior of others are those same behaviors of which we are equally guilty. You appear to dislike: lies, half truths and manipulation.

Regarding water-

You have much to learn.  Boiling water is good for killing bacteria and the like but does nothing to stave off the ill effects of heavy metals like copper, lead and the like. According to the BBC, at least 10% of all Chinese land is contaminated with heavy metals, which are not rendered inert by boiling. Thus, boiling water in China does no good when these elements are present.

When you made your comment, were you engaging in ““willful deception and a refusal to play by the rules?” when you state that boiling Chinese water is an anti-dote?

And an aside, do you personally drink the same water as the folks in Guizhou or Gansu, or do you purchase bottled water, a thing many of them cannot do?

As for your forgone conclusion that the need for water is greater than that of religion, I would disagree. Freedom of religion is paramount to many souls, just ask the Tibetans who will take their own lives in order to achieve such an end. If I were forced to give up my religion for water, I would not do so.

Please do not pretend to know the mind of the masses when yours may not be as open as you may believe.

This site has much information, but the author, like the Jesuits of old appears to have conjured up a China that he wishes us to believe in. The brutal reality of the communist regime  and havoc it brings to its people can best be understood by reading books like Empire of Lies, The Beijing Consensus, Poorly Made in China, The Party, and a host of others.

I will not return to this comment nor website but would like to offer this question:

If you have lived in China, and all of your readers, then you truly know the truth of this place. And if you truly know the truth of this place, then do you think it’s right to knowingly deceive the people about it?

God bless and keep all His children safe and informed.

Continued on February 15 at Contaminated Water and Soil is a Global Problem – Part 3 or return to Part 1

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page.

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Contaminated Water and Soil is a Global Problem – Part 1/6

February 15, 2012

In “Deceit upon Deceit?” an anonymous reader called Bosshard left a comment to another post, which I decided to delete and republish in this series after I did some research on the subject.

In fact, the entire comment will end each post in this series as a reminder of what Bosshard wrote, because I see his comment as an example of a double standard, which means China is judged in isolation while many other nations with the same problems/challenges [or worse as you will discover] are often ignored.

When I first read the comment and approved it for the other post, I came away feeling as if Bosshard had singled out China as a villain when in fact, heavy metal pollution of soil and water is a global problem and not exclusive to China.

When I said the Chinese could boil water to rid it of pathogens, I had not considered heavy metals, which I know may only be removed with special filters or by distilling the water.

In fact, drinking unsafe water with pathogens may lead to a miserable death much sooner than drinking water contaminated with heavy metals.  Survival Topics.com says, “According to the Wilderness Medical Society, water temperatures above 160° F (70° C) kill all pathogens within 30 minutes and above 185° F (85° C) within a few minutes. So in the time it takes for the water to reach the boiling point (212° F or 100° C) from 160° F (70° C), all pathogens will be killed, even at high altitude.”


safe drinking water is a global problem.

However, when rural Chinese are faced with the choice of drinking water that may be contaminated with both pathogens and heavy metals and all that is available is boiling, what choice do the Chinese have? As a backpacker that has hiked many times in California’s mountains, I have used both a ceramic filter to purify the water and boiled it.

Drinking water contaminated with pathogens may lead to a quick and miserable death much faster than drinking water contaminated with heavy metals.

Anyone interested in the Health Risks of Heavy Metals may want to click on this link and read about it. Then you may want to make sure to buy a filter designed to remove heavy metals from water or buy a countertop distiller.

If you watched the videos with this post and heard the comment that two billion people, about a third of humanity, drinks unsafe water, then Bosshard’s comment was disingenuous since he focused his criticism on China while ignoring the rest of the world.

Nation Master.com published an environmental ranking of freshwater pollution in sixty-nine countries. Number ONE was Israel with the most freshwater pollution at 27.07 tons/cubic km. China was listed as number FOURTEEN (3.78 tons/cubic km)  right behind Japan (4.27 tons/cubic km).

In fact, South Korea was number NINE with 5.68 tons/cubic km. The United States was number THIRTY with 1.14 tons/cubic km.

What does this mean? It means that thirteen countres had worse freshwater pollution than China did.

Maybe Bosshard didn’t know these facts, because he is only interested in what happens in China. I may never know the answer since Bosshard said, “I will not return to this comment nor website” after he dropped his misleading logical fallacy of a bomb in my lap. What he says may be true but how he said it may cause others to blame China for something that is a global problem and not unique to China.

In the rest of this series, there will be posts that focus on soil and water contamination in America, another on Canada, then China, India and last Russia—five of the world’s largest countries measured by land area and/or population.

________________________

This comment was originally posted at Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 6 on January 31 at 23:34 by an anonymous reader called Bosshard.

Deceit upon deceit?

Dear author, what we find most annoying in the behavior of others are those same behaviors of which we are equally guilty. You appear to dislike: lies, half truths and manipulation.

Regarding water-

You have much to learn.  Boiling water is good for killing bacteria and the like but does nothing to stave off the ill effects of heavy metals like copper, lead and the like. According to the BBC, at least 10% of all Chinese land is contaminated with heavy metals, which are not rendered inert by boiling. Thus, boiling water in China does no good when these elements are present.

When you made your comment, were you engaging in ““willful deception and a refusal to play by the rules?” when you state that boiling Chinese water is an anti-dote?

And an aside, do you personally drink the same water as the folks in Guizhou or Gansu, or do you purchase bottled water, a thing many of them cannot do?

As for your forgone conclusion that the need for water is greater than that of religion, I would disagree. Freedom of religion is paramount to many souls, just ask the Tibetans who will take their own lives in order to achieve such an end. If I were forced to give up my religion for water, I would not do so.

Please do not pretend to know the mind of the masses when yours may not be as open as you may believe.

This site has much information, but the author, like the Jesuits of old appears to have conjured up a China that he wishes us to believe in. The brutal reality of the communist regime  and havoc it brings to its people can best be understood by reading books like Empire of Lies, The Beijing Consensus, Poorly Made in China, The Party, and a host of others.

I will not return to this comment nor website but would like to offer this question:

If you have lived in China, and all of your readers, then you truly know the truth of this place. And if you truly know the truth of this place, then do you think it’s right to knowingly deceive the people about it?

God bless and keep all His children safe and informed.

Continued on February 14 at Contaminated Water and Soil is a Global Problem – Part 2

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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