Greenpeace and the growth of environmentalism in China – Part 3/3

March 10, 2012

In another post at Greenpeace.org, we learned that Greenpeace activists went undercover in China up to a year to infiltrate and investigate factories that were releasing hazardous chemicals into China’s waterways.

Greenpeace said, “Two weeks after we released our report, Puma came out with its promise to eliminate toxic substances from its supply chain. When we heard that, we were overjoyed. Since then Adidas, H&M, Nike and Li-Ning have all followed suit.”


Climate Voices from China

“More than 3,500 environmental organizations now have legal status in China,” Andrew Grant said. “While activists there are not as vocal as their counterparts in Europe or the United States, they have made an impact by encouraging transparency and pressuring local governments and industries to adhere to (China’s) new national regulations.

“Through a program called the Green Choice Alliance, environmental groups publish lists of companies in violation of environmental regulations and offer to conduct a third-party audit if a company chooses to clean up its act.

“Last year, under the supervision of environmental groups, independent auditors found that Fuguo’s Shanghai leather factory had rectified its major violations and reduced gas emissions.”


Yangtze River, China

“The local and national Chinese press has been very aggressive in uncovering environmental problems and mobilizing forces to go after polluters. Local newspapers have broken stories about cancer villages, which have been picked up by television networks and broadcast nationwide. In some cases, the revelations have been praised by government officials. In other cases the revelations have been embarrassing or hurt investments by officials, and the sources of the stories have been harassed or jailed.” Source: Andrew Grant, Discover magazine, March 18, 2011

Return to Greenpeace and the growth of environmentalism in China – Part 2 or start with Part 1

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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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Note from Blog Post — This post is iLook China’s fifteen-hundredth (1,500) post, and with it this Blog will be cutting back from posting daily to two or more days a week. The next post (1,501) will appear March 12.

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Greenpeace and the growth of environmentalism in China – Part 1/3

March 8, 2012

The list of Chinese democracy activists that have been arrested is not long considering there are more than 1.3 billion people in China. Wiki lists 30.

I studied the list of Chinese dissidents and saw that none was executed although there were several alleged to have committed treason and revealing state secrets: Bao Tong (1989), Shi Tao (2004), Wang Bingzhang (2002), and Wei Jingsheng (1979).

Unless I missed something, no dissidents was in jail at this time and a few had been kicked out of the country. Wei Jingsheng, an electrician accused of passing military secrets, was deported to the US in 1997 after spending some time in prison.

If found guilty of these crimes in the United States, the result may have led to a death sentence or life in prison. When I checked the list of people convicted of treason in the US, I saw that 10 have been executed. The United Kingdom had a longer list of executions for treason, while China’s list has only three names on it, which were Zhou Fohyai (executed 1948), Chen Gongbo (executed 1946), and Wang Jingwei (executed 1944).

However, when it comes to environmental activists, such as members of Greenpeace being detained in China, the list is short, while in the West the list of environmental activists being arrested is long.

In 2007, six Greenpeace protesters were arrested for breaking into the Kingsnorth power station in southeast England.

June 2008, two Greenpeace activists were arrested in Japan for exposing a whale meat scandal involving the government sponsored whaling program.

May 2010, seven Greenpeace activists were arrested in Port Fourchon, Louisiana in an anti-drilling protest.

In May 2011, six Greenpeace campaigners were arrested in Durban, South Africa.

June 2011, eighteen Greenpeace activists were arrested after climbing aboard an oil rig off Greenland’s coast to protest deepwater drilling in the Arctic.

August 2011, Daryl Hannah and 70 other environmental activists arrested at a Tar Sands Pipeline protest outside the White House in Washington D.C.

In November 2011, three Greenpeace activists were arrested in South Africa over coal power plant protests.

However, in China in 2006, Greenpeace East Asia was the only NGO to be consulted on an early draft of a renewable energy law by China’s National People’s Congress. In fact, before Greenpeace opened offices in Guangzhou and Beijing in 2002, activists from the Hong Kong office ran several campaigns on the Chinese Mainland and have even been interviewed on CCTV.

In addition, Greenpeace activists have recently gone undercover in China to catch industrial polluters, and it appears that this operation may have had the blessing and support of the CCP’s Central Committee.

Continued March 09, 2012 in Greenpeace and the growth of environmentalism in China – Part 2

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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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Environmentalism in China – Part 3/4

November 2, 2011

In China, the environmental movement started in recent years from the top down and the bottom up. Evidence of this fledgling movement appears in several Western media sources.

For a more detailed history, The China Daily’s Sun Xiaohua wrote A Legal Leap Forward, which starts with an accidental environmental disaster that took place the day before China passed its first ever draft of the Environmental Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China in 1979.

The man that caused the accidental environmental disaster was sentenced to two years in jail. As we all know, passing laws are easy compared to enforcing them, and it doesn’t matter if we are in the US or China. Some environmental disasters are accidents, as in this case, and some are intentional due to greed.

In The Atlantic, Christina Larson wrote China’s Nascent Environmentalism, and said, “Since 2007, I have been reporting in China (and elsewhere in Asia), looking at the efforts of China’s environmentalists, scientists, lawyers, and others to rein in their country’s enormous (I question the use of the word ‘enormous’ when we compare more than two hundred years of CO2 and Black Soot pollution in the US to China) pollution toll and related problems.

Larson says, “China may clean up its environmental mess eventually … but it almost certainly won’t do so in the same fashion as the West.”


Green Long March in China – 2009

 Then Arrol Gellner, writing for SFGate of China’s environmentalist ways, says, “At China’s current rate of progress, and despite its posturing to the contrary, industrial polluters may well be brought up to Western standards within the next decade.

“What’s more,” Gellner writes, “when China decides that it’s ready to tackle its environmental problems full force, it’ll move quickly. Unlike us fiercely independent-minded Americans, the Chinese people, for the most part, are far more amenable to sweeping change being imposed from the top down – a deep-seated cultural trait that stems, not from China’s trifling time under communism, but rather from its nearly 3,500 years under dynastic rule.”

Another example by Philip P. Pan appeared in the Houston Chronicle of an environmental grass roots movement to do away with disposable wooden chopsticks. A quote by Kang Dahu, a truck driver in China says it best. “The disposable ones are such a waste! We’re destroying what little is left of our forests to make them,” said Kang, 22, who does volunteer work with several environmental groups. “Just imagine, years from now, when my grandchildren ask me what happened to all of China’s trees, I’ll have to say, `We made them into chopsticks.’ Isn’t that pitiful?”

In addition, Zhang Zhe, 24, who works for an environmental education group supported by British zoologist Jane Goodall, says, “Chopsticks are just an example. People are beginning to ponder even ordinary things.”

Continued on November 1, 2011 in Environmentalism in China – Part 4 or return to Part 2

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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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