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.

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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

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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.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top right-hand side of this page and then follow directions.

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The Conservative Carbon Conspiracy

October 27, 2011

Although China suffers from air pollution in its major cities and rivers, there are cities and rivers with cleaner air and water, such as Chengdu (more than 14 million people), Haikou (more than 2 million), Xiamen (about 3.5 million), Dalian (more than 6 million) and Zhuhai (1.5 million), and the Qi River in the north and the Li River in the south in addition to the Wusuli and Ussuri Rivers in the Northeast, and the Nenjiang River in the midwest.

Since the Western media often focuses on the pollution in China, this may come as a surprise to many, but China, like the United States, has environments that are not polluted.

After three decades of pollution, China is struggling to clean its environment, which in a capitalist, profit driven economic system is a challenge as it is in the United States.

Evidence of China’s efforts to clean its environment reveal itself in the fact that China has more hydroelectric dams (about 26,000—half the world total) than any nation, is replacing its old dirty coal-burning power plants with the latest clean-air technologies in coal power, and is the leader in solar and wind generating electricity in addition to developing safer, cleaner nuclear energy.

In fact, China produces more than 200 gigawatts (GW) of electricity from its hydroelectric dams while the US only produces 80 GW in third place behind Canada’s 89 GW.

However, in the US, conservatives from the Republican Party fight hard to curb environmental laws designed to decrease carbon based pollution due to coal burning power plants and the combustion engine.

There is an old saying in America that harkens back to the revolution, “Give me liberty or give me death,” but today, the unspoken conservative slogan should be “Give me carbon, profits and lower taxes or give me death.”

For example, the Huffington Post reported, “Obama’s Ozone Standards Retreat Angers Environmental Groups, Ignores Science… Only national enforcement will protect us here in Rhode Island from the ‘bad air’ days we experience due to ozone caused by out-of-state power plants,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said in a statement. “Many of these Midwestern power plants have inadequate pollution controls or none at all, and use tall smokestacks to launch the pollution into prevailing winds that bring ozone here to Rhode Island.”

Why would President Obama do this? The answer is pressure from the conservative majority in the House of Representatives that value profit over life.  Conservatives ignore the fact that cutting back on ground-level ozone could save, according to the EPA, an estimated 12,000 American lives, 58,000 asthma attacks and 2.5 million missed school or work days annually.

Meanwhile, the war of words in the US over global warming between conservatives supporting the oil and coal industries and environmentalists continues.

More evidence that increased carbon in the atmosphere is causing global warming was reported in World Without Ice by Robert Kunzig in the October 2011 issue of National Geographic Magazine. “Fifty-six million years ago,” Kunzig wrote, “a mysterious surge of carbon into the atmosphere sent global temperatures soaring. In a geologic eye blink life was forever changed.”

What happened 56 million years ago is called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM.  Global warming during the PETM was caused by a massive and geologically sudden release of carbon. The PETM lasted more than 150,000 years until the oceans and forests reabsorbed the excess carbon. It brought on droughts, floods, insect plagues and extinctions.

If you doubt that carbon spewing into the atmosphere is not causing current global warming, I suggest reading the piece in National Geographic (link provided above).  Once the earth was hot and ice free, the ocean levels were 220 feet higher than they are now.

If we ignore these facts and continue business as usual as conservatives want, imagine what global warning and melting ice will do to property values and profits in areas that may soon be under water.

Discover The Cause of China’s Pollution

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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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The Cause of China’s Pollution

February 26, 2011

Before criticizing and blaming China for polluting the environment, learn about the history that caused the pollution first.

The first Industrial Revolution took place in England after James Watt developed the coal/wood burning steam engine in the late 18th century. This was beginning of air and water pollution.

The second Industrial Revolution (1820-1870) helped the economic development of the United States. Then industrialization increased between 1870 and 1914.

Pollution from industries grew to epidemic proportions after 1945. In fact, the type of pollution changed significantly when industries in America and Europe began manufacturing and using synthetic materials such as plastics and DDT.

These materials are not only toxic; they accumulated in the environment and were not biodegradable. This increased rates of cancers, physical birth defects, and mental retardation.

Due to an increase in world trade after World War II and moving a significant percentage of the world’s manufacturing to Japan, then China after Mao died, the pollution created using these synthetic materials increased and pollution reached a global scale.

Most of the products manufactured in China were sold around the globe by multinational corporations such as Wal-Mart. If you buy products made in China, you are partly responsible for the pollution there. The odds are that the computer I’m using was made or assembled in China. Darn!


June 2007 – the US still has more cars on the road and buys much of what China manufactures for US companies.

Another factor was pressure from the people of China on their government to improve the standard of living for 1.3 billion people. India faced the same challenges.

The lifestyle changes taking place in China and India parallel the changes that already took place in America, Britain and Europe more than a century earlier.

In the 1960s, about 60% of Chinese labor worked in agriculture. That figure remained about the same throughout the 1960s into early 1990s. Then by the late 1990s, the farm force in rural China fell to about thirty percent.

In comparison, in 1870, 53% of US labor worked in agriculture. Today, farm labor in the US makes up 3% of workforce. The rest live in towns and cities with a middle-class demanding more synthetic products to feed the consumer lifestyle.

Discover The One Party Advantage

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, here is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

 

Note: This post first appeared on iLook China February 7, 2010 as post # 31. This revised version reappears as post # 1086.


GM Volt in China Soon

October 31, 2010

Bertel Schmitt writes in The Truth about Cars that GM will introduce the battery powered VOLT in China in the second half of 2011.

According to the Schmitt, GM has already conceded the Volt will be a failure in China because Chinese consumers are buying mostly gasoline and diesel powered cars and trucks.

There is one advantage China has over America and most of the world. The centeral government may decide to require taxis then the rest of China’s car owners to buy electric or hybrid and set a deadline.

Imagine how that would succeed in the US. In fact, China is doing something the US is having trouble getting started.

China is building wind farms off its coasts and replacing out-of-date coal burning power plants with modern, cleaner coal powered generating plants.

In fact, China has a long way to go to clean up its environment but it is moving in that direction.

Meanwhile, in the US, the top ten selling cars for 2010 are all gasoline powered as they are in China. Source: Good Car Bad Car

Even with polluted air, gasoline power remains king. I drive a hybrid and walk whenever possible. However, many people who live in the same town drive huge, gas guzzling SUVs.

Statistics tell us that the Chinese middle-class consumer isn’t that different from similar people in the US.

Learn more from Cornering the Plug-In Hybrid all Electric Car

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.