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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Water – Two Countries Tell a Tale

April 19, 2010

The National Geographic special issue, “Water, Our Thirsty World” (April 2007) compares 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 stall 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 by Tibetan separatists and their supporters that China rules over Tibet with an iron dictatorial 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.”

Tibetan Nomads

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.”

However, change is coming, and there is nothing Ba O can do to stop it. The change is not from China’s government. It is from global warming. The Tibetan grasslands are dying and a way of life that has existed for thousands of years may be dying too.

Tibetan girl tending sheep

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 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, 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.

What happens to life when there is no water?

See Dictatorship Defined

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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. 

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