World Bank surpresss China pollution in report

China is hosting the Summer Olympics next year.  I, for one, would hate to have to run the 26 mile marathon in the disgusting yellow atmosphere that they will be breathing.  The world community will be witness to the horrors of China’s polluted ecology no matter how hard they try to sweep it under the Tiananmen Square rug.  Here in the Pacific NW the air is sometimes filled with Gobi Desert dust carried across the Pacific on the high level winds and recent tests have detected chemical and biological (fungi and virus) pollution.  It may take another year for the world to wake up to the negative effect China is having on the world, but the exposure from the Olympics will open everyone’s eyes.

                                                           World Bank China Pollution Report


By Charles R. Smith
Progress is often hailed in China as a shining example of how the west and the Chinese communists are cooperating.  However, progress in China has a brutal price in the forms of oppression, slave labor and unchecked pollution.
The truth about the Chinese pollution problem reached the World Bank which decided to write a detailed report.  However, in true form to covering up bad economic news, the World Bank decided to delete key portions of the report at the request of the Chinese communists.
According to the Financial Times of London, information about Chinese pollution has been removed from a World Bank report to avoid “social unrest.”
“Missing from this report are the research project’s findings that high air-pollution levels in Chinese cities is leading to the premature deaths of 350,000-400,000 people each year.  A further 300,000 people die prematurely each year from exposure to poor air indoors, according to advisers, but little discussion of this issue survived in the report because it was outside the ambit of the Chinese ministries which sponsored the research,” states the Times.
So the price of sending jobs overseas and driving to the bottom to find cheap goods at major retail outlets costs nearly a million Chinese citizens their lives each year.  This little brutal detail, cut from the World Bank report, is just the beginning.  The report details a nation in trouble because it is moving ever deeper into a soup of dangerous chemicals.  In short, China is turning itself into a giant Love Canal of pollution.
According to the World Bank report, or at least the parts the communist government could not censor, China is now the largest source of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emissions in the world.  The winds may blow softly in Beijing but the wind carries itself around the globe.  The dangerous air pollution levels in China are shared globally with the rest of the world, including the United States.
The facts about Chinese pollution are compounded by the financial short-sighted nature of the one ruling party.  China has access to massive amounts of U.S. cash, having exceeded a $200 billion dollars trade imbalance last year.  China has nearly a trillion dollars of U.S. treasury bonds. 
However, instead of cleaning up their own back yards, the Chinese government has seen fit to spend billions on new military hardware, and a gigantic military space program.
Such simple things like fresh water are in short supply.  In China, nearly 30 percent of the population lack basic sanitary facilities.  One study cited by the World Bank report noted the lack of basic sanitation was beyond critical. 
“Nearly one-fifth of the surveyed population did not have access to safe sanitation and hence relied on defecation in the open,” states the report.
The bottom line is pretty clear.  While Beijing buys fancy jet-fighters from Russia and pumps billions into nuclear tipped missiles, 400 million Chinese citizens have no bathrooms short of going outside or dumping the classic chamber pot.
“Two-thirds of the rural population is without piped water, which contributes to diarrhea disease and cancers of the digestive system…  In the period between 2001 and 2005, on average about 54 percent of the seven main rivers in China contained water deemed unsafe for human consumption…  Some 300–500 million people in rural areas do not have access to piped water and are exposed to severe health risks related to polluted drinking water,” noted the World Bank report.
Even the Chinese government is aware of the growing problem with fresh water and poor sanitation.
 “According to the primary investigation, more than 300 million people in rural areas cannot get safe drinking water,” states the annual report from the Chinese Ministry of Water Resources.
Poor sanitation has a great affect on water quality but even worse is the cesspool of chemicals found in Chinese drinking water.  According to World Health Organization report, 15 million people in China use drinking water from groundwater wells with deadly arsenic concentration levels.
“Water pollution has penetrated beyond infecting the surface water found in lakes, rivers, and streams, and over half of the cities now have polluted groundwater,” states the report.
One study cited by the World Bank report considered risk factors of liver cancer around the Nansi Lake in Shandong Province.  They showed that people who drank lake water, touched lake water, or ate fish were more likely to get liver cancer than people who drank large quantities of alcohol.
“Liver cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer in rural China,” noted the report.
Some of the pollution does not stay in China but is exported as products to the rest of the world.  For example, the FDA has stalled the import of five types of seafood from China following concerns about the uncontrolled use of antibiotics in high-intensity fish farming.  The FDA has also raised concerns about heavy-metal contamination of agricultural products.
China is now the world’s leading supplier of seafood, shipping $1.9 billion worth of fish and shellfish to the United States last year, making it the third biggest foreign supplier in the U.S. market.
Clearly, polluted China is a very sensitive issue to the ruling communist party.  They pressed and obtained the cooperation of the World Bank in covering up a growing ecological disaster.  The communist rulers know that pollution has the potential to bring political change and destroy the carefully crafted economy. It could also sweep them from power since they have control over every aspect of Chinese life.  The communist party fears that the people of China will learn the truth about why they are dying.

About ItheMissingLink

Retired longshoreman at the Port of Seattle. US Navy veteran 9 patrol FBM nuclear submarines; married 29 years
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1 Response to World Bank surpresss China pollution in report

  1. gate says:

    Huge Dust Plumes
    From China Cause
    Changes in Climate
    July 20, 2007; Page B1
    One tainted export from China can\’t be avoided in North America — air.
    An outpouring of dust layered with man-made sulfates, smog, industrial fumes, carbon grit and nitrates is crossing the Pacific Ocean on prevailing winds from booming Asian economies in plumes so vast they alter the climate. These rivers of polluted air can be wider than the Amazon and deeper than the Grand Canyon.
    "There are times when it covers the entire Pacific Ocean basin like a ribbon bent back and forth," said atmospheric physicist V. Ramanathan at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif.

    • Can the U.S. help stop global traffic in aerosol pollution? And what\’s the international responsibility here? Share your thoughts in an online forum.On some days, almost a third of the air over Los Angeles and San Francisco can be traced directly to Asia. With it comes up to three-quarters of the black carbon particulate pollution that reaches the West Coast, Dr. Ramanathan and his colleagues recently reported in the Journal of Geophysical Research.
    This transcontinental pollution is part of a growing global traffic in dust and aerosol particles made worse by drought and deforestation, said Steven Cliff, who studies the problem at the University of California at Davis.
    Aerosols — airborne microscopic particles — are produced naturally every time a breeze catches sea salt from ocean spray, or a volcano erupts, or a forest burns, or a windstorm kicks up dust, for example. They also are released in exhaust fumes, factory vapors and coal-fired power plant emissions.

    Courtesy SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and ORBIMAGE
    A satellite view from 2001 shows dust arriving in California from Asian deserts. Concentrations of dust are visible to the south, near the coastline (lower right); To the west the dust is mixed with clouds over open ocean. This dust event caused a persistent haze in places like Death Valley, California, where skies are usually crystal clear.
    Over the Pacific itself, the plumes are seeding ocean clouds and spawning fiercer thunderstorms, researchers at Texas A&M University reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in March.
    The influence of these plumes on climate is complex because they can have both a cooling and a warming effect, the scientists said. Scientists are convinced these plumes contain so many cooling sulfate particles that they may be masking half of the effect of global warming. The plumes may block more than 10% of the sunlight over the Pacific.
    But while the sulfates they carry lower temperatures by reflecting sunlight, the soot they contain absorbs solar heat, thus warming the planet.
    Asia is the world\’s largest source of aerosols, man-made and natural. Every spring and summer, storms whip up silt from the Gobi desert of Mongolia and the hardpan of the Taklamakan desert of western China, where, for centuries, dust has shaped a way of life. From the dunes of Dunhuang, where vendors hawk gauze face masks alongside braided leather camel whips, to the oasis of Kashgar at the feet of the Tian Shan Mountains 1,500 miles to the west, there is no escaping it.

    Courtesy SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE.
    A satellite image from 2005 shows a plume of dust flowing from China to the north of the Korean Peninsula and over the Sea of Japan. Such plumes can cross the Pacific and scatter dust across the Western U.S.
    The Taklamakan is a natural engine of evaporation and erosion. Rare among the world\’s continental basins, no river that enters the Taklamakan ever reaches the sea. Fed by melting highland glaciers and gorged with silt, these freshwater torrents all vanish in the arid desert heat, like so many Silk Road caravans.
    Only the dust escapes.
    In an instant, billows of grit can envelope the landscape in a mist so fine that it never completely settles. Moving east, the dust sweeps up pollutants from heavily industrialized regions that turn the yellow plumes a bruised brown. In Beijing, where authorities estimate a million tons of this dust settles every year, the level of microscopic aerosols is seven times the public-health standard set by the World Health Organization.
    Once aloft, the plumes can circle the world in three weeks. "In a very real and immediate sense, you can look at a dust event you are breathing in China and look at this same dust as it tracks across the Pacific and reaches the United States," said climate analyst Jeff Stith at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado. "It is a remarkable mix of natural and man-made particles."

    Carlye Calvin, UCAR
    Jeff Stith of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, a principal investigator on the Pacific Dust Experiment.
    This spring, Dr. Ramanathan and Dr. Stith led an international research team in a $1 million National Science Foundation project to track systematically the plumes across the Pacific. NASA satellites have monitored the clouds from orbit for several years, but this was the first effort to analyze them in detail.
    For six weeks, the researchers cruised the Pacific aboard a specially instrumented Gulfstream V jet to sample these exotic airstreams. Their findings, to be released this year, involved NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and nine U.S. universities, as well as the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Japan, Seoul National University in Korea, and Lanzhou University and Peking University in China.
    The team detected a new high-altitude plume every three or four days. Each one was up to 300 miles wide and six miles deep, a vaporous layer cake of pollutants. The higher the plumes, the longer they lasted, the faster they traveled and the more pronounced their effect, the researchers said.
    Until now, the pollution choking so many communities in Asia may have tempered the pace of global warming. As China and other countries eliminate their sulfate emissions, however, world temperatures may heat up even faster than predicted.

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