Monday, December 31, 2007

the rain makes us stop and think - National Day Oct 01 - 2001

Pollution has made cancer China’s leading cause of death, the Ministry of Health says. Ambient air pollution alone is blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year.

Nearly 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water.
Chinese cities often seem wrapped in a toxic gray shroud

Only 1 percent of the country’s 560 million city dwellers breathe air considered safe by the European Union - and only a very small percentage of the 1.4 billion people have access to clean and safe drinking water.

Environmental woes that might be considered catastrophic in some countries can seem commonplace in China: industrial cities where people rarely see the sun; children killed or sickened by lead poisoning or other types of local pollution.

China’s problem has become the world’s problem.

Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides spewed by China’s coal-fired power plants fall as acid rain on Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo. Much of the particulate pollution over Los Angeles originates in China, most of the government’s targets for energy efficiency, as well as improving air and water quality, have gone unmet. And there are ample signs that the leadership is either unwilling or unable to make fundamental changes.

Coal, on which China relies for about two-thirds of its energy needs cause "acid rain" and many other environmental problems (It has abundant supplies of coal and already burns more of it than the United States, Europe and Japan combined). But even many of its newest coal-fired power plants and industrial furnaces operate inefficiently and use pollution controls considered inadequate in the West.

No comments: