Dead pigs add to China's environmental woes
Swine carcasses in a Shanghai river emphasize the crisis that's brewing, thanks to unbridled growth and paranoid leadership.
China has another environmental mess, with more possible long-term financial impact on that nation and the global economy.
Authorities in Shanghai are trying to determine who dumped over 3,000 dead pigs in the city's Huangpu River. A swine virus was reportedly discovered in one of the carcasses, but local officials say it's of no danger to humans and that the local water supply -- part of which comes from the river -- is safe for drinking.
Many Chinese are taking a cynical and wry look at the situation. Some online wag posted on a Chinese micro-blogging site that the pigs sacrificed themselves while taking a stand on the country's notorious air pollution or to protest the rampant use of antibiotics on livestock.
But the dead pigs are just the latest serious example of how China's overheated economy is sacrificing environmental, legal and safety controls for the sake of short-term profits.
China's authoritarian government is still hypersensitive about getting any scrutiny. Reuters recently reported about an attorney, Dong Zhengwei, who was banned from accessing years-old data about soil pollution because it was a "state secret."
But growing outrage over worsening air pollution in China, poor water quality, tainted produce and other health issues have given the public a chance to speak out.
"In other areas it is still dangerous," Gary Liu, a professor at the China Europe International Business School in Shanghai told Reuters. "But pollution is a relatively safe area, because people have enough justification to fight against the government and they can easily get enough public support because everybody is in the same country, breathes the same air."
The Washington Post points to a new study by three Deutsche Bank economists, which says China is capable of implementing aggressive reforms that could ease its air pollution problems without damaging its economy. But as The Post reports, "most of China’s current attempts to curb pollution are failing badly -- the country is on pace for ever-higher levels of smog that could throttle the nation’s economy and trigger out-of-control protests."
Chinese officials are apparently getting the hint.
"Our country, in a very short time over the past 30 years, has achieved brilliant economic achievements," Xin Chunying, with the National People's Congress, told reporters over the weekend. "But at the same time, we have paid a heavy price with the environment. This price must stop, it has to be reduced, we must say 'no' to the status quo."
When one reads an article like this he/she first assumes that it's a Chinese problem, but it isn't because polution, especially of the air and the sea, (and the river of pigs runs to the sea) is a world problem. It would be wonderful if countries that polluted their air would be forced to keep that air within the confines of their borders so only they would be subject to it's poisonous effects then they might take more aggressive response to cleaning up their enviornment.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 added just over a point, holding its weekly gain at 1.0% while the Nasdaq lost 0.4%.
The major averages began the day on an upbeat note, but relinquished their opening gains during the first 90 minutes of action. The early sentiment was boosted by a better-than-expected nonfarm payrolls report for February (175K versus Briefing.com consensus 163K), but a closer look into the report suggested that ... More
More Market News
The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'