Fish die from pollution
By avalon on Jun 05, 2006
The front page of China Daily today had a picture of pond filled with dead fish. The caption underneath mentioning that it was possibly caused by a near by factory and had an estimated loss of 300,000RMB. While that is only US$37,500, in local terms, a typical college student needs about 3,000RMB per month to survive. Enough to support 8 college students for a year.
The paper version doesn't expand on the picture, but online, there's an article "Pollution costs China US$200 billion every year."
Through China's lack of sufficient regulations and problems with local governments enforcing environment laws, China is rediscovering all of the problems western countries have been through rather than learning from our mistakes. This isn't the first time something like this has happened and it certainly won't be the last. Not until local governments are held accountable for their (in)ability to enforce local law will anything meaningfully transpire. Who has the power to put the boot into local governments in China? I'm not sure. If China's President can't do it and the NGO's can't do it, is it left up to the people? One hopes not. The local governments should be brought into line first and foremost by President Hu Jintao, although maybe this can't happen soon enough!
But as a developing nation, it should be prepared for ecological degradation to continue. Only when the environment and its ecology are put above profit in important will protection of the environment really be achieved. China's problem in all of this is that protecting the environment and being a green producer cost more money. That means factories are more expensive to build and goods cost more to make and buy. This will not please the overseas companies that come to China for cheap manufacturing.