lhowell

Does the Chinese Government Hate the Environment?

In China, slave labor, Sustainability on October 14, 2007 at 5:14 am

Pollution has reached epidemic proportions in China, in part because the ruling Communist Party still treats environmental advocates as bigger threats than the degradation of air, water and soil that prompts them to speak out. NY Times, October 14, 2007.

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The Olympic Games will be held in China in 2008. Virtually, every product purchased and components of many important products we need (e.g. computers) are manufactured in China. The allure of high fashion and the imags of being in style and current with the latest fashion also comes from China. The NY Times article read further:

Toxic cyanobacteria, commonly referred to as pond scum, turned the big lake fluorescent green. The stench of decay choked anyone who came within a mile of its shores. At least two million people who live amid the canals, rice paddies and chemical plants around the lake had to stop drinking or cooking with their main source of water. However, if you live in China and say something, complain or write about it, here is what happens to you:

The outbreak confirmed the claims of a crusading peasant, Wu Lihong, who protested for more than a decade that the region’s thriving chemical industry, and its powerful friends in the local government, were destroying one of China’s ecological treasures.

Mr. Wu, however, bore silent witness. Shortly before the algae crisis erupted in May, the authorities here in his hometown arrested him. In mid-August, with a fetid smell still wafting off the lake, a local court sentenced him to three years on an alchemy of charges that smacked of official retribution. And yet, we continue to buy, buy, buy. We continue to overdose on cheap, products that have the perception of value.

Here’s a test: visit a Stein-Mart, Marshalls, Ross or T.J. Maxx and look closely at the difference at products made in China and compare them to countries that have the Made in Mexico, Pakistan, India labels. The quality, fit and overall appearance is simply better. This is why Target continues to improve its earnings and its perception as a preferred place for shopping in comparison to Wal-Mart. Give it a try.

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