The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, February 12, 2007

Steamin' mad at (Chinese) dirt

A pretty unpleasant story from Der Spiegel was translated for publication on Salon, and man, is it bleak. Just the sort of thing I like to share. It's long, but highly recommended. Just try not to think of the eight years we've wasted in addressing problems like this courtesy of BushCo and their big oil pals. A few not-so-fun facts:

*Scientists have determined that clouds of pollutants hovering over the West Coast and much of Europe originate in China. Rivers shared with China spread toxic chemicals into Russia and Thailand (to name two). Tsinghua University Liu Deshun had an answer: "We are a developing country," he says. "We aren't yet in the position to take on international obligations."

*"Some 69 percent of all Chinese power plants are run on coal. China used 2.1 billion tons of it in 2004 -- more than the United States, the European Union and Japan combined. Even if the Chinese economy continues to grow only 7 percent annually, its coal usage would double to 4 [b]illion tons within 10 years."

*"The country is home to 16 of the world's 20 dirtiest cities. The inhabitants of every third metropolis are forced to breathe polluted air, causing the death of an estimated 400,000 Chinese each year. Half of China's 696 cities and counties suffer from acid rain. Two-thirds of its major rivers and lakes are cesspools, and more than 340 million people do not have access to clean drinking water."

No wonder Republicans are doing everything they can to assure their own fortunes. You may not be able to take it with you, but it's nice to have as long as you're around.