Air pollution in China’s largest cities, as measured by the concentration of fine particulates that pose the greatest health risk, was three-times worse in the first half of the year than levels advised by the World Health Organization. Read the rest of this entry »
Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category
Posted by Author on August 1, 2013
Posted by Author on February 26, 2013
The Chinese regime for the first time admitted the existence of so-called “cancer villages”—areas near factories and polluted waterways where cancer rates have increased to startlingly high levels.
The Sina Weibo of the state-run Global Times on Wednesday published news and a map of the villages that are especially cancer-stricken. Posting in Chinese, the Times, a mouthpiece of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, cited the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection. The blog Tea Leaf Nation brought attention to the post. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Author on January 30, 2013
China’s dependence on burning coal to meet its soaring energy demands has grown even more, with a new report saying that the country now accounts for nearly half of global coal consumption, meaning that the dense air pollution lingering over Chinese cities will likely only get worse.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday that China’s consumption of coal grew 9 percent in 2011, continuing an upward trend for the 12th consecutive year. In 2011, China’s coal use grew by some 325 million tons, representing 87 percent of the total increase that year. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Author on January 30, 2013
The stifling pollution currently plaguing much of northeastern China has reached levels so high it is beyond the measurements used in the U.S. to chart air quality.
“What Beijing is experiencing — and even worse in the provinces — is off the charts from anything we experience in the United States, and likely more than anything we’ve experienced in our country’s history,” said John Walke, the director of the Climate & Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, a Washington, D.C.-based environmental group. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Author on August 26, 2011
AN AMERICAN diplomat posed as a Korean tourist to investigate a notorious tiger breeding centre in southern China, where he saw animals whipped, made to perform ”marriage processions” and reportedly sold to be used in traditional medicines.
As a result of the undercover visit to Xiongsen Tiger and Bear farm, the US government was notified of doubts about China’s conservation efforts, according to a diplomatic cable recently released by WikiLeaks.
The investigation was inspired by a flurry of foreign media reports in 2007 alleging the farm offered tiger meat in its restaurant and tiger bone wine in a shop. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Author on September 27, 2010
Alex Frangos, via http://blogs.wsj.com/, Sep. 27, 2010 –
To get a sense of how China’s air quality compares with the rest of the world, there’s a new map of global air-particulate pollution from Canadian scientists using National Aeronautics and Space Administration satellite data. The verdict: It doesn’t look good. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Author on August 10, 2010
AFP, Aug. 10, 2010 –
HONG KONG — Chinese zoos and safari parks treat their animals “barbarically,” including abusing them to perform tricks and depriving them of proper food and shelter, an animal welfare group said.
Hong Kong-based Animals Asia Foundation said its investigation of 13 Chinese zoos and safari parks between September 2009 and August 2010 uncovered evidence of animals being beaten with sticks and metal hooks as well as tigers and lions with their teeth and claws removed, causing chronic pain.
The group’s 28-page report documents “the barbaric treatment of animals and the poor living conditions they are forced to endure.”
“A large number of captive animal establishments in China provide animal performances as a form of entertainment for visitors. The techniques used to force such animals to perform tricks are cruel and abusive,” said the report released Monday.
“Showmen frequently engage in negative reinforcement, whipping and striking the animals repeatedly, forcing them to carry out tricks that go against their natural behaviour.”
The group said its probe also uncovered evidence of animals housed in “small, barren, concrete enclosures often in darkened rooms at the back of the performance areas away from the visitors.”
“The living conditions for performing animals fail to meet their basic welfare needs. Many of the animals have no visible access to water,” it said.
The report features photographs of bears being forced to “box” each other and ride motorcycles along a highwire, tigers prodded into jumping through flaming hoops, and elephants “performing uncomfortable and humiliating tricks such as standing on their heads, and spinning on one leg.”…...(More details from AFP)
Greenpeace Says China Oil Spill 60 times larger than Officially Reported, after a 10-day on-site investigation
Posted by Author on July 30, 2010
VOA News, 30 July 2010 –
The environmental group Greenpeace says it believes an oil spill in northeastern China was up to 60 times larger than has been reported.
Richard Steiner, a marine conservation expert from the University of Alaska, announced the conclusion Friday after a 10-day on-site investigation.
Steiner estimates the July 16 explosion at an oil terminal in Dalian released 60,000 to 90,000 tons of crude oil into the South China Sea, making it larger than the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. Official estimates have said only 1,500 tons of crude were spilled.
The explosion ruptured two pipelines and ignited a fire that raged for 15 hours. Greenpeace said Chinese workers told the group they deliberately released additional oil into the sea to contain the fire and reduce the risk that a nearby tank of dimethylbenzene would explode.
Steiner said at a Beijing news conference that the explosion and fire completely destroyed one oil tank with a capacity of 90,000 tons. He said Greenpeace was told that the tank had been filled shortly before the blast.
He said a spill of that size would rank among the 30 largest ever recorded.
The oil spill expert, engaged as a consultant by Greenpeace, said Chinese crews have already recovered more than 1,500 tons of oil – the amount officially said to have been spilled.
Reuters news agency contacted PetroChina on Friday but said officials of the company, which operates the oil storage facilities at Dalian, could not confirm or deny the Greenpeace findings.
– VOA News
Northeast China town: Flooding traps 30,000, washed 1,000 barrels of explosive chemicals into a river
Posted by Author on July 28, 2010
BBC News, July 28, 2010 –
Flooding in northeastern China has stranded 30,000 people in one town and washed 1,000 barrels of explosive chemicals into a river, reports say.
In Kouqian town in Jilin province, residents were trapped when a reservoir and two rivers overflowed following torrential rain.
In Jilin city itself, containers of explosive fluid from a chemical plant were washed into the Songhua river.
China is facing its worst flooding in more than a decade.
Weeks of heavy rain have swollen rivers and caused damage, landslides and bridge collapses across a swathe of the country.
According to state media, 928 people have died because of the seasonal bad weather and another 477 are missing.
More than 200 rescue workers have been sent to Kouqian, where tens of thousands of residents are reportedly trapped after the Xingshan reservoir and the Wende and Songhua rivers burst their banks.
Chinese media reports said houses and buildings were under water, and 80 people were trapped in a train station surrounded by water.
In Jilin city, emergency teams were trying to recover barrels of explosive chemicals washed into the river.
Environmental officials were said to be monitoring the water quality in the river.
Further to the south, in Wuhan city in Hubei province, workers were sandbagging river banks ahead of possible flooding where the Yangtze and Han rivers converge…….(More details from BBC News)
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Posted by Author on July 22, 2010
AFP, July 22, 2010 –
BEIJING — Chinese authorities battled Thursday to contain an oil spill on the country’s northeast coast amid reports it was spreading and as warnings emerged of a heavy long-term environmental impact.
The government has mobilised hundreds of fishing boats and other vessels to clean up the spill that occurred in the port city of Dalian, but Greenpeace said many people thrown into the effort were reduced to using their bare hands.
The spill happened last Friday after two pipelines exploded at an oil storage depot, triggering a spectacular blaze that burned throughout the weekend.
Officials said shortly after the spill that about 1,500 tonnes of oil were spilled into the Yellow Sea off Liaoning province.
A government estimate Monday said the slick had affected 435 square kilometres (around 170 square miles) of the Yellow Sea.
However, a report late Wednesday said the slick had spread to 946 square kilometres, and stretched as far as 90 kilometres along the coast. The report appeared in the Shenyang Evening News, based in the provincial capital.
The government has said about 40 special oil-skimming vessels were leading the clean-up and that 23 tonnes of oil-eating bacteria were being employed.
China National Petroleum Corp, the country’s biggest oil company and owner of the pipelines that exploded, said in a statement on its website Thursday that at least 400 tonnes of the spilt oil had been cleaned up already.
Zhong Yu, a Greenpeace campaigner observing the clean-up efforts, however said many of the mobilised civilians and firefighters had no equipment or protective gear.
“The citizens-turned-cleaners we saw yesterday in the sea basically did not have any protective gear and could only use their hands to clean up the oil,” she told AFP by phone.
Zhong said tourist beaches and other long stretches of coast were awash with black sludge up to 30 centimetres (one foot) thick near the shore.
“There is a strong smell of acid and oil in the air,” she said.
The economic impact was already being felt by businesses in the area, with state press reports saying tourist beaches normally crammed with summer visitors were empty. Some beaches were officially closed to the public.
The area also has a major fishing industry, but catches had been banned for now……. (more details from AFP)
Posted by Author on July 18, 2010
Tim Webb, The Observer, Sunday 18 July 2010 –
BP ordered the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig, whose explosion led to the worst environmental disaster in US history, to overhaul a crucial piece of the rig’s safety equipment in China, the Observer has learnt. The blow-out preventer – the last line of defence against an out-of-control well – subsequently failed to activate and is at the centre of investigations into what caused the disaster.
Experts say that the practice of having such engineering work carried out in China, rather than the US, saves money and is common in the industry.
This weekend BP remained cautiously optimistic that the cap placed on top of the Gulf of Mexico well on Thursday night would continue to hold back the torrent of oil. It is the first time the flow has been stopped since the accident happened almost three months ago. But BP said that the pressure readings from the Macondo well were not as high as it had hoped, which could indicate that it has ruptured and that oil could be leaking out somewhere else.
There is no evidence that the significant modifications to the blowout preventer (BOP), which were carried out in China in 2005, caused the equipment to fail. But industry lawyers said BP could be made liable for any mistakes that a Chinese subcontractor made carrying out the work. It would be almost impossible to secure damages in China, where international law is barely recognised.
It is understood that lawyers for Cameron International, the manufacturer of the BOP, will argue the device was so significantly modified in China that it no longer resembled the original component, and that Cameron should therefore not be held liable.
Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon, which bought the BOP from Cameron, has already told congressional hearings into the disaster that the modifications were carried out at BP’s request and “under its direction” as the lessee of the rig. BP and Cameron declined to comment this weekend…….(more details from The Guardian)
China’s Massive Dam Proposed in Tibet Yarlung Tsangpo River Could Spark Water Supply Conflict in Downstream Nations
Posted by Author on May 25, 2010
Jonathan Watts, Asia environment correspondent, guardian.co.uk, 24 May 2010 –
Chinese hydropower lobbyists are calling for construction of the world’s biggest hydro-electric project on the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra river as part of a huge expansion of renewable power in the Himalayas.
Zhang Boting, the deputy general secretary of the China Society for Hydropower Engineering, told the Guardian that a massive dam on the great bend of the Yarlung Tsangpo – the Tibetan name for the river – would benefit the world, despite the likely concerns of downstream nations, India and Bangladesh, which access water and power from the river.
Zhang said research had been carried out on the project, but no plan has been drawn up. But documents on the website of a government agency suggest a 38 gigawatt hydropower plant is under consideration that would be more than half as big again as the Three Gorges dam, with a capacity nearly half as large as the UK’s national grid.
“This dam could save 200m tonnes of carbon each year. We should not waste the opportunity of the biggest carbon emission reduction project. For the sake of the entire world, all the water resources than can be developed should be developed.” That CO2 saving would be over a third of the UK’s entire emissions.
The mega-facility is among more than 28 dams on the river that are either planned, completed or under discussion by China, according to Tashi Tsering, a Tibetan scholar of environmental policy at the University of British Columbia……. (more details from The Guardian)
Posted in Asia, China, dam, Energy, Environment, Life, News, River, Technology, World | Comments Off on China’s Massive Dam Proposed in Tibet Yarlung Tsangpo River Could Spark Water Supply Conflict in Downstream Nations