Don’t Say You Weren’t Warned
The current state of the environment in China, as shocking and visually repugnant as it may be (now surpassing the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Beyond Index” category), is nothing new. In fact the images we now see from Beijing are reminiscent of those of the USA in the 1970s.
The difference being, with pressure on our government, we managed to change a few things. We managed to convince our leaders in the USA that enterprise won’t self-regulate. They won’t willingly change their practices unless there is profit in it. So we encouraged both. They regulated emissions, and we encouraged companies to change their operations to a more sustainable methodology, and surprise, surprise, they did, our skies cleared, and a cottage industry has become big business. Proof that if you want anything to change, you have to make it profitable.
So, what’s the big deal with China? Why do we care if they have an atmosphere so thick you need to cut your way through it? Easy… they are a nation that can now boast two man-made objects visible from space, the Great Wall and their smog cloud. However, the wall won’t move. That cloud … that’s another story. We can and should expect it to visit a city, a school, or a beach … near you. We haven’t done all this work to stand by and watch another emerging industrial nation flagrantly destroy the very air we breathe. We haven’t worked so hard for 45 years just to see everything we have achieved go up in smoke (excuse the pun).
What we really need is action. Our children are already living their lives sucking air through asthma inhalers. Asthma rates for some demographics of children have grown by 50% in as little as 8 years. By the time they are ready to help out, all they will be able to do is whimper. We need to scream.