In this weekend’s Sunday New York Times, the newspaper covers the cost of China’s economic growth in the article, “As China Roars, Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes.” The facts and figures are pretty staggering:
“Environmental degradation is now so severe, with such stark domestic and international repercussions, that pollution poses not only a major long-term burden on the Chinese public but also an acute political challenge to the ruling Communist Party. And it is not clear that China can rein in its own economic juggernaut. Public health is reeling. Pollution has made cancer China’s leading cause of death, the Ministry of Health says. Ambient air pollution alone is blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Nearly 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water…”
In preparation for the 2008 Summer Olympics, the city of Beijing has been experimenting with taking half of the cars off the road as well as experimenting with seeding the clouds to force rain to help clean the air. If you really want to see what economic growth at any costs is like, go visit China. You’ll be amazed at the growth AND the pollution!