China has just completed its first ever study of environmental pollution. Not surprisingly, the news is terrible. But the optimistic and frank tone is encouraging. And strangely reminiscent…
“Although the news is bad, we should not lose confidence in our ability to bring pollution under control” says Ma Jun, the Director of Public and Environmental Affairs. “Facing the problem lays the foundation for solving it and we need an accurate picture of the situation if we are to produce a realistic and practical pollution strategy.”
Sounds familiar. I remember when the US was a confident can-do nation too. We discovered we were fouling our nest in the 60’s and by 1970 had passed the Clean Air Act.
“First, we need to reach a consensus. The huge increase in emissions requires greater efforts to cut pollution – in particular water contamination and hazardous waste. Next, all levels of government should make good use of this hard-won data”.
I guess they don’t allow Fox News into the country. That “reach consensus” stuff; that’s for girly men.
“Meanwhile, this basic data – obtained at great public expense – should be steadily released to the public rather than restricted to government, particularly information on the release of toxic and harmful substances by industry. These substances are a direct threat to health and safety and the release of this data will assist the public in understanding local environmental risks and better protecting environmental interests. The release of the data will also promote public participation in environmental decision making and management”.
But here in this country, by contrast, our rulers have heard enough bad environmental news. Marc Morano of The Fossil Party proposes that climate scientists be publicly flogged.
Climate science news is bad. But…wasn’t that was our issue with Saddam Husein: that you can’t be the bearer of bad news in a dictatorship. So which nation is the freedom loving one again? It’s getting confusing.
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