My goal with this post was to prove China’s critics and enemies were correct when they claim China is a horrible place to live and due to pollution—the worst country in the world.
I failed. Sorry guys. I should have only focused on air pollution and the rivers where most of China’s industries are located and stayed away from the global comparison lists.
After having read so much about “horrible” China due to its pollution, I decided to see how many of its cities made the top ten lists and was shocked to discover none made the list in 2011.
Time Magazine has a Blog called Ecocentric, and it is about all things green. Here’s that list of the world’s top-ten most polluted cities for 2011.
1. Ahwaz, Iran
2. Ulan Bator, Mongolia
3. Sanadaj, Iran
4. Ludhiana, India
5. Quetta, Pakistan
6. Kermanshah, Iran
7. Peshawar, Pakistan
8. Gaberone, Botswana
9. Yasouj, Iran
10. Kanpor, India
Did you see China on that list? You have no idea how disappointed I was.
Ecocentric says that all of these cities have one thing in common—they are fairly poor except for number eight in Botswana, which is considered a middle income country/city. “Residents often burn heavy, polluting fuel for heat and energy—including firewood or even dung, which can produce heavy, thick smoke. Add in old, diesel-powered cars that belch black carbon and growing population density in urban slums—plus weather conditions like Ulan Bator’s extreme cold, which worsens air pollution – and you have an ugly mess.”
But what about China? After all, there is so much attention focused on China by Western Blogs and the media about China’s pollution problems, while often ignoring the same problems in the rest of the world, one would think that with more than 800 million rural Chinese living in near poverty using coal to cook and heat their homes, the air would be a thick, black pea soup one could swim in let alone breathe.
Then I visited the top ten list at Mibazzar.com and discovered that two cities in China’s made that list: I was overjoyed, and then I saw that the date for that list was 2007. Darn! Failed again!
Those two cities that made the list in 2007 were Linfen, China (3,000,000 people affected) and Tianying China (140,000 people affected). Wow, that wasn’t even one percent of China’s population.
Two of the cities on Mibazzar’s 2007 list were in India, one in Zambia, one in Peru, one Azerbeijan, Chernobyl in the Ukraine, and Norilsk in Russia.
Continued on May 19, 2012 in Searching for Impurity – Part 2
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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