Air pollution is killing an average of 4,000 people a day in China, according to researchers who cited coal-burning as the likely principal cause.
Deaths related to the main pollutant, tiny particles known as PM2.5s that can trigger heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and asthma, total 1.6 million a year, or 17 percent of China’s mortality level, according to the study by Berkeley Earth, an independent research group funded largely by educational grants. It was published Thursday in theonline peer-reviewed journal PLOS One from the Public Library of Science.
“When I was last in Beijing, pollution was at the hazardous level: Every hour of exposure reduced my life expectancy by 20 minutes,” Richard Muller, scientific director of Berkeley Earth and a co-author of the paper, said in an e-mail. “It’s as if every man, woman and child smoked 1.5 cigarettes each hour.”
Stock market veteran Zhao Shucheng has bitter memories, shared by many investors, of 2007 and 2008 when the Shanghai Composite Index crashed from 6120 to 1665. Zhao lost about 200,000 yuan.
"We had a joke about the stock market at that time: you drive in with a Mercedes-Benz and walk out with nothing," Zhao said as he watched a screen in a stock trading hall in Beijing's Xicheng District. Unlike Mao Yuhui, he only invests one third of his money and is ready to sell at any time.
Some specialists and investors do not agree. Citibank recently burst a number of potential bubbles, claiming that there was no risk until market indices hit double current levels.
Sun Yu, chief China securities strategist at HSBC, believes that a more open capital market with less government control over IPO pricing means that now is the time for foreign investors to hit China's market.
Not all market rises are bubbles: government policy and national strategy have fueled this rise. Since the beginning of this year,innovation has been the watchword of China's leaders. "Makers" are the new economic heros and "Internet Plus" key to an innovation economy.
According to account registration data, many new investors were born in the 1980s and 1990s, with no experience of the carnage of seven years ago. They are more optimistic and have nontraditional views on investment.
Xiao Wu, an investor born in the 1980s, has an account with Orient Securities in Shanghai. He considers himself expert in technology, media and telecom.
"I am concerned about whether a company possesses core competence and innovative capabilities, or if it has the potential to expand along the industry chain, not profit to earnings ratios," he said.
Some commentators go even further. Yu Weiguo, a columnist at Sina.com, thinks the stock market is set to replace real estate as the new darling of national strategy. A booming market will nourish future backbone industries, he claimed, despite occasional capital bubbles.
"The stock market is a mechanism that encourages innovation. It draws in private capital and helps young people get a foothold in many new industries, some of which could be vital to the transition of China's economy," Yu added.
Another columnist, Xiang Xiaotian, echoed Yu's thought. "For China, if there is no bubble in the second-board market, then there is no start-up, no innovation, and no future for China's economy."
Landmark Case on Lead Poisoning in Children Begins
On Friday, a court in Hunan Province began hearing a landmark pollution lawsuit filed by a group of 13 families from Dapu, who accused the local Melody Chemical plant of causing abnormally high levels of lead in the blood of their offspring. South China Morning Post reports:
A court in central China on Friday began hearing a closely watched case filed by families who have accused a local chemical plant of being responsible for high levels of lead in the blood of their children and grandchildren.
Lawyers say the case in Hengdong in Hunan province is a test of the central government’s resolve to address the human cost of environmental damage caused by decades of unbridled economic growth in China. It is believed to be the first time a Chinese court is hearing a case involving lead poisoning in a group of children.
The trial comes amid a series of public interest lawsuits filed since a revised environmental protection law that came into effect in January enabled the submission of such cases and increased the penalties for polluters.
Thirteen families from in and around nearby Dapu town have accused Melody Chemical, a chemical plant and metal smelter, of pollution that caused elevated levels of lead in the blood of their children and grandchildren. They are seeking compensation, although the precise amount varies by child. [Source]
While more than fifty families agreed to participate in the lawsuit at the outset, many were later forced to withdraw due to pressure from local government authorities. The Guardian reports:
Reuters reported in May that of the original 53 families who agreed to participate in the lawsuit, most dropped out, some because of pressure from local officials. Dapu authorities denied any interference.
Dai Renhui, the lawyer for the plaintiffs, said: “This case will be a useful reference for other families affected by pollution, particularly heavy metals pollution, and give them the confidence and courage to use the law to defend their environmental rights.”
[…] Li Laiyin, a farmer who lives on the edge of an industrial park in Dapu, said he was unable to add his grandchildren to the lawsuit because he had insufficient medical records.
Li Wenjie, eight, and Li Xiongwei, 12, were diagnosed with high lead in their blood in 2012 and cannot sit still at school, Li said. “The government hasn’t given a thought to the safety of the people who live here,” he added. [Source]
When Chinese state television CCTV exposed Dapu’s lead problem last year, the township chief denied the accusation and blamed pencil chewing as the underlying cause of high lead levels in children. Alexandra Harney at Reuters reports:
Dapu’s lead problem made headlines a year ago in an expose by state broadcaster CCTV, in which the head of the township was shown saying children might have raised their own lead levels by chewing on pencils.
After the broadcast, which said more than 300 children had high lead levels, officials opened an investigation and Melody was ordered to shut down.
[…] On June 1, China’s supreme court issued a judicial interpretation which reiterated that even if emissions from polluting companies were within legal limits, they could still be liable for any harm caused.
“If courts begin to rule in favor of pollution victims more often in these types of cases, companies will be forced to internalize the cost of pollution,” Alex Wang, an expert in Chinese environmental law at the UCLA School of Law, told Reuters before the trial. [Source]
(Beijing) – More than 400 passengers on a cruise ship that capsized in the Yangtze River on June 1 are still missing, and relatives say they are angry about a lack of information and help from the government.
The 76-meter Dongfang Zhixing, or Eastern Star, was making a 10-day trip from the coastal city of Nanjing to the southwestern city of Chongqing when it overturned on June 1. It capsized in Jianli County, in the central province of Hubei, about 9:30 p.m. on June 1.
Some 456 people, including 46 crew members and five tour guides, were on the vessel. Fourteen people have been rescued as of noon on June 3, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The bodies of 19 others have been recovered. (State media earlier reported that 18 people were rescued, a figure that now appears wrong.)
As rescue efforts inch ahead – including by cutting through the vessel's exposed hull – relatives of the missing say they are growing frustrated by a lack of information from authorities. On June 2, more than 20 relatives of missing passengers from Shanghai went to the office of the tour company, Xiehe Travel, that organized the Eastern Star's trip, but it was closed.
They waited there until midday, when a low-ranking government official arrived to take them to a complaints office. Some 100 people gathered there over the next few hours, but little happened.
By 3:30 p.m. the crowd grew angry and demanded information. Government employees at the complaints office told them they had to continue waiting because officials were in a meeting.
"They should at least tell us what they plan to do and if we should stay for more information or go home," one relative said.
About midnight, employees of the tour company showed up with police officers to provide information about volunteers in Hubei who would take relatives to the area where the ship overturned, if they want to make the trip on their own.
However, many people said they wanted authorities to organize trips as soon as possible.
"I have five family members on the ship, I've got to go there," another relative of a missing person said.
In Nanjing, the relatives of about 100 of the tourists on the ill-fated vessel waited at a hotel for information on June 2. They wanted to go to Hubei on trips that local officials said they would organize, but were frustrated they had not left yet.
One relative said he asked officials why the ship was allowed to travel in bad weather, but did not get an answer.
The National Meteorological Center, which is run by the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), said on its website on the morning on June 2 that the Jianli County area of the river was hit by a tornado that lasted for 15 to 20 minutes.
The ship's captain, who was rescued and is in police custody, has said the vessel listed to its right when it was hit by "long juan feng," meaning tornado.
A CMA scientist who has visited Jianli County said physical evidence on the ground indicates a tornado struck the area. Tornados are rare in Hubei, but they do occur.
Shanghai resident Zhang Jianwei said his wife called him from the Eastern Star about 9 p.m. on June 1 to say the vessel was in a heavy rainstorm. It was the last Zhang heard from his wife.
The ship tracking website Myship.com said the vessel turned just before it capsized. An analyst said that a ship as large the as Eastern Star is unlikely to change course due to wind, and the captain may have ordered the turn, causing the vessel to capsize.
Since the Three Gorges Dam opened on the Yangtze in 2008, many scenic spots along China's longest river have been submerged, and the popularity of tourists trips like the Eastern Star's have diminished.
Tour companies engaged in a price war in 2013 to lure customers, a ship operator told domestic media, resulting in the quality of service and level of vessels' maintenance declining.
(Rewritten by Li Rongde)
Viaggio nella Cina che inquina.
"In April, 2014 and about 6 months ahead of the super-storm, the Texas A&M prestigious Department of Atmospheric Sciences published an incredible report that has gone unnoticed by the popular press. Comparing air pollution rates from 1850 to 2000, scientists found that man made particles in Asian air pollution impact the Pacific storm track and influence much of the world’s changing weather.
Yuan Wang, Yun Lin, Jiaxi Hu, Bowen Pan, Misti Levy and Renyi Zhang of Texas A&M’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences, along with colleagues from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the University of California at San Diego and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, contributed to the work."
Unidentified oil leaks into water channel near Yellow River... according to a domestic media report, residents in Lanzhou had claimed that oil was found on the water of the channel and spread pungent smells in early March.
Explosion in Fujian paraxylene plant displaces 30,000 - 11/4/2015
Ma anche la censura inizia a non funzionare come si deve, se è vero che questo video - Under the Dome di Chai Jing - è stato visto da almeno 100 milioni di cinesi prima di essere bloccato.
"Un giorno lascerò questo mondo, ma mia figlia vivrà ancora su questo pianeta. È per questo che me ne preoccupo. Ecco perché lo guardo allo stesso modo in cui guardo voi. Ecco perché lo proteggerò come proteggo voi."
da BUSINESS INSIDER
|A pipe discharging factory waste water from a coal-to-liquid project into a stream in the hills in Inner Mongolia. A protest among villagers in the region has left one dead and multiple arrests. Photograph: Handout/Reuters