Roger L. Simon

Butterfingers in China

The Melbourne Herald Sun tells us: Just days after a 100-tonne spill of toxic benzene [in Harbin] caused a public health crisis, a second chemical plant explosion has been reported in China.

Schools closed and thousands of people were evacuated in southwest Chongqing after a blast at the Yingte Chemical Company.

This isn’t rural China. These are big towns where these eco catastrophes are occurring. Harbin has 3-1/2 million people; Chongqing a mindboggling 30 million, give or take the population of Delaware. Put another way, Chongqing by itself has considerably more people than Iraq and is catching up to California. No wonder this isn’t a simple situation. The Independent, a left-leaning publication, has a pretty detailed analysis of how the Chinese lied to their people about the Harbin spill.

More interesting to me are the implications of these events for the ecology of the developing world, of which China, despite its giant economy, is still very much a part. In the light of the disasters in Harbin and Chongqing (and whatever other ones the Chinese government may have succeeded in covering up) the politically-motivated (and happily extinct) Kyoto Treaty now seems almost anti-ecological in its intent. But as countries like China and India boom, genuine global approaches to these matters must be developed. The question is how to do that without the interference of the hugely-corrupt United Nations, which would most likely make matters worse. Still, this is everybody’s problem. The Russians are already bracing for the pollutants from Harbin.

UPDATE: Pajamas Media has more with links to blogs inside China.