Amazing Pictures, Pollution in China

[QQ] October 14, 2009, the 30th annual awards ceremony of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund took place at the Asia Society in New York City. Lu Guang (卢广) from People’s Republic of China won the $30,000 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography for his documentary project “Pollution in China.”


1. “At the junction of Ningxia province and Inner Mongolia province, I saw a tall chimney puffing out golden smoke covering the blue sky, large tracts of the grassland have become industrial waste dumps; unbearable foul smell made people want to cough; Surging industrial sewage flowed into the Yellow River…”Lu Guang (卢广), freelancer photographer, started as an amateur photographer in 1980. He was a factory worker, later started his own photo studio and advertising agency. August of 1993 he returned to post-graduate studies at the Central Arts and Design Academy in Beijing (now is the Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University). During graduate school, he studied, traveled all over the country and carved out a career, became the “dark horse” of the photographer circle in Beijing. Skilled at social documentary photography, his insightful, creative and artistic work often focused on “social phenomena and people living at the bottom of society”, attracted the attentions of the national photography circle and the media. Many of his award winning works focused on social issues like, “gold rush in the west”, “drug girl”, “small coal pit”, “HIV village”, “the Grand Canal”, “development of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway” and so on.

– Lu Guang



2. Chemical waste from Jiangsu Taixing Chemical Industrial District (江苏泰兴化工园区) dumped on top of the Yangtze River bank. May 15, 2009



3. Fan Jai Zhuang in Anyang City, Henan province, (河南安阳市范家庄) there is only one wall separating this village from the steelmaking furnaces. The villagers live in this heavily polluted environment where the village is under the iron rain every day. March 24, 2008



4. Industrial sewage of Zhejiang Xiaoshan Industrial District (浙江萧山化工园区) eventually flowed into Qiantang River. April 24, 2009



5. Henan Anyang iron and steel plant’s (河南安阳钢铁厂) sewage flowed into Anyang River. March 25, 2008



6. Guiyu, Guangdong province, (广东省贵屿镇) rivers and reservoirs have been contaminated, the villager is washing in a seriously polluted pond. November 25, 2005



7. Shizuishan Industrial district in Ningxia province (宁夏石嘴山湖滨工业园区), the tall chimneys spitted out smoke and dust. Residents took preventive measure for the falling dust from the sky when going outside. April 22, 2006



8. In the Yellow Sea coastline, countless sewage pipes buried in the beach and even extending into the deep sea. April 28, 2008



9. In Ma’anshan, Anhui province (安徽马鞍山), along the Yangtze River there are many small-scaled Iron selection factories and plastic processing plants. Large amounts of sewage discharged into the Yangtze River June 18, 2009



10. In Inner Mongolia there were 2 “black dragons” from the Lasengmiao Power Plant (内蒙古拉僧庙发电厂) covering the nearby villages. July 26, 2005



11. Jiangsu province Changshu City Fluorine Chemical industry land sewage treatment plant (江苏省常熟市氟化学工业园污水处理厂) was responsible for collection and processing of the industrial sewage. However they did not, the sewage pipe was extended 1500 meters under the Yangtze River and releasing the sewage there. 2009 June 11



12. Soil by Yangtze River, was polluted by Anhui Province Ma’anshan Chemical Industrial District (安徽省马鞍山化工园区). June 26, 2009



13. Large amount of the industrial wastewater flowed to Yellow River from Inner Mongolia Lasengmiao Industrial District (内蒙古拉僧庙工业园区) every day. July 26, 2005



14. A Large amount of the chemical wastewater discharged into Yangtze River from Zhenjiang Titanium mill (镇江市钛粉厂) every day. Less than 1,000 meters away downstream is where the water department of Danyang City gets its water from. June 10, 2009



15. In Haimen city, Jiangsu province Chemical Industrial District sewage treatment Plant (江苏省海门市化工园区污水处理厂) discharged wastewater into Yangtze River. June 5, 2009



16. Hebei Province Shexian Tianjin Iron and steel plant (河北省涉县天津钢铁厂) is a heavily polluting company. Company scale is still growing, seriously affecting the lives of local residents. March 18, 2008



17. Longmen town in Hanchen city, Shaanxi Province (陕西省韩城市龙门镇) has large-scaled industrial development. Environment is very seriously polluted there. April 8, 2008



18. There are over 100 chemical plants in Jiangsu province coastal industry district. (江苏滨海头罾沿海化工园区) Some of them discharge wastewater into the ocean; some heavily contaminated sewage is stored in 5 “Sewage Temporary Pools”. During the 2 high tides in every month, the sewage then gets discharged into the ocean with the tides. June 20, 2008



19. Jiangxi Province Hu Ko County Chemical Industry district (江西省胡口县化工园区) is by the Yangtze River. Chemical factory landfill the Yangtze River bank to expand the scale of the factory without authorization.



20. Anhui Province Cihu Chemical Industry District (安徽省慈湖化工园区) built a underground pipe to discharge wastewater into the Yangtze River. The wastewater sometimes is black, gray, dark red, or yellow, wastewater from different chemical factories has different colors. June 18, 2009



21. Shanxi Province is the most polluted areas of China. It is also the province with the highest rate of birth defects. This loving farmer couple adopted 17 disabled children. April 15, 2009

“In Some areas of China people’s lives were threatened because of the environmental pollution. Residents suffering from all kinds of obscured diseases, the cancer villages, increase of deformed babies, these were the results of sacrificing environment and blindly seeking economical gain.”

– Lu Guang



22. Elder shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell. April 23, 2006



23. 15-year-old boy from Tianshui, Gansu Province (甘肃天水), dropped out of the school after 2nd grade, followed his parents to Heilonggui (黑龙贵) Industrial District. He earns 16 yuan a day. April 8, 2005



24. Inner Mongolia province Heilonggui (黑龙贵) Industrial District, the couple who worked at the Plaster Kiln and just got home. March 22, 2007



25. Villagers from Kang village in Linfen City, Shanxi Province (山西省临汾市下康村) due to long-term consumption of the polluted water contaminated by industrial waste, there were 50 people who have cancer and cerebral thrombosis. 64-year-old Wang Baosheng got ill since 2003, he has fester all over his body so he cannot go to bed and lying face down on the edge of the bed each day. July 10, 2005



26. Breathing in large amount of dust into the lungs, people gets sick after working there for 1-2 years. Most of these migrant workers come from area of poverty. April 10, 2005



27. Zhangqiao village by the Hong River in Wugang City, Henan Province (河南省舞钢市洪河边的张桥村), a 45-year-old woman Sun Xiaojun (孙晓军) could not move her feet and hands since 4 years ago. The numerous hospital treatments were not effective. April 7, 2009



28. Zhaozhuang village by the Hong River in Wugang City, Henan province (河南省舞钢市洪河边的赵庄村), 66-year-old Zhao Bingkun suffering from esophageal cancer since 2004, after the second surgery, treatment cost already have reached over 200,000 yuan. His condition is in late stage, he is having fever everyday, waiting for death. April 7, 2009



29. Zhaozhuang village by the Hong River in Wugang City, Henan province (洪河边的河南省西平县张于庄村), Gao Wanshun’s (高万顺) wife died of cancer. Now he lives in poverty. April 3, 2009



30. Linfen City in Shanxi province (山西临汾市) is seriously polluted area. Farmers after working in the cotton fields for 2 hours are filled with coal ashes. September 24 2007



31. Salt factory worker in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province (江苏连云港) said angrily, “when the wind blowing towards our side, the foul smell from the chemical factories is unbearable. There is even more poison gas at night.” July 19, 2008



32. People form Fanjiazhuang (范家庄) are ready to submit a complain filled with their fingerprints, to seek compensation for pollution damages. March 19, 2008



33. In Shanxi Province there are a lot of charitable nursing homes, to help disabled infants abandoned by their parents. April 14, 2009



34. Liujiawan village by the Hong River in Wugang City, Henan province (河南省舞钢市洪河边的刘家湾村), 13 year old Yang Xiao in November 2008 was ill with obscure disease.  She was saved by the donation of the villagers. When the grandmother saw the old village chief came to visit his granddaughter, she kneeled on the ground holding granddaughter’s hand. April 19, 2009



35. The oldest is 9, not going to school. The youngest is less than 2 years old. They lived in severely polluted area. They hands and faces were always dirty. April 10, 2005



36. Mazhuang village by the Hong River in Wugang City, Henan province, (河南省舞钢市洪河边的马庄村) 58-year-old Ma Haipeng (马海朋) was suffering from stomach cancer since 2006 and could not work in the field. He must take medicine every day, otherwise it is too painful. April 6, 2009



37. Every year, a lot of deficiency babies in Shanxi Province were abandoned. Kong Zhenlan (孔贞兰) in Qi town (祁县) who was making a living by recycling trash adopted 25 abandoned children. April 14, 2009



38. Xuanwei (宣威) in Yunnan province is a cancer village. Every year there are more than 20 people die of cancer. 11-year-old student Xu Li (徐丽) is suffering from bone cancer. May 8, 2007



39. In Shexian Village, Hebei Province, (河北省涉县固新村) the existing cancer patients are more than 50 people and more than 20 cancer patients die each year. March 18, 2008


40.  Zhangyuzhuan village by the Hong River in Xiping county, Henan province, (河南省西平县洪河边的张于庄村) 22-year-old Zhu Xiaoyan (朱小燕) had a tumor in her stomach in 2007. She died after number of hospital treatments on July 2008. 4-year-old girl with her grandfather came to mother’s tomb. April 2009 2


original source: Fengniao

Followup: Interview with Lu Guang, the photographer of “Pollution in China”

  1. Most of these posts are caught up in the capitalism vrs communism argument and completly miss the point. The issue at hand is the disregard for the environment and ultimately for human life. It doesn’t matter what system of government you are ruled by because the common tread that ties them all together is that they do not care about you, your life, or the circumstances of your death. Do you think bitching and moaning on the internet will change things? Its almost as pointless as protesting, hey look im standing in the street with a sign [insert your liberal motivational empowerment phrase here]. The only thing that has or ever will bring about change is to take up arms. But I doubt that any of you will because the internet is where cowards come to complain.

  2. why isn’t there a cure for cancer? that would totally solve this predicament.

    -oh and Fuck government and lack thereof

    The solution is obvious -Send al gore to china he will straighten them out

    this is fucked up. Respect for Lu Guang. im going to think a little more next time i see something with a made in china logo

    1. There is no cure for cancer, only more causes. Prevent cancer. Stop buying all this crap. Stop allowing the pollution in your neighborhood. I live in south florida where five pipes spew hundreds of millions of gallons of raw sewage mixed with chemicals into the ocean everyday at the site of the continental USA’s only coral reef system. Do something about it. Stop drinking bottled water. Stop buying CRAP. You don’t need a new chinese dress. You don’t need plastic coated junk mail. You don’t need to buy chinese made plastic coated plastic chemically fireproofed halloween costumes. Make a sign instead, go as a protester.

  3. I usually don’t post comments, but I have to here.

    These are some of the most uneducated, illogical comments I have ever encountered.

    I love how people of privilege (individuals who perpetuate this problem) can be so misinformed.

    America IS going to crap, there is no gurantee that this won’t happen to us and it is all because of people like YOU.

    1. The only problem with America is a lack of illegal aliens and a need for a stronger federal government. As the command specialist major of the army I can solve both as I am that much smarter than you…..

      1. Dave-A,

        there is no such thing as a Command Specialist Major….how retarded are you?

    2. My dear Violette,

      Perhaps you should condemn China’s laws instead of attacking people who are opposed to such policies by the Chinese government.

      Don’t ignore the suffering of the Chinese people.

      Free Tibet!!! Free China!!!

  4. If it wasn’t already obvious, then it is surely clear here that our Stuff is made in a Mordor of this very earth, by a people in slavery. In a globalized world, our complicity in their deaths and suffering is no less than those who stood by in the towns of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. These workers’ horrors may be marginally less, but unlike the deathcamps’ neighbours, we cannot pretend we have not seen.

  5. what is ironic is that this was happening in america, we realized the problem….and yet all we did was export the labor and industry to the opposite side of the world……moved the same problem to somewhere else.
    it is our materialistic/cosumer culture that causes this.

    1. as long as its not in my backyard right? to bad this is the future.. its sad really how badly humans will treat one another.

  6. Irony? Every time we log on, just using a computer we’re adding to the mass death of the world and causing great effects. You know, cause and effect? We’re ultimately all responsible for everything good or bad in the world. Sitting around responding to things as opposed to making immediate, positive changes in our lives doesn’t help anyone, especially not ourselves. All the bad depicted here, where are all the good? Why are these pics so amazing? Clearly we walk out the door and we can smell how deathly the air is. Oops I’m spending too much time on here, must plant some sprouts. Thanks!

    1. Irony? here you are logged on and complaining about computer use,HA! And then you say,” where are all the good?”. Like what, how manufacturing in this country has declined, unemployment in parts of the country at all time high, foreclosures through the roof.

  7. very sad and very pathetic,not just for china as a country but as the evolution of mankind.what the fuc is the matter with us have we not figured out that this is the only planet that can sustain life as we know it.are we so consumed with our own ignorance and selfishness that we just dont realize or care .we are literally shitting were we eat.we have mastered the art of destruction and war, perhaps its time to master the art of respect and tolerance.we are now into the 21st century its time for change no more borders,no more religion, no more elitist bs monetary system,no more war.mankind now has the resources and technology to feed educate and house every human on this earth, and the only reason this dosent happen is because of fuken money.shame on us.we all drink the same water breath the same air,walk on the same planet so why do we allow our selves to be lead like sheep to the slaughter by only a handful of men.the common people of the world have to ban together as one,we have to put our racism and religion aside these are tools of the rich to occupy the common folk so that they can continue to make slaves of us water my friends be water,education for the masses is the only thing that will save mankind,and remember the planet will drop mankind like a bad drug habbit if we dont get our shit together.

    1. Wow…

      Your solution to all the problems in a communist country is to wipe out capitalism and install more communism?

      You are a real genius…

      1. you dont have to be afraid of change,and why do you think it would be communism weve done that, weve done socialism,weve done nazism,imperialism and i hate to break the news but the powers that be have been the same for over 1000 yrs for them and they are only a small percentage have been fooling us all.there has not been a justifiable war for a very long time.the french and russian revolution were probably the last ones.we as a human race have not evolved socially we have all been programed to hate whether its through religion race or economic to young to be a hippie and in my opinion that generation gave up and betrayed the rest of us,but john lennons song Imagine would sum up how i feel and what i believe.mass education is the key to all of our happiness and tranquility not war and are some documentarys which should be watched by every one Zeitgeist: Addendum ,Earth 2009, and Home 2009 i dont think theres a sensible person alive that would disagree with which these docs try to convey .be water my friend be water

    2. Thanks oneear for the syllabus of how to become enslaved 101. Good luck with that when someone holds a gun to your head and you beg for your life. Just give him a hug, I’m sure he’ll understand. Maybe you forgot this, but the hippies lost in the 60s, they’re all popping viagra and praying their 401k holds out.

      1. your fear and paranoia is totally unfounded however its not your fault you have been programed to believe in such foolish things like god country and the american dream,none of which are a for the gun to my head commit im canadian so i dont have to worry about that,i mean i could easily sit here watch my 50 inch tv smoke and grow my weed all day,and say fuck the world.but someone has to stand up and say what the you really think that the baker in iraq or afganastan is any different than you or i.stop being a paranoid sheep and start living,always question authority keep your stick on the ice and dont eat the yellow snow,be water my friend be water.

  8. This is shocking- how come China has been and is still allowed to do this!? Disgraceful.

    1. its not just china every country is responsible for this and every other ecological terrorism, from canadas destruction of the north in search of oil, the deforestation of the amazon and in general the whole of south america ,all those nuclear and atomic bomb testing in the atmosphere and oceans(over 1200 tests 900 american) ,the polluting of our lakes and oceans(google garbage in the pacific).the scary thing is when china and india become wasteful consumers like us westerners were all fked.and dont forget that most everything made there comes here ,

      1. Canada’s destruction of the North for oil… Speak for your self, That nut ball in Alaska is doing more to harm the environment then we are up here in Canada. accuse us of clear cutting forests, accuse us of sending asbestos to third world countries, but the oil being extracted is small in comparison, and we dont control the american oil companies, they control us.

        A Canadian, from Canadiana, eh

        1. Cheers Fellow Canadian.
          America is the Oil Satan here.

          Do you know we are actually forcing our dollar down so ‘Buy America’ will buy our resources? And if we didn’t, they would likely exploit another nation – luckily Canada has the social programming and labour laws we do – or we would likely be driven into resembling these photos.

          Cheers Canada
          Having a neighbour like America makes us infallible anyways – we are like a Beautiful Hat – and America is the undeserving bastard that was born wearing it.

        2. just build your goddamn pipeline, Canuck. And fuck your hockey teams too. The Bruins bitch slapped you lame azz wannabes.

          Get back to work at your Tim Horton’s, shmuck

    1. Hey ignorant, politically incorrect dumb-ass, get your grammar right.

      Here, I rewrote your stupidity for you:
      “I hate child workers. Any youth under 16 has no sense of quality… sex having people with (intellectual/cognitive/learning) disabilities!”

      Jeeze, you’re dumb.

  9. Humans are a disgusting cancer to Earthmother. If China, America, and Britain had a nuclear war, it would do everyone else megatons of good. Time to stop raping the planet, folks. Time to lose the addiction to the fantasy-land of modern man. Time to forget about your “sustainable living” rubbish; it’s only prolonged rape. The Human-Cancer needs to be eradicated; the Takers need to be ended. The Children of the Earth need to restore the Original Instructions. Natural Law outweighs Man’s laws, and I follow Nature. Deconstruct society. Fight the eVil with loVe. 😉

    1. National socalism and illegal aliens can fix that. All I require is that you live on your knees.

  10. There is no cure for cancer, only more causes. Prevent cancer. Stop buying all this crap. Stop allowing the pollution in your neighborhood. I live in south florida where five pipes spew hundreds of millions of gallons of raw sewage mixed with chemicals into the ocean everyday at the site of the continental USA’s only coral reef system. Do something about it. Stop drinking bottled water. Stop buying CRAP. You don’t need a new chinese dress. You don’t need plastic coated junk mail. You don’t need to buy chinese made plastic coated plastic chemically fireproofed halloween costumes. Make a sign instead, go as a protester

  11. Just wanted to remind everyone here how much smarter than you I am. Incase you forgot with your lesser minds. National socalism will be glorious!

      1. problem is its north american corporations over there we are the ones causing this all the big auto companies have been there for a while because of cheap labour and no environmental laws same as mexico and south america,wake up people if you want to make a difference stop shopping at walmart and stop supporting the banking system take all of your money out of the banks stop using the stock markets this is just a tool to make the rich richer its not meant for you or me.dont be fooled into thinking people like the rockerfellers or rothchilds give a shit about water my friend be water

  12. Great pictures, people seem to be forgetting that we don’t live in a world where were all conjoined governments, sure theres the UN but to say WERE responsible for the problem is complete bullshit.

    To be honest, we did go through similar problems but we were just smart enough to stop it before it started having much larger negative effects. For the dirty pollution now in China, and some other un-mentioned countries that seem to be screwing up the global environment , they are in sooooo much debt. Here in America we are having economical problems, but thats due to our ignorance, not our needs. Out in these heavily-polluted countries, they need our help. Now im not in the UN so im not sure how much pressure they’re putting on China to change their methods, but all i know is if the problem is economically unresolvable, (due to the thoussssands of populations depending on their income, on top of the international debt.) We can definately help out, because fuck, we created the economy, its just all the fucking dicks at the top all arround the world, are just taking in money, for their own generations to come. Our population is getting so big, and we’ve made things so complicated that were all connected. We dont just simply have one family with the same name, were whole fucking big family. Its all you selfish people selling drugs, on top of your two other jobs, trying to start big companies with foolish ideas, stop thinking of recreational things, and start thinking about everything arround you.

    Everybody’s stressed, look at the comments on this page. And for cure for cancer, there is no “cure” to anything in this world, simply remedies. If a cancer cell can kick in to replicate a duplicated cell 20x its speed, it can definately be reversed – uhh Nanotechnology…. So yeah all you people sitting on your computer 24 hours a day writing dumbass comments, stop wasting your time and start reading books, taking pictures and talk to people.

    – E.T

  13. To be honest, I have always thought of China as a vast country filled with fields and small villages. I suppose that comes from the idealistic view the media has portrayed it as, other than what they’ve shown in the past years of the industrialization boom. I was completely SHOCKED to see these photographs… it’s horrendous to think that we, as humans living on a single planet, have caused such destruction of the natural world. “It’s okay to do it, though. We don’t see it!” is not an excuse.

    The pictures of the people suffering from cancer and disabilities caused by the pollution were so… mind boggling. Not only are the industries wreaking havoc on the natural environment, they are damaging the people who work and live in those areas.

    I guess I don’t understand if it is a lack of education, or just greediness that has caused this. I do know one thing, though– it needs to end, NOW. Lives are at stake, and the fact that China has a very large population is no excuse.

    I can’t imagine living in a country with such contamination. Sure, the United States is bad.. but we don’t exactly have pipes running into our rivers, lakes, and the ocean and pouring out sewage.

    So…. what will we need to change first? The leadership? The industries? The people who exported those industries to China? Our collective mindset? I say that’s what we need to change first… we need to realize how our actions affect other people in this world.

    “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

    1. “I can’t imagine living in a country with such contamination. Sure, the United States is bad.. but we don’t exactly have pipes running into our rivers, lakes, and the ocean and pouring out sewage.”

      We do have those pipes. You just have to know where to find them. I live on the coast and these things are everywhere. I laugh whenever I see surfers. They don’t know what they are swimming in. I’ve also worked for the government and am pretty terrified after learning just how polluted our country is.

  14. I think I’ll have a glass of cognac while pretending to care about these people, who provide the rich west with cheap goods.

  15. I look at photos like this and feel defeat. Why did god decide to make such terrible creatures? Monkeys with brains that have no conscious of their environment or fellow man? Here we are destroying the world, the only thing we have… for greed. power. control.

    This must be hell. I just want a huge meteor to hit this miserable little spec and start over. to end all the suffering. all the sadness. all the rape and pollution and violence. the mass torture on animals, the fur …the consumerism. when will these people with power care? i want so badly to make a difference but the people who could truly make the impact are the people with all the power. and they don’t care if they turn the world into a toilet, as long as they have a nice villa at the top of the turd. forgive my cynicism, but i give up.

  16. think of how hard it is to never buy anything that says “Made In China”. And that’s not all of it, thats a portion of the items. Some items were assembled in china, but brought somewhere else for the other steps, some items use chinese materials, but ultimately were made elsewhere. China is hugely connected to the western civilization. The west needs a serious change in life, everything you do needs to be considered, and I’ll face it, thats not going to happen unless there is drastic change in living conditions.

    I think it honestly would be better for us to become extinct.

    1. If you truly think the world would be a better place without mankind, feel free to start the process by killing yourself. Then perhaps someone might listen to you.

  17. Pingback: Made in China.
  18. Sisters & Brothers: It is TIME for us slaves to rise up and save our children and our planet. REVOLUTION!!

  19. This is the result from all the consumer greed that is carried out, this is the price we have to pay. for your cheap goods bought from walmart. no one should live like that.

    1. At China’s rate, they’ll eventually end up culling their own population through manufacturing for WalMart. Despite calls for population controls, China is building that into their manufacturing process. With little or no quality controls, safety controls and waste controls, China’s people will continue to suffer under a government discovering a world market for their products. Even if that world market gets poisoned by China’s end products.

      Consumer Greed? There is no such thing. If you produce a product that people are willing to purchase, then that’s just good business. Capitalism. However, if you produce a product with disregard for your environment, then that’s the same as storing your dinner plates in the toilet. It’s just plain stupid and not greed.

    2. No, this is the result of Chinese officials ignoring polluting industries. IN the U.S. we addressed the problem of pollution decades ago. How? Why? Because we have a government which responds to the desires of the people. Slowly, but it does respond.

      Many of you here must be too young to remmeber the pollution that was building in the U.S., and what wwe did as a nation to end it. Now, it is the responsibility of the CHinese government to “clean up its act”…literally.

      This is not the fault of “consumerism”, or “capitalism”, it is the fault of government officials ignoring the problem of polluting industries. The technology is there to clean up 95% of this mess seen here. The Chinese government simply chooses to ignore the problem, and their own people.

      1. you resolved it by moving to china and mexico,take your head out of the sand,its the bullshit capitalist consumerism thats destroying the dont think the last 60 years of nuclear and atomic testing in our atmosphere and oceans hasnt done any damage perhaps thats the reason so many people have cancer today,or your coal plants,north america is still the number one polluter.its time we start taking responsibility and stop blaming everyone else,after all their just following our water my friend be water

  20. It never ceases to amaze me how many always find a way to blame all the worlds problems on those evil Americans. People are being poisoned by pollution from factories in China. Who’s fault is it? Obviously the Americans. People are poor in Latin America . Who’s fault is it? Obviously the Americans. My only question is it we’re responsible for everyone else who’s responsible for us?

    1. the rest of us have asked that question ourselves,dont get me wrong i respect the american people and your constitution was by far the best in the world pre 911,however its the people who truly control your country thats given yous the black eye.iraq for instance is an illegal occupation kinda like isreal and palestine,you do know your government sends billions to isreal every year and has since their occupation in 1949.heres the reality we are all here on this planet in the middle of somewhere but really has evolved on this planet for billions of years,every thing on this planet is a necessity for our survival the trees the soil the mankind has come up with silly imaginary borders to divide us ,weve created silly gods to control the masses,and come up with a monetary system that only benefits less than 1% of the the modern world as we call it which is 20% of the world uses 80% of the resources,my question would be what happens when the other 80% of the population wants to be wasteful consumers like water my friend be i do believe most of these pics are of plastic and steel companys.

    2. In answer to your question, Americans have made it a practice of policing the world, which is why we get blamed for so much!!!!

  21. I for one believe it’s entirely possible to have cheap goods and environmental responsibility at the same time. I would be tempted to say that we should give China time to figure that out, but these people don’t really have that luxury. Perhaps it’s time for an intervention?

    1. I agree with the first part… that was key the point of my post below. Although I think an intervention is a little far fetched; that’s a monumental task. China needs internal political reform. Unfortunately I think the very small percentage of government leaders will not relinquish their power for anything short of a revolution. That might sound even less likely than an intervention but there are literally tens of thousands of riots in China each year, and if you look at their history, revolutions are something China is accustomed to.

    1. Makes me feel really guilty for being such a consumer… most anybody in the western realm with an inflated standard of living is guilty of supporting this

      1. Nope! Without consumerism there is no production, and without necessity of production there is no jobs, and without jobs all you have is poverty. You should not complain about consumerism, you should blame the governments of the countries where exploitation happens, for they do not protect their own people as they should.

        1. you are wrong. consumerism does not mean that nobody will consume does not mean that there will not be any more production. consumersim means someone telling you that the only way to be happy is to consume something…keep buying something needlessly. That the highest goal in life is to be able to possess all the things that your heart desires. And these desires are naturally yours, they are cultivated in you through a series of propaganda and manipulation.

          1. Consumerism is just another word for commerce; an inherent trait to human ingenuity. It is undeniable that trade benefits both buyers and sellers, or else they would not partake in the transaction. If you don’t believe that, then at least accept that China uses its comparative advantage in cheap labour to produce goods not only for export but for the 1.33 billion Chinese guilty of ‘consumerism’. Economic productivity is vital to raising living standards; the real issue is the inequality of wealth throughout China. If the Chinese Communist Party elite were less concerned with manipulating the economy through state owned enterprises and more concerned with social welfare, public health and eduction, perhaps there would not be such disparity of income in China.

            1. I partly agree. However, economic growth in western countries is highly driven by internal consumption. Large part of GDP comes from people buying things in their country. And in such an economy, people can actually raise their life standards. Why? Because if GDP is largely due to internal consumption, then a pressure will exist for increasing salaries (so that people can buy more), so then prices can rise (inflation) and the industry thrive. Everyone is happy. Or at least, happiness is maximized. For me, the best economy is one driven by internal consumption and with a small inflation rate. Of course, exporting should also be healthy. China’s is! However, if there is no consumption-driven economy, as in China, what’s the point of rising their living standards. Chinese government won’t care about it, because it wouldn’t help in generating wealth. If this change happened in China, things would improve for Chinese even without changing their political system. Cheers.

              1. Hvtec, this doesn’t make much sense to me. It would make more sense if you said ‘domestic production’ in place of ‘internal consumption’ though. It would then suggest domestic producers raise living standards in the US as you say, however, it makes little difference if the consumers of that production are domestic or foreign; in the either case the producer surplus is the same. But besides that, domestic production doesn’t necessarily equate to economic growth or higher living standards. Many developed countries subsidise their domestic producers at a great cost to the nation including Australia’s car manufacturers or America’s farmers. Ideally, domestic production will only occur under comparative advantage, like China’s advantage of cheap labour. It is this efficient use of resources that leads to real GDP growth. However, this still doesn’t address the inequality of income distribution across China. Establishing a welfare system of pensions and benefits would help, but would require massive political reform first.

  22. What strikes me most is how easy it would be to replace the pics with b/w from our own (European) industrial revolution days.

    Environment? We’ll deal with it when the profit is right.
    Workers/People? Come on, one dies, 10 are in line to take the job. So what?

    Basically it’s a slap in the face. A slap in the face of human rights. A slap in the face of all we (Western nations) pretend to stand for. As long as it doesn’t cost us.

    Hypocrisy at its best. Because we love the cheap stuff they produce. And we turn a blind eye to how it is produced. Not in my backyard doesn’t cover it by half. This is globalization: Not being able to turn a blind eye because the world is your back yard.

    1. You are so… damn wrong! Well, you’re right that this might have happened during industrial revolution. However, at least in Europe and in most civilized countries, industry is not as polluting as it used to be, or as it is in China, India, or other less civilized countries. You don’t see in Europe or USA, pollution as that seen in these pictures. I’m not saying there is no pollution! There is, loads of it. But not at the scale as in China. Pollution of the kind we see in pictures is obviously to be fight against! Why? Because it damages people’s life quality. And people is what matters, in the end. But, because of that, industry is also necessary. A balance between industry production and unavoidable pollution must be reached, specially in these ‘uncontrolled’ countries like China. There is no such thing as a pollution free world in harmony with frugal life quality. That’s why life before the Industrial Revolution was not better than today’s. By far. I agree with efforts to quench pollution, but I hate radicalism. Let’s be rational! And I love the photos, btw. Very graphic, and very relevant!

      1. The point is that this did happen in the “first world” during its industrial revolution. China is now having that period of boom and along with it comes a blatant disregard for the environment.

        Do you also really believe that Western Europe/ N. America was not in anyway “uncontrolled” at the turn of the century?

        1. Oh, yes, I agree completely. Things might have been out of control a few centuries ago. But remember that there was no scientific knowledge as there is today, and Europe experienced absolutist political regimes until WWII and even after that (like Eastern Europe before 1989). And in the time of industrial revolution there was no health care at all, so no one was aware of some dangers, so basically industries were free to do anything they wanted to, because there was nothing against it. However, today we know better, and there are alternatives to the behavior we see in the pics. What we see there is most likely the cheapest option, and the only way to prevent it is by active law enforcement. China should do it, for its own sake. I just do not agree that the end (wealth boom) justifies the means pictured here. Remember that Germany, for example, has a GDP comparable to that of China, however you don’t see such landscapes in Germany. Freedom in Germany prevents that.

      2. You are so ,,,, damn ignorant! What the hell do you mean by “China, India, or other less civilized countries”? How is China or India less civilised than Europe?

        I’m also wondering how you’re conveniently ignoring the critical nature of western capital here. Western investment is creating these industrial behemoths and reaping the profits of its products, but the west decides not use that influence to enforce measures at these factories to reduce pollution.

        1. A fair point, but just about all all foreign direct investment into China is from private firms, not governments. For example, Walmart receives about 10% of China’s total exports to the US (I think that’s about 9 billion dollars worth of goods). And unfortunately private (profit maximizing) firms do everything they can to minimise costs, so lobbying for environmental protection in China isn’t a top priority.
          What ever happened to China’s responsibility anyway. It’s their nation, perhaps they should act like it and take steps towards environmental regulation, after all, they’re the ones suffering.
          I think a micro scale analogy is suitable… China is a negligent factory; upper management is unorganised, follows little or no regulation of health and safety and ultimately allows workers to suffer. The rest of the world buys the factories product. Is the world responsible for the suffering of worker, or is management of the factory? And before anyone blames the consumers, remember, without buyers there is no need for factories. Good for the environment, yes, but at the cost of family incomes? I don’t think so.

        2. oh and by ‘civilized’ I assume hvtec meant developed in a infrastructural sense… as the chronological progression of economic developed implies a more civilized nation by way of sanitation and sewerage systems and public health care, etc.

    2. Absolutely! I am from Guatemala and witnessed how the fields were fumigated from planes to have “nice looking and healthy fruits” for the multinationals in the business of canning fruits and vegetables for export. Where were the workers when the fields were sprayed with chemicals? they crouched and slept in open huts – totally clueless about the dangers to their health. This was happening in the late 80’s…I don’t know how it is now.

  23. come on. what do YOU think? who cares really of this in your country? or in mine? nobody. this is something like africa. it’s too far away from your own back yard. you see the pictures, and i see them, and a lot of our politicans too. we all say “oh my god, it’s terrible!!”, and then (of course) nothing happens. we go back to the morning caffe, and forget it. in minutes.
    would YOU send them 10% of your paycheck? no you wouldn’t. neither me. neither our politicans. we have our problems, and we just don’t care other’s. i really don’t want to know neither my neighbour’s, because maybe i could help to solve it. i AM a human, like you, like them.. or something like that..
    just go, and help your neighbours. THEN come back here, and cry about this!

    (sorry about mistakes. my english is..)

    1. This is a little different from the problems in Africa, It is a little more “close to home” In that this problem is largely created by the developed worlds willingness to trade with China, Sure we could blame the corrupt Chinese government that allows this, But the CCP has a long history of atrocity and they are only acting within their nature.
      The west is actually more directly responsible by supporting the CCP economically propping them up beyond their natural life span and tacitly approving of their behavior by continuing trade.

      1. damn straight. the chinese government is a band of thugs and criminals, paid to stay in power by corporate american thugs and criminals. one day…either people start taking this seriously, and sacrificing in BIG ways to change it (not likely), or the whole world turns into a barren hellscape like this one. you’re absolutely right: as is the case with most terrible situations in the world to day “the west is actually more directly responsible”. I just hope China can summon the balls to bankrupt us all and give us what we’ve had coming for over a hundred years, that would make things interesting

        1. LOL, this is the funniest and most misguided commentary I’ve seen this week! You really show a thorough knowledge of world’s politics! *sarcasm*

      2. oh… well if they’re only acting within their nature, it’s ok then. i wonder if you’d feel the same if a shark bit your leg off; lets not blame the shark! it’d be your fault for tempting the shark to act within it’s nature… what a load of crap.

    2. not to be the wiser or anything but our swedish gournment has
      fought for this to end or atleast come to a minimum for as
      long as i can remember, still this could be from any eastern europeans country
      these days.
      look at ukraine or poland, they are not much better than china.

      mostly i feel for the people along the rivers
      in china, secondly for the countries surrounding china
      and last but not least for me, for us, as citizens of the world.

      this is not the future.

      1. @TUNGL: have you ever been to Poland or Ukraine? Please don’t put Poland in one line with China or Ukraine. You clearly have no clue.

      2. Yeah, right! Swedish has no pollution in their country because they moved all their heavy industry to other countries. They pollute abroad, and then collect the dividends. It’s very intelligent move, I appreciate it, but in no way Sweden is any model of anti-pollution moral.

      1. And where the slavery comes from? From corrupt local power and politics. Do not blame consumerism: if Ivory Coast has coffee, they should be allowed to thrive from it. Blame instead the communist bastards that do not protect their people from the situations like the one you just describe!

  24. This is why everything is made in China.. It is cheap because the Chinese government does not care about the lives of its own people, typical communist attitude.
    Every single one of us who buy Chinese made goods is guilty of destroying these people. Every single dollar we send to China makes this problem worse.

    1. Gregory, you do realize that the computer you typed that nice little heart felt message on was probably made in China. It’s called comfort and for us to have comfort, it means that someone has to be in distress (something has to give). Quite literally you wouldn’t be where you are today if we didn’t have everything made in other countries for dirt cheap. If you really cared you would be over there helping them implement new environmental regulations. Put down your mac book and Douple Mocha Frappuccino and let the UN handle what you obviously know nothing about.

      1. I should have made it clear that I include myself in that criticism, Though I do try extremely hard to buy non-chinese products it is almost impossible.

        You mention the UN as though the bloated useless bureaucracy has any value in our world. Proving that you are talking about something that you have no knowledge of.

      2. I agree with Gregory. However, it’s not our job to fight against China’s tyranny onto its own people. That’s Chinese people’s job. If they are truly unhappy with the situation as a whole population, it would not be hard to change the political situation. Revolutions happen. It wouldn’t be the first.

        1. Do they?

          In this day and age of machine warfare, when was the last successful revolution against a monied local power?

          You’ll find that hasn’t happened in decades.

        2. hvtek, would you risk your life and that of anyone close to you to speak out against the gvmnt? to understand the power and sway that the chinese gvmt has over it’s people you will first have to understand the culture of fear that it has created along with the culture of systematic ”re-education”…

  25. Gregory how can we stop this for my Country Australia I can tell you most things are made in China, I blame all those companies who are out for a fast profit, these poor people all so we can have cheap good, let me tell you this they are not cheap in my country maybe in the US.

    China in the long run will find they cannot eat their money when the people turn on them and sooner or later this will happen.

    1. You raise a good point, even expensive luxury goods are made there now, Macbooks for example,
      meaning no one in any price range can really escape dealing with these people.
      I wish I could help you, but I have the same problem, I spent an entire day trying to buy a coffee maker that was made ANYWHERE but china, They do not exist for under $500.

      I suppose the only thing a person can do is complain to the companies directly, and pressure your own government to impose trade sanctions.

      1. Gregory: if you want a cheap coffee maker that is not made in China it will be a french press
        this link will show you what it is. It’s made in a lot of countries like in brazil or costa rica; it uses no electricity which translate to more green, it’s as fast as a coffee maker, and the quality of coffee is superior. Just heat your water up to it starts to boil, the remove from heat until it doesn’t boil, then in the press add the coffee and pour in the water, wait for 2 min, then place the cap with the filter and push down, that is it.

        1. Gustavo,

          More green? French Press? I think most of the electricity used by any coffee maker goes to heating the water so if you heat the water outside the French Press? And the French press is most likely manufactured dirt cheap somewhere in Asia. Other than that I have nothing against French press, it can give good coffee indeed.

          1. They’re just saying that it would be easier to find a less complex item not built in or with components from a heavily polluting nation than a more complex item.

            A french press coffee maker does not require heat to create coffee.

  26. “Environment? We’ll deal with it when the profit is right.”

    The profit earned from the Industrial Revolution you mentioned would eventually lead to cleaner technology and more productive and hence more wealthy and healthy workers. Nothing is better for the environment than genuine capitalistic wealth creation and the upholding of private property rights under law.

    1. Ben, I am wondering how you can say this. If China were to become as capitalistic as other nations then they would simply divert the problem in buying cheap goods from another country that would then be in much the same situation as China is at present. I agree with many of you in saying that this is trully a global problem. Just as England passed this problem on to other countries after the I.Revolution (saying this with perfect objectivity), so China will as it starts to ‘become more Westernized.’ Although I am not sure this would be the correct path either. We, as global citizens have to start to realize that our escalating levels of consumption are actually pushing this problem to new heights. it is really a situation of comfort for a select few at the cost of humanity as a whole.

      1. Lili, why is China only now on the path to catching up to Western countries in terms of their standards of living? It’s no coincidence; for decades the economic development of the most populous country on earth was choked off by a totalitarian regime. The Chinese central authority still wields an intimidating level of power in terms of developmental economic policies. The largest Chinese companies like PetroChina and Chinalco are State-backed oligopolies. What you’re mislabeling as a “capitalistic” problem is the inevitable result of such public/private partnerships, where the regulators and shareholders are not at arms reach, breeding corruption and conflicts of interest.

        Regarding the “cheap goods” issue; at the risk of becoming too economically obscure, there are elements of financial manipulation by the Chinese government, specifically related to the yuan-dollar currency peg, which are exacerbating imbalances between internal Chinese living standards at the expense of perpetuating an export-sector bubble and overstating the level of real GDP growth.

        Lastly, the old canard of “escalating levels of consumption” being some environmental issue is a red herring. Living in a wealthy Western country, with relatively high levels of disposable income, it’s the easiest thing in the world to fret over our “consumption” and feel better about ourselves. Residents in Third World countries, notwithstanding the trade barriers in place as a result of self-interested US and Euro-zone agricultural subsidies (to cite just once immoral example) will be increasingly reliant upon our “overconsumption” to fuel their own economic growth. I’m sure relegating these people to perpetual poverty is the last thing you’d ever want, but you need to realise that good intentions usually have unintended consequences.

        1. Ben, I would have to say that they are still very far from actually catching up to Western standards. You must look farther than the Beijing Olympics or the ShangHai Expo to see the real circumstances regarding China’s economic and humanitarian condition. But, putting this aside I will acknowledge that you are more accurate that you realize about China’s political state of affairs.
          In regards to the matter of exporting most of their goods, I will have to point out that the government here is once again trying promote a rather domestic economy, with the encouragement of domestic consumption. If you take a quick look at the Engels coefficient for China (assuming that it has any value at all in regards to accuracy of data from the Chinese Government), the numbers have been steadily decreasing: from 54.2% in 1990, to 37.9% in 2001, and further dropping in the years that follow. Evidently Chinese disposable income is most definitely a factor to consider.

      1. shut up you god damn attention whore. you don’t have to reply to every comment for it to be made obvious what your (incorrectly held) beliefs are.

        1. Hahaha! Sue me! That’s the advantage of democracy my friend. 😉 If you don’t like it, book a flight to Pyongyang.

    1. …I mean… hummm, is that comment pro or against capitalism? I got confused (likely because of my non-native English).

    1. LOL. China is a 3rd world country! Not Beijing, or Shangai, or Hong Kong… but the 99.9%+ rest of it.

  27. Interesting photography. I would like to see some areal shots or satellite photos of the China mainland. I would also like to see f the pollution is or can be tracked we it leaves the rivers and enters the ocean.
    The scale of pollution is not really felt or seen when it is somewhere other than where we live.
    I was in Wyoming 12 years ago and The Rocky Mountains there are feeling the effects of acid rains, acidity that is not being produced within the state but coming from great distances.
    I just wonder if the ocean pollution that is happening in China is flowing to other countries shores, or is it just killing the ocean life along China’s beaches.

  28. The whole world has to face the problems of pollution in the future..We have to do something to control pollution……

  29. It is easy to boil your blood by seeing such photos and making fiery comments to further aggravate anger. None of this will make any difference until we contribute by being FRUGAL. That is the mantra Dont buy anything at all untill you cannot survive without it.

  30. I haven’t really been concern with the well being of others for a long time. You can call it apathy, laziness, or just not giving a damn. Looking at these photos of people living in filth through their entire lives is not a question of morality. Its a question rather or not one person or a group of people will stand up and admit this is wrong. The people to blame are us. Humanity as a whole is to blame. We bitch and moan and complain to our friends or circle of co-workers just to have a conversation that we feel is meaningful. Then we the leave the break room and go about our lives in the work force then go home with a roof over our heads, a bed to sleep in, a security system to make us feel safe and the feeling that we accomplish something today because we thought we cared about others. I’m not trying to be some upstanding man that feels he really contributes to the world. I’m guilty of doing the same. The sad thing is that even if we realize that we can create the world we want as a species instead of looking at it as races, religion, classes or ways of life. We still won’t change anything. All these things really do not matter. Yes we are all different they only thing we have in common is that we are all human and that is enough for us to care how we treat others. When we see horrors like this we should feel ashamed that we let it happen. Our excuses are money, policy, governments, relations, treaties, or any other lie that we can come up with. Humanity survive with out all these things. The ones before us did not have the intelligence that we have now…maybe that is the problem. We are too smart for our good. We put too much in our heads that we forgot we have an heart. Hopefully one day we will feel again. We need to stop this false image of the world we live in. Its good to have leaders and people to maintain order and decide upon plans that are agreed by the people. First we need to feel our hearts and to have trust in humanity again…We have all gone threw hell and back one way or another. We are better than this. We are humans…

    1. You started ok, but when you get to the point of blaming ‘us’ for China’s problems you lost me. The place where you possibly are living is way way better than those locations in China. Possibly, same thing happens in most part of your country. And why? Because if you live in a sufficiently civilized and industrialized country, the chance is that your government protects you and your environment the most, without compromising progress. Most people in your country possibly live like you, comfortable enough not to care. Is that a problem? A reason to feel guilty? I think not! Chinese people are the ones to blame their own rulers, the ones that should uprise against the oppression they experience! Most likely, they cannot even access this very website where you left your commented! Blame Chinese politicians. Do not blame yourself. Consumerism is the weapon of progress. Consumerism increases demand, demand creates jobs and increases wealth. Wealth that can be used to research more efficient and environment-friendly technology, at the same time they produce more and more, closing the cycle. Without wealth and a good government, there is no life quality like the one you wish Chinese would have, especially those in these pictures. Be rational!

      1. Nicely said. Just want to point out that the Chinese can access this website (at least for the moment), as I’m doing so from China.

        As for progress through consumerism, it is a good point. Clearly, the expanding middle class and elite Chinese are enjoying the benefits of wealth-creation through these dirty, heavy industrial activities off-shored by more fastidious countries. They themselves can enjoy the unpolluted air in resorts and buy houses in less polluted areas of Chinese cities. It does sound a bit like Industrial Revolution-era Western society, doesn’t it? And even now, NIMBY-ism is poking up its head even in various middle-class and lower-class neighborhoods.

        But how long will it take before the momentum grows large enough before the Chinese government is forced to fulfill its environmental protection duties (there are lots of warm speeches on the topic, but less concrete action against powerful state-corporation interests)? Can such social force even make a dent under current conditions of government? China is large enough that there is always somewhere poor enough, obscure enough, with party elites corrupt enough, to allow these sorts of atrocities. Even developed areas where you would expect greater interest and disgust by affluent residents are affected: One of the captions above noted that air pollution is often released at night when it will not be observed; many other captions mention water pollution from myriad chemical industrial zones in Jiangsu (one of the wealthiest provinces in China)… including at least one right along the banks of the Yangtze in the provincial capital, Nanjing. According to a friend, a maligned heavy-industrial chemical project that was NIMBY-ed out of at least two other locations was quietly relocated here.

        So long as media remains muzzled, justice and law enforcement compromised, NGOs persecuted, I don’t believe there will be anything galvanizing either the central government or the country in general to protect its environment better.

        1. dr, jones your comments definitely hold to the current reality in China. Not until the judicial, executive and legislative branches of the government (and yes, they say that they actually have them) as well as the CCTV ministry (I know, not the real name) undergo changes, the Chinese start to payer closer attention to their natural surroundings

      2. I’m not blaming America I’m blaming the world…us. Yes they should up rise against the tyrants that keep them on there hands and feet but its not the damn easy. You go ahead and fight a monster like that and see how you do. When I look at these photos I saw people being treated like garbage. Animals treat there kind better then we do. I am rational. Humans can live in any kind of world they want to. If we work as one we would be a force that can not fall. Did you read my sentence about “Its good to have leaders and people to maintain order and decide upon plans that are agreed by the people.” I’m not saying government is bad but damn it we need to look at the people around as part of our life. If someone needs help then help them. Money and the things I said are not needed to help someone. Trying to save the world is a dream. Trying to help the people around you and stand as a community of friendship and respect is well within our reach. Two last “comments” don’t use commented in your sentence it does not work. Verb and Noun rule. Second what progress do you speak of? Out of the advancements we have achieve as a world are to make us less dependable on our strength and more dependable on the dollar and technology. Before all of this crap you call progress humans were doing just find with what they had around them. A strong back, a strong heart, and a sound mind that believes “This is not my land. This is OUR LAND.”

  31. omg!!!! it’s awful… realy-realy awful. I didn’t want to live there, but that people must…. that’s so hard…. somebody must help!!!!!!!!

  32. 上帝为什么容许人受苦?


  33. Dears, I have read ALL the comments and I would like to leave one also. Something is a little bit forgotten for all of you. The Chinese choosen this way. I know, that they hardly had another chance. But they chosed this way of life. They decided to make the 85% of the goods of the world. This means, that the garbage and waste, pollution, etc. also will be taken to their pocket. Producing so many things was the (probably) only way for China and it’s citizens to come out from the real dust. Most of the people are happy to be able to work at all. For us it is unbeliavable how they live their life now. But has anybody shown you the “how-it-would-be” pictures about these people if the productions were not taken to China? They would maybe swim to Japan and to the neighbour countries for food. They are too many paople over there. They just simply cannot handle it. Yes, it is the fault of the government, but it is the fault of the stupid Chinese also. In Europe our grandfathers have always fought against what hurted them! They prevented their children’s life! Even if they were shot down. even if they did a forbidden act! You choose your life. And Chinese people are too stupid to do anything against this! And they do not have the brave to do anything against that resim, which takes their life.

    Other way – It is a very important information, that the world’s producing is focused to China right now. So maybe we see them very polluted, but we have to know, that this pollution is not surely more than it would be separated to all the countries. By the way I am sure, that producing in big volume will make much less waste than producing small quantities. By the way, I am sure that they could have more attention on the production’s enviromental efforts and try to decrease them. But they could be very cheap not only cause the bad quality and the cheap workers, but the not so strict manufacturing rules. They did not have to invest such money for the factories.

    Do you know what do I think, why this is not gonna end? Because it is good for everybody. Europe & America says that it is a pity, but the pollution is not generated at theirs at least. They do not have to be afraid about the emmigrants from China as it will never be an EU member neither in non-visa group for USA. The goods are cheap, the quality is maybe not so good, but we are used to this quality of goods nowadays. And to be honest, with a growing speed like this, maybe we do not need life-time warranty items at all. There is gonna be a newer, better, smaller, faster one from everything.

    Maybe I wouldn’t say that everything is going worse. I would say, that the circumstances are changing. We made it changed, so now we have to get used to it.
    Certanly, we should slow down this change as much as we can!

    1. Sorry to disagree. The Chinese did not chose this way. The elite of communist leaders did. There are no elections, there are no alternative ideas to the one that it’s imposed on that people. Therefore, it’s not the Chinese choice, but a tyrant’s.

  34. Where does the anti Western ranting and raving come from? And why the bias against Made in China products? I see chemical plants and sewage discharge. This is about poor management, greedy local officials, and low levels of education. China will over time address their pollution problems. Fantastic and haunting photos.

  35. And at the other end of the spectrum we have the once great state of California, paralyzed with environmentalists, and going bankrupt fast. You can’t build a road with out 100 environmental impact studies, endless permits, then when your ready to build a protest from some treehuggers. Those pictures are an abomination, but it is not the West’s fault. Communism does not work and that is the result.

    1. An incoherent argument, or just non sequitur?

      China can’t really be termed ‘communist’ in its economic state anymore. If China remained truly communist, we wouldn’t be looking at pictures of industrial effluent. We’d be looking at pictures of malnourished farmers.

      The Chinese state still has great influence over economic processes, but the pollution you see here is as much or more a result of China’s adoption of capitalism unrestrained by the very public consultation practices, transparency of government, and industrial regulation that you decry when considering the case of California. Both systems have advantages and disadvantages.

      The pictures here make clear the disadvantage of a capitalist system married with an unaccountable government that split the profits between them. One advantage is that unscrupulous companies (producing goods for market demand generated in the west, not producing for communist quotas) can pollute to their hearts content, and the owners (not the workers, but the private owners and their governmental partners in crime) can easily create wealth for themselves. Another advantage is that infrastructure projects (the somewhat unrelated example you gave with regards to California) can be built without regards to environmental impact or the people who lived there previously. You make fun of the Californian process, but if you were evacuated from your house and property because a new hydro-electric dam was going to flood it, or drowned in a flash flood when the same dam broke open because it was badly engineered by a company with good government relations, you’d be pretty pissed.

      Do the disadvantages of the still-great state of California (long, transparent process for developing infrastructure; tax-adverse scrooges who don’t want to foot the bill for said infrastructure–sorry, couldn’t resist!; paperwork resulting from government oversight of industry) out weight the advantages (clean/beautiful environment; safe workplaces; food fit to eat; water fit to swim in; air fit to breathe)?

      If you truly think someplace like California doesn’t fit you, why not move to China? My work has taken me here, and I’m adventurous enough to put up with these sorts of problems for a while… but I do suffer short-term health issues due to the air quality in particular, worry about long-term health issues related to the environment here, and have absolutely no intention of raising children in this dangerous filth.

      Apparently such pictures as we see above aren’t enough to get through the partisan miasma infecting many Americans, but if you ever did visit China’s more polluted districts, I think you might find yourself a bit more willing to tolerate “treehuggers”.

      1. China IS a country malnourished farmers. Forget about the large cities, the vast majority of the population lives in the rural areas and are very poor. Do not forget that they are over 1 billion! They have little opportunities because the demand is capped. Communism doesn’t need to have the image of the former Soviet Union to be a bad evil.

  36. People are irresponsible by nature. China may be the latest extreme illustration of this, but don’t be fooled into thinking the people of the West are any better or different. The primary difference is in the government and how they regulate industry. In places like the US or Europe, environmental protection and government policy has developed over time and still has a long way to go. Now imagine a less developed country with 4X (or more) the population that must grow at a annual rate of 7% just to continue providing jobs to all those new to the job market. And how do you address all these problems without bringing the economy to it’s knees?

    In China this is a huge challenge the government is certainly aware of. Imagine stopping a car, on a dime and moving it in the opposite direction. Right. Now imagine doing that to an aircraft carrier. Seeing these photos are very upsetting and we want to see more done to protect the environment and people. Realistically, it’s going to be many years before the government can start doing anything to help. The really frustrating part is that it will almost certainly be a too-little-too-late scenario.

    1. Abe,
      You’re right on target. I grew up in Youngstown, Ohio. In 1957 the city, with Federal help and no doubt a bit of coercion, built their 1st sewage treatment plant .
      Prior to this when the toilet was flushed it simply was sent to the Mahoning river, then to the Ohio River, the Mississippi and months later the Gulf of Mexico. All along this route other cities were doing the same and some , believe it or not were drawing and refining their drinking water from this toxic brew. In addition to human waste all the steel mills, tanneries, chemical plants and let your mind wander to what ever, were discharging their industrial waste into these water courses. Today ever aspect of the enviroment is much improved, the air no longer has a color or an odor and birds that rely on sight fishing have returned now that the water is clear. Of course this has come at a very steep cost. The industries that made the poloution are no more and the tax base and the wagesthat they provided have gone as well.
      As to it being too little to late, time heals all and the natural world has an enormous ability to put things right if the pressures are removed. Lake Erie was once considered a dead lake, now the water is so clean you would not be harmed by drinking it.
      When all this becomes a top priority for China it will be done and quickly. The authority that their form of government possesses has the might to turn the situation around in a few years not decades as one would expect. I don’t their would suffer much because of the enormous internal needs. They are just now being introduced to consumerisum. If they are employed they will have the money to buy every household product they desire and this in and of its self will fuel a powerful economic engine. They don’t need the outside world for a market they have their own market, 1 billion strong, with a real pent up need. Take heart all, this will change soon.

  37. as long as I cannot influence straight on chinese government, I will use the only accessible means: cut all the unnecessary consumption – and direct the necessary consuming to local products as much as possible. no radicalism, just the way things should be.

  38. Either in the ancient times of China when people believed Confucian, Tao, or Buddism, or in the Mao times we didn’t see such a tragedy. Chinese people nowadays need religion to guide and supervise their behavior. Cultural revolution has immeasurable negative impact on Chinese soul. Chinese government also needs to punish those pollution makers strictly. But unfortunately, government people often have secret relationship with enterprises, which was suggested to be forbidden 2000 years ago in China’s Han Dynasty. So China, my motherland, really has big troubles.

    Pollution in China comes from not only China per se but also western countries. Some Chinese people are doing very guilty things. They illegally “import” trashes including electronic wastes from western countries, especially from the United States, and covertly dump them in China. 1989 saw the birth of Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes of Their Disposal ( , and ). Unfortunately, the United States government refused to sign on this convention.
    Two years ago, a journalist was interviewing one such guilty guy in a Chinese coastal city.
    The journalist asked the guy:” Why do you move the hazardous wastes from western countries to China?”
    The guy answered:” To earn money!”
    The journalist asked:” What’s your plan after you earn enough money?”
    The guy answered:” Immigrate to Canada and become a Canadian.”

    I don’t think western countries can benefit from these immigrants. They are just trashes among Chinese people, although they are pretty rich. Western countries should embrace those well-educated high-technical Chinese people rather than these rich trashes.

    1. Oh, those wonderful Mao times! Only 70 million sent to an early grave. A small price to pay, and think of all the carbon emission that were saved!

  39. Pingback:
  40. Face it, face the fact, face the HGUE environmental problems in China. Don’t blame others, it’s China’s own problem. Face it, try to solve it year by year.

  41. keep supporting China and the garbage they produce that ends up in our landfills and pollutes our planet.

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