China admits environmental future “not optimistic”

| June 16th, 2014
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image courtesy of reuters

In honor of World Environmental Day, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection recently released its “2013 China Environmental Status” report, a profile of the water and ambient air quality index (AQI) of 74 “key” Chinese cities during 2013. Surveyors reported 35.9 smoggy days on average during 2013, an increase of 18.3 days from 2012. Haikou, Zhoushan and Lhasa were the only cities that’s average AQI met national standards during 2013, while Beijing, neighboring Tianjin and other cities [...]Read more…

Guangdong park buries 10,000 live fish after complaints about pond overcrowding

| June 9th, 2014
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image courtesy of Southern Metropolis Daily

Guangdong park employees buried 10,000 kilograms of live fish in response to citizen complaints about pond overcrowding Southern Metropolis Daily reported on June 5.

Park employees netted and buried the small silver fish in a Foshan landfill, apparently responding to citizen complaints that overcrowding was damaging the park’s ecosystem. Management concluded that the incredible population of pond fish didn’t allow any room for fish to grow — killing off fish before they had the chance to [...]Read more…

Guangdong factory waste dyes river red, blue

| May 13th, 2014
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image courtesy of guangdong daily

Waste from a Guangdong factory dyed a waterway magenta and blue on the afternoon of May 12, according to Guangzhou Daily.

A Huizou printing plant apparently illegally discharged its rubbish into the small waterway about 12 p.m. that Tuesday. Dyed red near the factory and blue upstream, residents noticed the bizarre colors immediately, and sent pictures to Yuanzhou county officials and posted them online.

Shocked, government workers and Boluo Eco-environmental protection agency staff rushed to the scene, and [...]Read more…

Qingyuan: Where your electronics goes when you throw it away

| February 24th, 2014
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The computer you’re using now was likely put together in a factory in Guangdong, and it will likely end up there when you throw it out. Not just computers, almost everything with valuable metals inside it gets exported to China: video game consoles, lighting components, transformers, hardware, and more.

Up to 80 percent of American electronics waste, and, as of 2005, 47 percent of European waste, is exported to developing countries. China is the leading importer of this trash. In 2008, [...]Read more…

Beijing issues blue warning for pollution after Lantern Festival fireworks, 32 other cities experienced heavy pollution

| February 16th, 2014
Photo from Jinghua article.

The fireworks of Lantern Festival have wreaked havoc on the air quality of northern China. PM2.5 levels in Beijing rose to 501 micrograms per cubic meter at 11 pm on Lantern Festival, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection, and Beijing issued a blue warning. Additionally, 33 other cities, many in the surrounding area, experienced heavy levels of pollution.

Lantern Festival is the last day of the Spring Festival celebration period, and people go crazy launching the last of the fireworks [...]Read more…

China’s Most Polluted Cities of 2013

| February 13th, 2014
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Greenpeace China released the summary of its 2013 survey of Chinese air quality, and the results are clear: The air isn’t.

Of the 74 cities in the report, none of them met the World Health Organization’s recommendations for particulate matter of 2.5 micrometers or less (PM2.5). Only five met the Chinese government’s less stringent standards for PM2.5 levels. In 2012, the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection established an annual standard of 35 micrograms per cubic meter for PM2.5. The WHO recommends [...]Read more…

Seven cities in China listed among the ten most polluted cities in the world

| January 29th, 2013
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From: Southern metropolis daily

In the largest 500 cities in China, only less than 1% has met the recommended standard set up by World Health Organization (WHO). The most prominent air pollutant in China is PM10.

The economic cost of pollution in China every year is equal to 1.2% of GDP if calculated based on the related disease and is 3.8% of GDP if calculated based on willingness to pay.

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Yangtze River water turns bright red

| September 7th, 2012
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From Netease:

“Wow, the Yangtze River is like the Yellow River now!” Yesterday, at the Chaotianmen Pier of the Yangtze River in Chongqing, many tourists found the color of Yangtze River became unusually red. The environmental protection department speculated that this may be due to river sand brought from upstream during flood season.

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Beijing’s air pollution level heightened by Spring Festival fireworks

| January 28th, 2012
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From Netease: [picture form QQ]

The Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau released post-Chinese New Year PM10 and PM2.5 air concentrations, measures of particles in the atmosphere. The data suggests a correlation between the recent decline in the air quality and the number of fireworks that were set off in celebration of the Spring Festival.

The two days surrounding the celebration witnessed a spike in the level of air pollution.

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Just another food scandal: landfill becomes cattle feedlot

| November 8th, 2011
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After melamine-tainted milk, drainage oil, fake egg, colored Mantou, lean meat powder pork, shrimp washing powder etc etc, China recently introduces another food “innovation” in Changsha, Hunan Province – garbage beef. Cattle live on garbage in a landfill till they are old enough to be butchered and served on dinner table.  Netizens teased that these cattle are as strong as Chinese: immune to all kinds of food poisoning.

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Photographer captures firefighter losing his life cleaning up Dalian oil spills

| August 3rd, 2010
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July 16, 2010, an oil pipeline explosion accident happened in Dalian, the fire was put out after 15 hours of burning.  The cause of the accident was still under investigation.  According to CCTV, about 400,000 gallon of oil was spilled into the Yellow Sea, which heavily polluted over 160 square kilometers of the sea water. (The BP oil spills at the Gulf of Mexico was over 100 million gallons)

(From Daqi) A photographer, in 334 seconds, captured the death of [...]Read more…

Vegetables are sick – Hunan Liuyang cadmium pollution

| November 21st, 2009
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(picture: A polluted eggplant)

[Southern Metropolis Daily] In July and August of this year, the Hunan Liuyang cadmium pollution incident caused nationwide concerns. It has been three to months since the incident, chemical plant was permanently closed, the relevant officials were suspended from their positions and affected farmers also received a certain amount of compensation. Recently the photographer went back to Liuyang, to some of the affected areas and shot a set of portraits for the crops. These terminally [...]Read more…

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

| November 11th, 2009
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On October 21st 2009 I posted “Amazing Pictures, Pollution in China” featuring the winner of W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography, Lu Guang’s documentary project “Pollution in China”. This post was an instant sensation that attracted viewers from all over the world. In less than 20 days, this post was viewed by over 475,000 unique visitors in 204 countries with over 510,000 page views. As for today it had 3,327 retweets on twitter and 929 comments. Thank you everyone! [...]Read more…

Amazing Pictures, Pollution in China

| October 21st, 2009
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[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.”

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