2014 has been an auspicious year so far for elephants. In January, the Chinese government crushed -- the technical term for destroying -- a whopping 6.15 tons of tusks, equivalent to one-sixth of the illegal ivory seized worldwide in 2012. The following week, Chinese officials worked with Kenyan authorities to apprehend the Chinese kingpin of a Kenya-based ivory ring.
This week, shocking photos and videos emerged of the slaughter of endangered whale sharks on a massive, industrial scale. According to an investigation by the marine conservation group WildLifeRisk, more than 600 of the endangered sharks are processed in a single factory under investigation every year.
A 700-year-old tree in Shifang, Sichuan province withstood the efforts of a crane trying to secretly knock it down. Check it out. That's what happens when an immovable object is actually immovable: 30 meters tall, 2.4 meters in diameter, apparently.
Hundreds of residents staged a not-in-my-backyard protest in Jiangmen, Guangdong province on Friday to oppose plans to build a uranium processing plant. SCMP reports that the protest, a restrained and civil affair, was largely organized via social media. The uranium complex, featuring three 30-hectare plants, would have been the nation's biggest, reports NY Times.
Someone doesn't enjoy his job. Reports The Telegraph, Zhou Shengxian, who is China's environment minister, was "quoted by state media as saying: 'I've heard that there are four major embarrassing departments in the world and that China's ministry of environmental protection is one of them.'"
Thousands of fish have been dredged out of a reservoir near Sinan River Power Station, a hydroelectric dam in Yunnan province. How many thousands? Whatever 1,177 tons comes out to -- about half a million, give or take many thousand.
The deaths began on May 20, according to Yunnan Net. Five days later, 1,177 tons of fish, mostly tilapia, were dead, including 3.6 million fry. The economic losses are estimated at 13 million yuan.
You know you have an environmental problem when… A) You have to import 5 million tons of freshwater B) Your source of tap water is “dark as soy sauce” Both of the above for Luohe, Henan province. Via Global Times:
This is alarming. According to Nandu.com, 238 dead pigs and 89 dead dogs were found in Dongtun village in Luoyang, Henan province yesterday. By all accounts, they died suddenly and at the same time. Initial tests have ruled out the H7N9 virus as a cause. Thank goodness for that and all, to know the zombie apocalypse... Read more »
The rain began yesterday afternoon, turning into ice by the late evening, continuing through the night as snow. And behold, the above picture via BJ Reviewer. Josh Chin is also calling for photos at the hashtag #BeijingSnowWSJ / #BeijingSnowWSJ# (for you Weibo users), so do that if you want to see your picture on Wall Street Journal,... Read more »
Did you know that Tuesday, March, 12, was Arbor Day in China? On Zhi Shu Jie (植树节), literally Plant-A-Tree Day, people celebrated by planting anything they could. As Sina Weibo user @粮仓一鼠 put it, “Although there is no land to plant a tree, we can grow a pea in a flower pot.” Like him, many... Read more »
Seriously, now: forget the jokes, forget about water safety concerns, forget everything until this question is answered: what possibly could have gone through the mind of the homicidal pig farmer who dumped more than 6,000 pigs into the Huangpu River? Did a pig farm explode? Does circovirus cause pigs to go mad and jump in... Read more »
Unsatisfied with “hogwash,” “bay of pigs,” and “bacon” — all perfectly good and scurvy ways of describing the deathcarts of pig carcasses dredged out of the upper regions of Shanghai’s Shuangpu River this week — we now have “pigfestation,” courtesy of Bloomberg Businessweek:
Babe: Pig in the Drinking Water. You've read the story, seen the video (above, if you haven't). Now hear what the Onion, et al., have to say about the thousands of dead pigs in the Huangpu River, a source of "most" of Shanghai's drinking water for its 23 million residents.
People in Shanghai never stop complaining about Beijing, and with sandstorms sweeping into the capital, the people in this country's Second City have been growing quite smug about their marginally healthier air.
Well, now… Shanghai isn't exactly environmentally pristine. This weekend, more than 900 dead pigs were found added to the aquatic ecosystem in the Songjiang section of Huangpu River.
Although the skies were conveniently blue for the first day of the National People’s Congress on March 5, by the next day the AQI was already creeping back above 300. In an interesting twist, a prominent member of the National People’s Congress has criticized the Chinese government for its anti-pollution efforts. In an interview with... Read more »
The environment is everyone's concern, because we all live under the same sky -- in Beijing, often a dark, dirty one, rife with health hazards. It's our collective duty to take care of it, but what can anyone -- an individual, particularly one with power -- do to spur a collective response against man-made threats to our natural world?
What would they do?
For years now, people have claimed that being green is profitable. For even longer, however, companies and countries have engaged in greenwashing, the act of deceptively marketing oneself as environmentally friendly to gain public trust and consumer karma. What exactly is the difference between a truly green institution and one that pretends to be? The... Read more »
After a year of public demands, Beijing’s municipal government has finally agreed to measure air pollution using the Air Quality Index (AQI), which most pollution-watchers should be familiar with thanks to the US Embassy’s air quality monitor. Reports Global Times: Beijing is tossing out its hazy Air Pollution Index and replacing it with a new... Read more »
A Modern Parable
They told the Old Man the mountain, with its head as white as his, would not move, but he feigned deafness. They mocked him, shaking their fans and leaning forward so he could better see their sneers, but the Old Man wagged his head and flashed a toothy grin. The townsfolk gossiped behind his back and marveled at the futility of the endeavor, but the Old Man, rocking away his days on a hand-woven bamboo chair, knew that one day the steadfastness of his pursuit would coalesce with a dream so that in their sameness he'd wake to see the mountain gone, carried off to the shores of the Bohai Sea.
Sources are saying that scattered protests involving “more than 1,000 villagers” (SCMP, via Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy) in Wenzhou, Zheijang province have resulted in either “hundreds” (SCMP), “200” (Want China Times) or “more than 10” injuries (Radio Free Asia). It began in Longgang township on Tuesday, where villagers were unhappy about... Read more »