The ugly face of progress hides well behind the soot and smog that roosts over China’s cities, big and small, like a Carbon chicken smothering her masked hatch-lings who are choking on their breathes. A recent study by the University of California has granted China the title of being the Number 1 Polluter in the world, a title the United States has carried for quite some time with a particular level of quiet distinction.
At China’s rate of growth any in-roads made by other developed nations to curb their Greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade will have no impact on the global gains of pollution streaming from China’s industrial expansion. Both China and the United Nations are declaring that aid and new technologies should be shared from the other developed nations on how to reduce their noxious emissions. However, to make any progress in the realm of pollution it begins with education.
In the 1970’s the US began to educate its masses, starting with the children, on the ills of littering and pollution. As the 1980’s were dominated by Trickle-Down Economics, so too was the domination of Trickle-Up Education as the young corrected their parents on the dangers and risks of littering and pollution to their future. Ofcourse that is a tough step in a nation like China who’s education comes straight from the top government officials for whom the recognition of negative facts are rarely admitted and never shared.
Does anyone else recall the time when Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Detroit were swallowed up beneath the soot created within them? The above photo was taken from a hotel window in Shanghai. Unfortunately “a stunning view of smog” was not on the hotels brochure. Shanghai is one of China’s tourist gems, but may best be remembered by those who visit it as one of the countries most polluted cities.
The next giant step after education comes technology. As industrial technology and advancement is a part of our industrial society, so too must be the technology that keeps those industrial advances from harming the fragile ecosystem that supports the supporters. On the extreme, all of those industrial advances and all of that mass production will be for not if all that remains is a diseased populace unable to consume those goods.
While it relies on the good graces of other industrial nations to yet again share their technological advancements, if the Chinese Government does not begin to educate its populace about their own pollution and littering habits then it will surely be a long time before many cities see blue skies again.
As many of the Chinese people are tasting some wealth and financial progress for the first time, and as new cars take up more of the roads once filled by a bicycling population, education and cleaner technologies become that much more necessary. Unfortunately that sharing will probably only take place when the pollution begins to effect other economies, like Europe and the North America, as the human machines that produce their goods breaks down.