China says massive area of its soil polluted

Apr 17, 2014
A man shovels earth in a field outside a power plant in Xingtai, southern Hebei province, on March 10, 2013

A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

Of about 6.3 million square kilometres (2.4 million square miles) of soil surveyed—roughly two thirds of China's total area—16.1 percent is thought to be polluted, the ministry said in a report.

The study, which appeared on its website, blamed mining and among other causes.

"The national situation is not positive," the ministry said, adding that more than 19 percent of the farmland which was surveyed is polluted.

The ministry last year described the results of its soil pollution survey as a state secret and refused to release the results, a move which incensed environmental campaigners.

The government has come under increasing pressure in recent years to take action to improve the environment, with large parts of the country repeatedly blanketed in thick smog and waterways and land polluted.

In response to public pressure, China has released more accurate data about .

More than 80 percent of the soil pollution was caused by "non-organic contaminants", the ministry said in its report. The survey was carried out over an eight-year period from 2005 to 2013.

The ministry last year acknowledged the existence of "cancer villages", years after Chinese media first reported on more than 100 polluted rural areas with a higher incidence of the disease.

Premier Li Keqiang announced in March that Beijing was "declaring war" on pollution, as he sought to address public concerns on issues ranging from smog to food safety, but experts warn that implementation will be the key.

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User comments : 23

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OZGuy
4.5 / 5 (8) Apr 17, 2014
I'm not surprised at the level of pollution just that they actually admitted it.If China starts openly discussing issues such as this they'll gain a lot more respect in the world.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (11) Apr 17, 2014
What a surprise, a socialist state is polluted, not!

Of course their plan to solve the problem is MORE socialism.
Modernmystic
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 17, 2014
I seem to remember someone (and I honestly don't remember who) saying that nuclear power was singular because "nothing else contaminates huge swaths of land like a nuclear accident".

Apparently 19th century farming on a large scale and strip mining to provide materials for wind mills does...
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (10) Apr 17, 2014
The volume of all high level nuclear waste in the USA, currently stored on site in pools of water, would cover a US football field ~1.5 meters deep.

Modernmystic
1.4 / 5 (9) Apr 17, 2014
The volume of all high level nuclear waste in the USA, currently stored on site in pools of water, would cover a US football field ~1.5 meters deep.



I know, it's hysterical.

All the waste for France fits in a single room in one building :)

They reprocess their "waste" too.
antialias_physorg
4.6 / 5 (10) Apr 17, 2014
Of about 6.3 million square kilometres (2.4 million square miles) of soil surveyed—roughly two thirds of China's total area—16.1 percent is thought to be polluted

Well, if you add the cleanup for that kind of area to the price of the goods...suddenly "made in China" is not so cheap after all, eh?

But that's the case whenever you can ignore associated costs. Then it's always easy to say something is profitable (oil, coal, nuclear, cheap manufacture of foods or cheap extraction of ores). Producers should be responsible for end-to-end (which INCLUDES disposal of all wastes and remediating all incurred damages) and price their wares accordingly. That would lead to comapreable prices

And it would stop having to use taxes to clean up after these people. That's something that's being done now in socialist and capitalst nations alike, rygg.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) Apr 17, 2014
not so cheap after all,

For whom?
The Chinese communist party made the decision to control their currency and attract manufacturing to China.
Associated costs can't be ignored if the state's ONLY function is to protect private property rights.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (7) Apr 17, 2014
Associated costs can't be ignored if the state's ONLY function is to protect private property rights.

Obviously they can be ignored quite well. Look at any capitalist nation, too, and you will notice that they have had (and some stillhave) that issue. If the state doesn't look after its citizens (by checking on the state of the water, air, soil, food,...) but just looks after the private property rights then you get gunk in your food, polluted air, polluted water, etc. just as quickly as if you have the state actively say "polluting is OK".

Or what mechanism do you envision would cause a private company to pay for all those damages to the environment? It doesn't increase profit. And counting on self-regulation of private enterprise has been tried a bazillion times: and it hasn't worked once.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) Apr 17, 2014
but just looks after the private property rights then you get gunk in your food, polluted air, polluted water, etc


That happens NOW with all sorts of govt regulations that say it's illegal.

I know its difficult for socialists to understand the concept of private property and a limited govt, but IF the state's only function was to protect private property, then if your private property rights are violated by pollution or gunk in your food, you sue the violator and the state must then address the violation, and all open to public view.
Not even a fascist business could hide like GM tried to do with its latest recall atrocity.
The most rigorous auto safety tests are conducted by a company funded by auto insurance companies, not a govt agency.
No govt agency is ever held accountable when they fail to do their job. CEOs and businesses not protected by the state don't have that protection, even in today's fascist states.
ryggesogn2
1.3 / 5 (7) Apr 17, 2014
BTW, who or what will hold the Chinese communist state accountable for the violation of the private property rights of millions?
dvdrushton
not rated yet Apr 17, 2014
@Modernmystic -
All the waste for France fits in a single room in one building :)


Would you have a source for that statistic modernmystic? This site says it is more like 1.3 million cubic meters - http://www.world-...124.html
big_hairy_jimbo
not rated yet Apr 17, 2014
@dvdrushton, after reading that link you provided, I think the key is High Level Waste.
The 1.3 million you have quoted is NOT High Level Waste!!
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Apr 17, 2014
"rradiated fuel makes up only about 1% of the total volume of all radioactive wastes generated in the U.S., but it contains about 95% of the radioactivity. As of 1996 there was a cumulative total of 32,000 metric tons of irradiated fuel from commercial nuclear power generation in the United States, "
http://www.nirs.o...fcst.htm
What is the volume of 32e6kg of nuclear waste?
The density of Sr is ~2.5g/cm3 = .002kg/cm3.
32e6/.0025 = 12,800,000,000 cm3 = 12,800 m3.
A football pitch 105 by 68 metres has an area of 7140 m2.
12,800 m3/7140 m2 = 1.8 meters.
So 32,000 metric tones of Sr would cover a football pitch 2m deep.
More dense products would lessen the volume.
It may not be a good idea to put all this waste in one pile, but I think it provide a perspective regarding volume.
Another interesting perspective is to calculate the the area per person if 7e9 people were placed in Australia.
Each person would have ~1100m2=> 910people/km2. Tucson: 950/km2.
dvdrushton
not rated yet Apr 18, 2014
@bighairylimbo - from the article - "Waste from the nuclear power industry accounted for 59% of the total inventory"

From modernmystic's post - "All the waste for France fits in a single room in one building :)"

I don't see any distinction being made between high level, or any other kind of waste. It seems to me that modernmystic was just pulling facts out of the air - with no consideration for supporting said facts.

Would you be able to provide a link that supports modernmystic's claim?
Steven_Gaylord
1 / 5 (2) Apr 18, 2014
While China's pollution is the result of industrial growth, the US's pollution is intentional.
Sage of Quay Radio - Dane Wigington and the Global Geoengineering Crisis - April 14, 2014
https://www.youtu...re=share
alfie_null
5 / 5 (3) Apr 18, 2014
That happens NOW with all sorts of govt regulations that say it's illegal.

I know its difficult for socialists to understand the concept of private property and a limited govt, but IF the state's only function was to protect private property, . . .

Even in your rose-tinted vision of some libertarian shangri-la, you'd best hope your government is considerably more powerful than any other entity that might cause you trouble.

Power aggregates. Haven't we learned that by now? Whatever your definition of private property, it's not hard to imagine how you could easily be subjugated by some other powerful entity in the vacuum of an equally strong government.

It's like a religion isn't it? You believe you know the One True Way and will hear no criticism of it.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (5) Apr 18, 2014
you'd best hope your government is considerably more powerful than any other entity that might cause you trouble.


Just another example of how socialists can't understand voluntary association and the dissemination of power.
Power aggregates.

Only if people let it.
Recent events in NV show the power an armed citizenry has to oppose the state.
Even China understood the limits of their power in Tienanmen Square.
People readily support and follow just laws and and chafe at unjust laws and unjust govts.
The 'progressives' asserted Rockefeller aggregated too much power, yet he did not have any power to use force, to use guns, to force his competitors out of business. Rockefeller's power lied in creating products and services at lower costs than his competition. And his competitors had the same opportunity to earn the power without using coercive state power.
Returners
1 / 5 (2) Apr 19, 2014
What a surprise, a socialist state is polluted, not!

Of course their plan to solve the problem is MORE socialism.


New Jersey has 4 times the autism rate of Alabama.

We have our own "cancer cities" and other "insert-defect-here cities", probably caused by the "Capitalism is greater than communism" crap from the cold war. Make more nuclear bombs and nerve agents everyone, and test them in the open air.

No telling what is actually causing the increased autism rate, but it's probably related to city life, something in a heavily urbanized environment which isn't as common in the more rural locations. I'd guess lead or some other trace metal.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Apr 19, 2014
Make more nuclear bombs and nerve agents everyone, and test them in the open air.

Sounds like more of the same, socialism.
The state cares not for the life, liberty or property of each individual. Only the survival of the state matters.
Whydening Gyre
1 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2014
New Jersey has 4 times the autism rate of Alabama.

We have our own "cancer cities" and other "insert-defect-here cities", probably caused by the "Capitalism is greater than communism" crap from the cold war. Make more nuclear bombs and nerve agents everyone, and test them in the open air.

No telling what is actually causing the increased autism rate, but it's probably related to city life, something in a heavily urbanized environment which isn't as common in the more rural locations. I'd guess lead or some other trace metal.

Prob'ly some heavy metal accumulation, yes. But also just being so crowded together along with saturated EM radio bands...
Just speculatin'...
unconvinced
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 20, 2014
We pay China to be our waste disposal site for things that would get our 1/2% some nasty PR to dispose of here.

So far China's so-horrid communist gov has been saving our capitalist rears - burying our toxic crud in their land since around 2000 and buying our bonds since late 2007 - to the point of permanently jailing one of their famous photographers because they caught him putting photos of the havoc created online.

But we're still top jock so most of Asia continues to make a lot of our drugs and food, not to mention our clothes and electronics, for yet more of our paper $. A lot of our jobs go away but our 1/2% do fine so the rest of us close our eyes and hope.

So far only Japan has lost out pretty permanently irradiating their land using those nuclear reactors we designed - though lots of that crud is coming home to us. Not to mention our radiation storage problem in New Mexico and our own over-age reactors with problems never spoken of.

Ain't capitalism great?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Apr 21, 2014
Ain't capitalism great?

It is.
But you didn't describe capitalism. You described socialism.
unconvinced
5 / 5 (2) Apr 21, 2014
You need to learn the difference between socialism of various levels, and communism. And not call the U.S. a democracy - it is a representative republic, with political office-holders now selected by fewer of the rich than ever before.

We have some level of (now declining) socialism for things like our roads and utility systems, education, Social Security/Medicare (though we pay for those ourselves), and for a short time had a rather economic democracy. The rich now have decimated their consumer class and done away with a health system that worked for most everyone, but a short-term profit economic focus by the 1/2% will do that for you. Criminal that we come in 37th on life expectancy now, huh?

A couple of links to get you started on the differences are: http://www.diffen...ocialism and http://www.webpag...ned.htm. Google it; there's lots more. One-word complex systems naming doesn't work.

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