Tag Archives: environment

“Flying Pigs” in Shanghai decide to go for a swim



Artists impression of the Huangpu Porcus Volare

According to state sources a flock of more than 2,800 flying pigs decided to go for a swim in the Huangpu river. “Unfortunately the pigs’ ability to fly”, stated Lai Lai a government official, “is better than their swimming”. The carcasses were found floating in the river creating a foul stench that has made many reporting the story sick in their own mouths.

Official sources have strenuously denied any suggestion of government environmental policy being to blame. ‘Its just one of things. Pig’s like to swim’ said Po Ki Pai, environmental liaison officer for Shanghai.  


From the Guardian:

The Jiaxing Daily newspaper in northern Zhejiang province quoted a villager as saying that over the past two months almost 20,000 pigs in his village have died of unknown causes. While Shanghai compensates its farmers for properly disposing of dead swine, the newspaper said, Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces lack a comparable incentive system, so farmers there often dump their pig carcasses directly into local rivers.   


The mystery continues…  

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The Nike Detox Plan

I have just read an interesting article from China Dialogue on how top sporting brands: Nike, Adidas, Puma, Li Ning etc are getting together for a ‘detox’. The world’s top sporting brands are setting out a plan to ‘wean themselves off’ the toxins they use to dye clothing.

In August last year Nike committed to a challenge set by Greenpeace to ‘eliminating all hazardous chemicals across its entire supply chain, and the entire life-cycle of its products by 2020’

Puma have also agreed to up their game and have been taking steps to evaluate their environmental cost. They have ‘calculated that the cost their operations had imposed on the natural environment last year through their greenhouse-gas emissions and water consumption was 94.4 million euros’

I happen to be reading an excellent book on the history of cancer at the moment and just read about how many of the toxins this article talks about were discovered.

In the mid 19th century, the cotton industry was undergoing a revolution and  represented about 50% of all of the British exports, however, extracting the dyes used to colour the cotton was still a labour intensive process. The booming cotton industry led to new techniques of dyeing being developed and hastened the creation of the field of synthetic chemistry.

The new dyes that were being developed led chemists to create a whole range of chemical byproducts: solvents, alcohols, alkaloids, amides, alizarins and other non natural chemicals. It was the development of these synthetic chemicals that gave birth to modern pharmacology. They also have serious environmental consequences and it has taken a while for any clothing corporations to take notice. I wonder how long it will take big pharmaceuticals to follow suit.

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World’s most popular beer? Want to pee on a turtle?

Any idea what the most popular beer in the world is?

Sitting back with your friends enjoying a bud? Waaazzzzup?

enjoy drinking what is probably the best lager?

Would you give a XXXX for it? Best things come to those who wait?

No. The world’s most popular beer is Snow Beer (雪花啤酒)

According to the Telegraph, the Chinese drank 16.5bn pints of Snow last year.

Although most Chinese beers taste quite samey (think of a watered down bud light), I happen to think Snow actually tastes quite nice with a spicy meal. It is pretty inoffensive. At least I thought they were until I saw their latest marketing campaign…..

Snow beer are offering several lucky punters the chance to go to Kekexili – the Tibetan plateau. Here the fortunate winners can trod around on environmentally protected ground pissing off endangered species such as the Tibetan antelope . According to Jonathan Watts’ article in the Guardian, the plateau is “China’s most treasured nature reserve’ and has a ‘No Human Zone’, which as the name implies, is not supposed to be visited by anyone, yet Snow have gone ahead with their promotion even before they have permission.”

It would be as if Fosters offered their punters the chance for a lads holiday to the Galapagos islands to go and drink some brews, piss on a turtle’s face and eat its eggs in a giant fry up.

I should stop now, I don’t want to give them any ideas for competitions.

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Chinese Black Swan

Chinese Party Officials try to recreate a seen from Darren Aronofsky’s Oscar Winning Black Swan

The Officials photographed are decked up in environmentally friendly clothing to promote a ‘low carbon lifestyle’. The event was held at a Beijing CPPCC annual gala on the evening of January 18. I am not really sure what else to say.

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China Vs Nature (part II)

“The core of Chinese culture is the pursuit of the harmonious unity of man and nature”

Pan Yue, vice minister at China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection wrote recently in an article for the People’s daily.

What sets China apart from the profit driven, industrial, capitalist West, he writes, “is the country’s unique cultural system, based on moderation, harmony and tolerance”. I pondered the Chinese ideal of “harmony between heaven and humans” as I read Chinese new reports this week that heralded a new “golden-decade” of hydropower. The state will accelerate the building of hydro dams – reversing a long halt caused by environmental concerns and the social upheaval of displacing large number of people – in order to meet “green” energy targets. Nature will be harmoniously harnessed to bring power to the people. Take that nature.

This will mean every year adding the equivalent of another Three Gorges Dam (already the world’s largest). The pearl upon the sparkling crown of this eco-green golden age will be the cascade of dams down the mountain rivers that pour from the Tibetan Plateau.  Completion of the Tibetan railway   – known as the iron leach among locals – has spurred new dam construction, as well as mining developments in this previously inaccessible region. The Tibetan hinterland is preparing for a new development boom.

Yet more shadowy rumours are afoot. A dam (a modest creature three times the size of the Three Gorges) is planned at the great bend of the Brahmaputra River, just before it enters India. At the same site a 20 km long canal will be blasted through an intervening mountain range north of the river in order to carry water on its way far to China’s arid north.

A few obstacles stand in the way of Chinese engineers. But nothing that a few “friendly” nuclear explosions can’t overcome.

After all, as Mao oft mused, “Battling with heaven is endless joy, fighting with the earth is endless joy”

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Chinese Government mess with nature… and win

How do you make it rain in the desert? What do you get if you cross the desert with the sea? How do you drown a scorpion?

No, these are not classic Christmas cracker jokes, but actually environmental policy ideas in China. The answer is 6 years, 62.8 billion RMB and a lot of planning permission. These are all things that come easily if you are the Chinese government.  The plan seems to be to bring water from the Bohai (east China sea) to the far western province Xinjiang. The project is known as 南水北调工程 or the South-North Water Transfer Project. It seems rather poorly named to me. One only needs a rudimentary glance at the map of the proposed project to see that East-West water transfer might have been a better name.

The idea of the project is to pipe a lot of sea water 5,000 km to the desert in the Xinjiang, create some artificial lakes and then pray for rain. For a bit of distance comparison. That is like London to Istanbul. Or Los Angeles to Ney York and then to Tennessee. Basically, a hell of a long way. Some scientists don’t think it will work, but that hasn’t stopped the CCP before.



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