quarta-feira, 28 de maio de 2008

We should be China!

A small comment about huge pollution in China

Some days ago, I sent a Time´s article about 6% of all babies in China with deformities because of pollution (the world rate is 0,1%, if I am not wrong...). Now this article below describes the problem with a polluted Olympics. Please, read it.

My clients always ask me why Brazil is not like China, growing so fast. Our president also envies China. And high rates of growth in China is considered a blessing to the world economy. I can not avoid being ironic here: we should be China. China is trying to be Europe and US. First step we need to destroy Amazon forest entirely, like they did. That stupid and useless forest encompasses 61% of Brazilian territory, it is too much, but we are being very successful in this area. Great!

Second step, we have to grow forever and pollute everything, like they did. Economists declare that a tree only can be valued when is changed into logging activities and wood. Great. What we are waiting to log the whole Amazon forest? After this, we can try to reforest and get carbon credits and sell in the international market... A small problem would be a similar situation that Europeans, Australians, British, Japanese and North-americans faced: they were not able to recover their forests or what they lost and need from Nature. They started to buy from other places, like Brazil and Africa. Great, but for us, we are not rich for that and there is no other Brazil to continue to buy the Nature we lost. Africa already belongs to China. Forget it. But, why be worried? We first create the problem, later we try to find a solution that will be always profitable, of course.

written by Hugo Penteado

Beijing Pollution Registers `Hazardous' With Olympics Nearing
2008-05-28 02:20 (New York)

By Wing-Gar Cheng
May 28 (Bloomberg) -- As the Olympics countdown clock in Tiananmen Square ticked down to 73 days yesterday, the pollution reading in Beijing climbed to ``hazardous.'' Smog in the capital city -- stoked by dust blowing in from other provinces -- reached a level yesterday that Beijing's
authorities bracketed in the second-worst of eight categories. The International Olympic Committee has threatened to postpone events if athletes are at risk from pollution during the Aug. 8-24 Games. Beijing's environmental agency issued a health warning because of yesterday's haze, raising further doubts about the prospect of clean air at the Olympics. ``People who are vulnerable should avoid outdoor activities, and relevant industries should take note and avoid creating more particle matters,'' Beijing's environmental protection agency said in a statement yesterday. ``The relevant departments must also clean roads in a timely manner to avoid more pollution.''

For all Beijing's plans to limit traffic and stop building, inaction from neighboring provinces is hampering its efforts to curb pollution, officials said. Much of the gunk that smothered the city yesterday came from Inner Mongolia and sandstorms from other regions, the agency said in the statement. ``Beijing has neglected to take a regional approach in controlling pollution,'' Wen Bo of Pacific Environment, a U.S.- based environmental group, said in Beijing today. ``The city will have to implement stronger short-term measures.'' 400 Over Target Beijing's pollution reading at the Olympic zone yesterday reached 500 -- five times the city's benchmark. By its own scale, that represented ``heavily polluted'' air.

The state environmental monitoring center recorded air quality for the city as ``hazardous,'' according to figures released by state news agency Xinhua. While today's reading was forecast at between 130 and 160, visibility in central Beijing remained restricted. World record holder Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia won't race the marathon at the Olympics because he fears for his health. As many as 25 percent of Olympic athletes suffer from asthma, like Gebrselassie, according to team doctors.

Beijing has spent 120 billion yuan ($17 billion) on measures to improve air quality. From July 20, the city will cut almost half the cars from the roads, limit production at factories and halt construction. Vice Mayor Ji Lin said in March: ``You can be assured of clean air in August.''
Editors: Grant Clark, Dan Baynes
To contact the reporter on this story:
Wing-Gar Cheng in Beijing at +86-10-6535-2311 or
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Grant Clark at +65-6212-1101 or gclark@bloomberg.net

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