Redline: China Reports Loss of 3.3 Million Hectares Of Farmland To Industrial Contamination and Pollution

280px-SoilcontamFlag_of_the_People's_Republic_of_ChinaChina has released a shocking admission that at least 3.3 million hectares of farmland is now so polluted that it is effectively dead for purposes of growing crops. To put that into perspective, it is an area the size of Belgium. It is the latest statistical insight into the costs of the continued industrial output that reaches roughly 10 percent a year. That is two percent of China’s arable land and there is a concern about whether the per capita land allocation for food production has fallen below the communist regime’s own “red line” calculation. The country now has 135 million hectares of arable land, which translates to about 1.52 mu, or about a quarter of an acre, per capita. The world average is half of an acre, or 3.38 mu per capita.

The surprising disclosure of the previously classified information cam win comments at a press conference in Beijing, Vice Minister of Land and Resources Wang Shiyuan. The figure is a result of a five-year, $1 billion soil pollution survey started in 2006. Heavy metals are responsible for a large amount of the contamination.

Other figures are equally staggering. In the most populous province, Guangdong, a study found excessive levels of toxic cadmium in more than 40 percent of rice on the market. In addition, about 28,000 rivers have vanished since 1990 with a comparable loss of drinking water to industrial pollution and over-use.

China clearly see the emerging crisis but it continues to crackdown on environmentalists and activists protesting pollution and corruption tied to local officials.

Notably, the U.S. has also seen a loss of millions of acres of farmland in recent years.

56 thoughts on “Redline: China Reports Loss of 3.3 Million Hectares Of Farmland To Industrial Contamination and Pollution

  1. Isn’t it fascinating how the governments like China that advocate complete government control of corporations end up with the worst environmental policies? Examples like this should give us serious pause to consider the power of a governmental system like ours that has traditionally focused upon individual freedoms and limited government control. Individuals seeing an environmental problem are much more responsive than a government bureaucracy controlling the means of production. We should reject communism and socialism and embrace more Republican type policies.

  2. Nick wrote: “A Republican created the EPA. Oh, and a Republican signed the ADA.”

    Nick, you amaze me with some of the facts you come up with. Are you sure you are a Democrat? You certainly are an honest Democrat, I grant you that.

  3. davidm2575 1, January 3, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Isn’t it fascinating how the governments like China that advocate complete government control of corporations end up with the worst environmental policies? Examples like this should give us serious pause to consider the power of a governmental system like ours that has traditionally focused upon individual freedoms and limited government control. Individuals seeing an environmental problem are much more responsive than a government bureaucracy controlling the means of production. We should reject communism and socialism and embrace more Republican type policies.
    =================================
    An absurd analysis, to be kind about it.

    Bad regulations generate bad results, good regulations generate good results.

    How is your arithmetic?

  4. nick spinelli 1, January 3, 2014 at 9:46 am

    A Republican created the EPA …
    ============================
    Correct.

    That was before that party died, and came back as zombies (“Thank you Cheezus.”).

    Nixon signed a presidential order creating the EPA in 1970.

    After that, another republican, Bush I, started the war on global warming:

    On October 13, 1992, the United States became the world’s first industrialized nation to ratify a treaty on climate change. The treaty committed its parties to the important, if awkwardly worded goal of preventing “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” In acknowledgment of the fact that America and its allies were largely responsible for the problem, the pact set a different standard for them; Europe, Japan, Australia, and the United States were supposed to “take the lead in combating climate change and the adverse effects thereof.” Signing the instrument of ratification for the treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, President George H. W. Bush noted the special responsibilities that the developed nations were taking on; they “must go further” than the others, he said, and offer detailed “programs and measures they will undertake to limit greenhouse emissions.”

    (New Yorker). Like I say, then the party died and the right-wingnut ideology of davidm2575 types was sent back from the year 2575 but they missed their target year (Math is science, so they reject it).

    They have been confusing folks ever since.

  5. Dredd wrote: “Bad regulations generate bad results, good regulations generate good results.”

    You really need to think further back to WHY regulations are bad or good. If the government is in charge of the means of production, how good a job do you think they will do in creating laws to police themselves in regards to environmentally destructive shortcuts?

    In contrast, a system like we have where you have corporations focused on the means of production, and citizens outside that corporation possibly perceiving environmental problems, and then a government assigned the task of hearing both parties and developing laws to curb harmful activity… well, this is the kind of system that will do a better job of balancing both economic growth and environmental protections.

  6. davidm2575 1, January 3, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Dredd wrote: “Bad regulations generate bad results, good regulations generate good results.”

    You really need to think further back to WHY regulations are bad or good …
    ===========================
    Like I said, absurd at best.

    You expect to change the meaning of good and bad with a simple non-sequitur?

    “Keep things as simple as possible, but no simpler.” – A. Einstein

    He was no simpleton as you still struggle to be.

    Bad environmental regulations are bad for the environment and good environmental regulations are good for the environment.

    “Shake the zombie within.” – TGWSYHF2575 (The guy who sent you here from 2575)

  7. Your talking right and left, by todays standards J.F.K. and H.S.T. were farther to the right than most conservatives today. So who’s going off the deep end.

  8. Dredd, There are many misconceptions about red/blue states. Having lived in both, I am often dismayed by those misconceptions. Here’s one that will surprise most of the blue state loyalists.

    In August of 2012 The Chronicle of Philanthropy studied all 50 states and ranked them according to charitable generosity. The entire list is available on their website. But, here are the top and bottom 7:

    1 Utah

    2 Ms.

    3 Alabama

    4 Tn.

    5 SC

    6 Idaho

    7 Arkansas

    44 Wi

    45 Ct.

    46 RI

    47 Ma.

    48 NJ

    49 Maine

    50 NH

  9. david,
    it isn’t government control of the corporations that is the problem in china. It is the complete lack of control or regulations over those corporations that allow them to completely destroy the environment. Corporations in China are making billions paying low wages and ruining the environment.

  10. Dredd wrote: “China has no EPA.”

    Are you being sarcastic?

    Originally founded as the National Environmental Protection Agency, China’s EPA is now called the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP). They are responsible for regulations regarding water quality, ambient air quality, solid waste, soil, noise, and radioactivity.

  11. davidm2575 certainly has a strange argument. Let’s see. Before EPA there were unregulated dioxins, PCBs, and the ever famous Cuyahoga River fire to name but a few. Hooker Chemical and its bizarrely named Love Canal are also products of pre EPA. The list would be along one and to say business is the responsible party is ludicrous! Do you think business paid for the cleanup of these chemicals and Superfund sites? No. The taxpayer paid for their cleanup, IBM has been fighting the cleanup of PCBs fro the Hudson River for decades. Amazing to think that corporations are responsible for clean air and water. Nothing could be further from the truth, or reality. I hate ot be rude, but saying that businesses would be t the forefront of environmental improvements without government intervention is disingenuous at best..

    The Clean Air Act the Clean Water Act and other EPA initiatives have greatly improved air and water while corporations have fought those regulations as harming profits. Forget people. Profits rule,

    This is from the EPA: After the Clean Air Act’s first 20 years, in 1990, it prevented more than 200,000 premature deaths, and almost 700,000 cases of chronic bronchitis were avoided. Over the last 20 years, total emissions of the six principal air pollutants have decreased by more than 41 percent, while the Gross Domestic Product has increased by more than 64 percent. http://www.epa.gov/air/caa/40th.html

    If business was in control, those deaths would simply be the collateral damage of free-market profits, I could go on, but you should get the point. I don’t know what you are smoking David, but please put the pipe down and come back to reality…..

  12. If the agency doesn’t have teeth it can’t or won’t bite the Capitalist in pursuit of the other green stuff, polluting and cheating as they go along. Communist Capitalists are no different than some unscrupulous Capitalists here in this country, they do not care who they hurt, they do not have a conscience. If these corporations pollute or in other ways ruin this country, they can move away. Of course the Communist Capitalists will stay in China and live in posh homes with excellent air filtration systems while the general population breath the air outside wearing those cute masks and eat cadmium laced rice. I hope that rice doesn’t make it to Walmart.

  13. Okay, one more thought. Why is it that rightists are so concerned with their grandchildren’s generation’s national debt, while they don’t appear to care about the possibility of their grandchildren living in a very polluted, toxic world?

  14. rafflaw wrote: “it isn’t government control of the corporations that is the problem in china. It is the complete lack of control or regulations over those corporations that allow them to completely destroy the environment.”

    Think of it this way. When the government controls corporations, then government heads the corporations. The interests of the corporations become the interests of the state. There are no checks and balances like we have here by keeping the government and the corporations more separate.

    I have read from Chinese officials that some of their environmental laws are actually more strict than the United States. The problem is that most of that is just for show and the culture regularly allows paying fees to circumvent the law. Clearly the government has more interest in production than in the environmental laws it creates. It is like asking the CEO of a company to produce environmental laws and then police himself. How good is that going to work?

    There was a situation a few years back where six environmental protection officers were removed from their post (they really don’t fire people over there like we do here… people are assigned jobs… everybody basically works for government in a sense because it is communism…). They were removed because they performed 3 inspections within 20 days. The government said they were damaging efforts to attract investment. So the regulations are there, the people are there to enforce them, but there is no will power to be serious about it because the CEO’s of the companies are replaced by government control.

    Another problem is that the courts refuse to even hear about half the environmental law suits that are brought. The courts say this is done for “social stability.”

    So even if you have regulations, the problem is that the government is in control of the means of production, so their interests now are more like the CEO of the company. Our system works better because the CEO can focus on what he is trying to do, and the government can be like the policeman who says, “you can do all this, but don’t do this because it hurts the environment and the people.” If the sole interest of government is to be a policeman of corporations rather than a partner with them, it just works better.

  15. JD-Bankster…

    Wasn’t the love canal beautiful when it glowed….. At night… It’s radiant beauty….. Bestowed by battery leakage…… Full charge…… And when the glow was lit up.. It was even more enlightening……. Canada was instrumental in forcing the US…. And the State of NY to clean this area as they shared a common water filtration…..just a little east of the falls….

    You wonder why it’s safe to eat most fish in the northern part of Lake Superior….. Because they hammered the polluters….. And put pressure on the US not to discharge pollutants in the lake….

  16. da bankster wrote: “If business was in control, those deaths would simply be the collateral damage of free-market profits, I could go on, but you should get the point. I don’t know what you are smoking David, but please put the pipe down and come back to reality…..”

    Excuse me, Mr. Bankster, sir, but I never argued that government should not police corporations on environmental issues. I never argued against environmental regulations. I am a proud environmentalist and a member of several environmental groups. I contribute money to environmental causes. I even taught a class on Environmental Science at the University of South Florida. I believe in environmental laws and regulations. I have even done consulting work in regards to Environmental Impact Assessments to assess the impact of corporation activity on the environment.

    In regards to the EPA, surely you must realize that many environmentalists have problems with our EPA. You might consider this letter from an environmentalist who worked for the EPA for 20 years:

    http://www.greens.org/s-r/078/07-48.html

  17. davidm2575 1, January 3, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Dredd wrote: “China has no EPA.”

    Are you being sarcastic?

    Originally founded as the National Environmental Protection Agency, China’s EPA is now called the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP). They are responsible for regulations regarding water quality, ambient air quality, solid waste, soil, noise, and radioactivity.
    ==========================
    I think that our EPA and their whaterve it is are both fronts for Oil-Qaeda, not doing what they are charged with doing.

    They are weak, thus, we are poisoned.

    I fault a certain democrat for some of that failure because of weak regulation that is pro-pollution.

  18. David,

    Have you ever….. Ever down hill skied….. I think you’d be good at it…..

    I do have some friends that do what’s called extreme skiing….. They get dropped off via helicopter…. Then they are on there own….. You’re good a zig zagging…. But I wouldn’t try the extreme sport yet…..

  19. davidm2575 1, January 3, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Dredd wrote: “China has no EPA.”

    Are you being sarcastic?

    … China’s EPA is now called the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP). They are responsible for regulations regarding water quality, ambient air quality, solid waste, soil, noise, and radioactivity.
    ——————————————-
    nick spinelli 1, January 3, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    David, Orwell could not have come up w/ a better name than those Chinese.
    =====================
    It takes “good” regulations to get a river glowing in the dark as AY alluded to.

    They are little more than fronts now, like commercial camouflage cloth wannabe warriors wear, to make folks think they are what they say they are.

  20. AY wrote: “You’re good a zig zagging…”

    What I hear you saying is that I don’t fit your stereotype of what I am suppose to be. I get that from people on the right as well as the left.

    Sometimes I have to reveal the other side of the coin about what I think. Sorry if you find that frustrating. The varied aspects do fit together in a nice unified whole.

  21. Dredd wrote: “They are little more than fronts now, like commercial camouflage cloth wannabe warriors wear, to make folks think they are what they say they are.”

    Yup. Totally agree.

  22. Speaking of Commies, the official Commie newspaper in China revealed that the fat midget leader of the Cult of North Korea executed his uncle by the harshest penalty. He fed his uncle to a caged pack of 120 starved dogs. He watched for over an hour until his uncle was dead. And he’s got nukes!!

  23. David, I get that “He’s all over the place” from many ideologues. “Little boxes on a hilltop little boxes made of ticky tack, little boxes on a hilltop and they all look the same,” You may have noticed Mr. Turley gets some indignation from folks here when he doesn’t fit into an assigned box.

  24. Anonymously Yours 1, January 3, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Dredd,

    You wanna take a look at this….[Vancouver Observer] they don’t really like the issues with the tar sands project….. Multiple story’s in depth coverage….
    =================
    Good site.

    Government regulations of the type davidm2575 / Koch brothers are in favor of are the cruel, murderous lies that have gotten us to this point.

    I have several times before, and will now again put up the link to the history taught in Universities, which is ostensibly an autopsy of the Republican Party that once cared (The Exceptional American Denial). It has an index into the video so one can zero in on a particular time-frame or issue.

  25. davidm2575
    1, January 3, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Thank you for the letter link and your environmental concerns. I am not surprised about the author’s conclusions. It’s the same with bankster oversight by the SEC, CFTC, FINRA, Treasury, etc. where the revolving door and the Executive branch waterdown and often kill any real oversight and ignore punishments beyond those paid by innocent shareholders.

    Government agencies are increasingly becoming shills for the corporate and not the people. That’s a fact.

    I have been involved with lead and metals contamination at gun clubs. It’s huge problem and it affects thousands of gun clubs across the US. Most gun clubs will eventually close and then the taxpayer will pick up the cost of remediation, which will be in the millions of dollars at most locations. When I first contacted the EPA in 2001 (GWB had just taken office) about a certain gun club and it’s location on a creek, the EPA rep was very interested and actually told me that it was likely that it would have to close. EPA did a cursory investigation and the club did some good PR by instituting a non-regulatory best practices policy that does not need to be followed – it’s all PR. I asked why the sudden change from closing the club to handing them a useless guidebook and the EPA rep basically said that new management (GOP controlled) had different ideas. The gun club is still contaminating the soil, groundwater and creek with lead and metals, but it can continue to do so. You’ll laugh at this logic. Lead bullets are not considered hazardous waste if used for intended purposes. I asked the question “What if you used a slingshot to shoot bullets?” I was told that the waste would then be considered hazardous. It’s a scam, but it’s environmental law. http://noflac.org/
    http://www.vpc.org/studies/leadone.htm

    And workers at these unregulated clubs are at risk too: http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020353191_gunrangeleadxml.html

    My argument is that without some sort of oversight – be it weak or strong – business would not have ANY incentive to do what’s right for the environment. At least the threat of punishment has some affect.

  26. davidm2575
    1, January 3, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Thank you for the letter link. I am not surprised about the author’s conclusions. It’s the same with bankster oversight by the SEC, CFTC, FINRA, Treasury, etc. where the revolving door and the Executive branch water down and often kill any real oversight and ignore punishments beyond those paid by innocent shareholders.

    Government agencies are increasingly becoming shills for the corporate and not the people. That’s a fact.

    I have been involved with lead and metals contamination at gun clubs. It’s huge problem and it affects thousands of gun clubs across the US. Most gun clubs will eventually close and then the taxpayer will pick up the cost of remediation, which will be in the millions of dollars at most locations. When I first contacted the EPA in 2001 (GWB had just taken office) about a certain gun club and it’s location on a creek, the EPA rep was very interested and actually told me that it was likely that it would have to close. EPA did a cursory investigation and the club did some good PR by instituting a non-regulatory best practices policy that does not need to be followed – it’s all PR. I asked why the sudden change from closing the club to handing them a useless guidebook and the EPA rep basically said that new management (GOP controlled) had different ideas. The gun club is still contaminating the soil, groundwater and creek with lead and metals, but it can continue to do so. You’ll laugh at this logic. Lead bullets are not considered hazardous waste if used for intended purposes. I asked the question “What if you used a slingshot to shoot bullets?” I was told that the waste would then be considered hazardous. It’s a scam, but it’s environmental law.

    http://noflac.org/
    http://www.vpc.org/studies/leadone.htm

    And workers at these unregulated clubs are at risk too: http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020353191_gunrangeleadxml.html

    My argument is that without some sort of oversight – be it weak or strong – business would not have ANY incentive to do what’s right for the environment. At least the threat of punishment has some affect.

  27. davidm said: “I have read from Chinese officials that some of their environmental laws are actually more strict than the United States.”

    Which laws would those be? Their Clean Air Act? Soil Protection Act?

  28. David,

    If it were truly the other side of the coin I think if be able to follow you…. You must be really good at bill drafting…. Most if the time no one has a clue what it is you stand for…

    Yeah…. Dredd you can donate as well…. It’s a great site that I’ve been reading…. The observer is a great publication…

  29. davidm2575
    1, January 3, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Thank you for the letter link. I am not surprised about the author’s conclusions. It’s the same with bankster oversight by the SEC, CFTC, FINRA, Treasury, etc. where the revolving door and the Executive branch water down and often kill any real oversight and ignore punishments beyond those paid by innocent shareholders.

    Government agencies are increasingly becoming shills for the corporate and not the people. That’s a fact.

    I have been involved with lead and metals contamination at gun clubs. It’s huge problem and it affects thousands of gun clubs across the US. Most gun clubs will eventually close and then the taxpayer will pick up the cost of remediation, which will be in the millions of dollars at most locations. When I first contacted the EPA in 2001 (GWB had just taken office) about a certain gun club and it’s location on a creek, the EPA rep was very interested and actually told me that it was likely that it would have to close. EPA did a cursory investigation and the club did some good PR by instituting a non-regulatory best practices policy that does not need to be followed – it’s all PR. I asked why the sudden change from closing the club to handing them a useless guidebook and the EPA rep basically said that new management (GOP controlled) had different ideas. The gun club is still contaminating the soil, groundwater and creek with lead and metals, but it can continue to do so. You’ll laugh at this logic. Lead bullets are not considered hazardous waste if used for intended purposes. I asked the question “What if you used a slingshot to shoot bullets?” I was told that the waste would then be considered hazardous. It’s a scam, but it’s environmental law.

    http://noflac.org/

    And workers at these unregulated clubs are at risk too:
    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020353191_gunrangeleadxml.html

    My argument is that without some sort of oversight – be it weak or strong – business would not have ANY incentive to do what’s right for the environment. At least the threat of punishment has some affect.

  30. nick spinelli 1, January 3, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Speaking of Commies, the official Commie newspaper in China revealed that the fat midget leader of the Cult of North Korea executed his uncle by the harshest penalty. He fed his uncle to a caged pack of 120 starved dogs. He watched for over an hour until his uncle was dead. And he’s got nukes!!
    ==========================
    That is actually a metaphor, epitome, or analogy for our and the Chinese “environmental protection” ideology.

    Destroy in order to preserve.

    Where is that gene coming from (“we had to destroy the village in order to save it”)?

    The devious mind is often far more observant than the decent mind.

    For example, take Joe Stalin’s deprived mind working up a comment in response to a question concerning the public mindset about mass murder: “One death is a trajedy, a million deaths is a statistic.”

    That is our policy concerning global warming induced climate change (i.e. the damaged Global Climate System), which is an extension of our policy on the Global Environment.

    That billions will die is a statistic.

    That the river has some poo in it is a catastrophe.

    So much for military propaganda molded minds.

  31. Nick, put on your skeptic hat regarding North Korea. Just like you didn’t do when recounting the story about wealthy people scamming ACA subsidies.

    Utah number one? It’s quite a racket. All that money going to the church in order to build more churches, more missionaries to ahardship post in Paris (during a war), more converts, more money to the church, to build more churches, more missionaries…. And all tax deductible.

    Nick, there are thousands of lists that you can quote to prove any point you want to make up. Rank on the poorest states, rank the most uninsured? rank the least regulated with the most deaths due to chemical plants blowing up. What congressman has said the most stupid remark (so far) in 2014? List first ladies that consulted astrologers? What Republican gov said they shouldn’t be the party of stupid and then went on to make numerous stupid assertions. What state has the greatest numbers of citizens that don’t believe in evolution? What Speaker of the House zealously pursued Clinton over a blow job while he was getting his own from his now third wife while married to his second? What reality star advocates marriage to 15 year olds? How many of the above are Republicans? How many are Democrats?

  32. This is a horrible situation for the world, not just China. This catastrophe represents unbridled do-or-die industrial growth without regard for spillover costs. The problem here is magnified because of what is used. During the industrial revolution, there were not as many chemicals and strange pollutants that could contaminate the environment. Now modern industry generates these dangerous chemicals and there is the same reckless abandon to achieve growth and production with the maximum potential damage.

    It least with the “Dot Com” bubble that formed in the late nineties it was mostly excessive speculation and not much regard for traditional business models, the industry had little to pollute. Now we have the worst of both worlds here in China.

    . One has to wonder how wide spread those other acres that are not over the line, but close to it

    One more reason not to buy food food from China. But poeople will continue to buy from them in the never ending quest for Cheap Widgets.

  33. Elaine M. 1, January 3, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    davidm said: “I have read from Chinese officials that some of their environmental laws are actually more strict than the United States.”

    =======================
    The equivalent of “reportedly” which is the equivalent of “catapult the propaganda” (Mocking America – 2).

    It reminds me of the speech President Clinton gave after being “briefed” (now a porno term) by his “aides” (Weekend Rebel Science Excursion – 26).

  34. nick spinelli 1, January 3, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Dredd, There are many misconceptions about red/blue states.

    ====================
    I know.

    I have driven through each and every one of them, and flown over some of them too.

    None of them are blue or red.

  35. Utah is of course number one in charitable giving because it counts in the 10% tithed to the LDS Church. One always has to watch for the details.

  36. pdm, I am not ignoring you, I responded about an hour or so ago. Hoping for some help from a professional.

  37. One should not be perturbed over these harms of industrial pollution. If we see their chain effects our whole world has almost become hell because of all types of industrial pollution. Most hazardous are industrial emissions that not only cause climate change but directly affect the poeple living nearby industrial areas. On the other hand if industrial effluent falls directly into sea or river without any treatment it entirely sabotage the sea and river enviornment and put long lasting negative effect on marine life.

Comments are closed.