For the residents of Zhejiang, the sight was unnerving to say the least. The river that they regularly fish in had turned blood red overnight. It is the latest example of China’s horrific pollution problems. On this occasion, however, the results were more than evident to the eyes and noses of the residents.
The river was was fine at 5 am and then residents smelled a strange odor and saw that the river was now a deep red. It is clear that someone dumped industrial waste in the river in hopes that the expected monsoon rains would wash them down river. The rains however were delayed. There is a paper manufacturer, a food coloring company and clothing-maker upstream that might be a logical place to start.
China continues to struggle with not just legal and political issues in dealing with pollution but also a cultural and social problem. While there are brave environmentalists who have been beaten and jailed for raising pollution issues, many Chinese are clearly not responsive to such arguments ranging from pollution abatement to food safety.