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Sunday, June 7, 2009

China: Will ensure stimulus protects environment

By Henry Sanderson, Associated Press
BEIJING — China said Friday it will strictly monitor the government's economic stimulus package for projects that cause pollution, addressing worries that officials would ignore the environment in an effort to maintain China's high economic growth rates.
The stimulus will not damage the environment, Ministry of Environmental Protection Vice Minister Zhang Lijun told a news conference.
China's 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus package was unveiled last November to boost domestic demand during the global financial crisis.
Zhang said only projects concerning infrastructure and improving public welfare will get approval for fast-track environmental assessments — meaning everything else will be subject to a more rigorous assessment.
The environmental ministry has approved 365 projects related to the stimulus since last year and rejected or postponed 29 high-energy ones, such as petrochemical plants, steel factories and coal-powered power plants, he said.
A total of 210 billion yuan ($30.7 billion) of the stimulus money is earmarked for environmental protection projects and improving energy efficiency.

Source:http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/environment/2009-06-05-china-environment_N.htm

It is nice to see Chinese Government officials taking this position regarding their country, considering in the year 2007 the New York Times newspaper had this news article concerning the country:
"No country in history has emerged as a major industrial power without creating a legacy of environmental damage that can take decades and big dollops of public wealth to undo."

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
China’s cement factories, like this one in Ningxia Province, use 45 percent more power than the world average, and its steel makers use about 20 percent more.
But just as the speed and scale of China’s rise as an economic power have no clear parallel in history, so its pollution problem has shattered all precedents. Environmental degradation is now so severe, with such stark domestic and international repercussions, that pollution poses not only a major long-term burden on the Chinese public but also an acute political challenge to the ruling Communist Party. And it is not clear that China can rein in its own economic juggernaut.
Public health is reeling. Pollution has made cancer China’s leading cause of death, the Ministry of Health says. Ambient air pollution alone is blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Nearly 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water." Only 1 percent of the country’s 560 million city dwellers breathe air considered safe by the European Union.

source: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/26/world/asia/26china.html

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed



Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia



A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed



Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein



The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi



The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller



Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns



Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama



Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -



Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.