The Environment This Week – 10/04/2015


China is a hot topic when it comes to environmental news – they were so bad for so long but have started some amazing projects and are really turning their bad reputation around. So a plan to build a huge dam on the Yangtze river has finally been denied by the Chinese Ministry for Environmental Protection. This project, although providing China with hydro-electric power would have destroyed the habitats of many types of endangered fish and also damaged a protected area of the river that thrives on its fast flowing waters. Worryingly the project was only OK’ed in the first place by Bo Xilai who is currently serving life in prison for corruption.


Record Levels of Pollution in South UK – A warning has been issued about severe levels of pollution coming from the Continent and also dust from the Sahara desert. It is for Friday 10/04/2015, and should be clear again by the next day. People have been advised not to exert themselves too much with the high levels of pollution present, especially those who have any respiratory problems.


Greenpeace has accounts frozen by Indian government – Greenpeace have had some of their accounts frozen by India, and they have been blamed for being ‘anti-development’. The thing is as soon as I see a government making a move like this against an activist group it instantly makes me ask the question, just what are they so afraid of? The fact is Greenpeace have been asking all sorts of questions and bringing issues to light such as India’s use of coal to power an ever more power hungry society, and certainly in my mind rather than bringing the focus to Greenpeace and how ‘anti-development’ they are this rather brings light to any actions the Indian government might be taking that would cause Greenpeace to speak out about them in a way that will annoy and scare them enough to make them freeze their accounts.


China’s bid for Winter Olympics Beijing – China has put in a bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. The bid claimed that they would be eco-friendly and sustainable… Unfortunately these claims may be wild exaggerations. There are parts that make sense – replace forest lost to ski slopes etc. by planting trees elsewhere, but other parts state that there is an abundance of water near the slopes and the melting snow will be recycled to make more snow, and this won’t affect the local ecosystem – oh yes, they have to make all the snow at this resort because it doesn’t naturally snow there. And it isn’t abundant with water there either, it has been reported that the mountainous area the snow resort is set to be is actually semi-arid. As always with huge and over-ambitious projects like this, it is the poorest of locals that suffer. The little water that is flowing past the farmers of Juizhanbao they are forbidden to touch because it is either destined for the city or to be made into fake snow. These farmers claim that they would be able to double their crops should they be allowed to tap into it.



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