Clothesline in Winter

Clothesline in Winter

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Must Read: China Eyewitnesses Report to the Clothesline

Some of you have already seen this report we received two days ago from a couple in China.  I don’t know their names, but “P&C” live in Fuzhou and Jiangmen.  Jiangmen is near two cities where we’ll be traveling, so just maybe, we’ll find a way to connect again.
But here’s why I’m so excited.  When we prepare posts like the “Perfect EPA” story, we do our best to get the information right, and try offer measured analysis of the topic at hand.  In this case, it was a story of almost unspeakable harm to people and the earth from failure to regulate industrial waste.  But the statistics were so outlandish; I was a bit concerned, despite authoritative sources.  Had I been naïve?  Was the data somehow exaggerated?
And then P&C showed up on the Clothesline, and offered this amazing comment:
My husband and I have been living in China for the past 8 years and have seen this trend [China’s environmental collapse] accelerating at an alarming rate. The consequences and direct impact to the Chinese people are staggering.
Last I heard, there are over 700 pedestrians killed every day as the Chinese "upgrade" from bicycles to autos and scooters. That was about two years ago.
Just one of many unfortunate examples we've encountered regarding the devastating environmental issues was a shocking report from our colleagues up North about a village of 200 people who died almost instantly when a toxic chemical plant emptied its waste into their river. Just heart-wrenching, especially when the situation seems so vast and, thereby, seemingly hopeless.
We appreciate your blog and sincerely hope the word gets out as to what the negative consequences can be to countries who subscribe to the mantra "First development, then environment."
Many thanks. P&C, Fuzhou (Fujian) and Jiangmen (Guangdong), China
Thank you, P&C, for your on-the-ground reporting.  We are indebted to you for speaking up with what you see happening.  And in case it’s even possible, I’d love to meet you when I’m nearby.  You could contact me at  Or if I can get a free day, I’d try to make it to you. Of course, if prudence dictates greater discretion, I fully understand.
And one impression I’d like to correct: China isn’t important because it’s a warning flag to the U.S. about what to avoid.  China is important because God made it and it belongs to Him; because He’s got more than 1.3 billion precious souls living there; because He loves and demands justice for everything that He has made.
I’m afraid that my prior focus – while important for Americans – neglects the obvious: the entire creation and all people are precious, as we all know upon reflection.
Thanks for reading, and may God bless you.
J. Elwood

1 comment:

  1. When speaking in China on issues like Climate Change, I have found Chinese students to be incredibly discouraged because they see this future coming along with the environmental destruction from pollution, etc. but are powerless to change that future. The level of the environmental problems in China are staggering.