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Health & Environment

This category contains 97 posts

China have fished their waters dry, so now raiding other nations’ seas


The growth of China’s middle class over the past 15 years or so has driven up demand for all sorts of luxury goods in the country. For example, there’s been a growing interest in high-quality seafood—which comes at a most inopportune time. Efforts to boost China’s marine economy in recent decades, including offshore drilling and … Continue reading

Devastating coral loss in South China Sea


Scientists are warning of another “devastating” loss of coral due to a spike in sea temperatures. They say 40% of coral has died at the Dongsha Atoll in the South China Sea. Nothing as severe has happened on Dongsha for at least 40 years, according to experts. Anne Cohen of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in … Continue reading

China could take leadership role in Paris climate change deal if Trump pulls U.S. out


A U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate change agreement is unlikely to scuttle the international deal, but it could instead see China take on a leadership role, experts say. “I think a lot of it will fall upon the shoulders of China,” said Henrik Selin, director of curricular innovation and initiatives at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global … Continue reading

Earthquake in Taiwan


Saturday morning I awoke at 4:00 am to my apartment shaking. I had a feeling nothing would fall. So, I went back to sleep. I was right, about my own apartment, that was. In fact, I was right about most people who also had woken up. Honestly, and I’m somewhat ashamed to confess, though it … Continue reading

Lifeline for elephants: Ivory price halves in China after President pledges ban


The price of raw, illegal ivory has almost halved in China in the past 18 months because of growing public awareness, a promise from President Xi Jinping to ban the trade, a far-reaching anti-corruption drive and a slowing economy, according a new study by Save the Elephants. Falling demand in the world’s largest ivory market … Continue reading

China risks social conflict if war on pollution lags, researchers warn


Any failure to tackle China’s huge pollution problems in the coming years could stoke public discontent and create “social conflicts,” government researchers warned, underlining political concerns driving Beijing’s war on smog. With pollution identified as a major source of unrest, China’s ruling Communist Party has promised to tackle a host of environmental problems brought about … Continue reading

China’s heating up twice as fast as the rest of the world


The average surface temperature in China has increased by 0.23°C (0.4°F) each decade of the last 65 years, said a Chinese government official—twice the average pace of warming everywhere else on the planet. This isn’t the first time the Chinese government has quantified the effects of global warming on its environment. However, today’s remarks are a … Continue reading

China’s ivory craze kills 100,000 elephants


China‘s skyrocketing appetite for ivory is leading to the unsustainable slaughter of African elephants. As prices for precious ivory goods have surged in China, the number of poached elephants has also escalated. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, founder of Save the Elephants, said 100,000 African elephants have been killed for their ivory in just the past three years. … Continue reading

China is most at risk for Ebola outbreak because of Chinese workers in Africa


While international fears continue to rise as Ebola crosses international borders and continents, China still has not reported a confirmed case of the deadly virus. But Professor Peter Piot, the director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and one of the doctors who discovered Ebola hemorrhagic fever, said that it’s only a … Continue reading

Has China found the cure for Ebola?


A Chinese pharmaceutical company working with Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS), a PLA-affiliated research institution, claims to have developed an experimental cure for the Ebola virus. An outbreak of the deadly virus in west Africa has become a global health crisis. According to the World Health Organization, as of October 12 there had been … Continue reading

China refuses carbon emissions reductions, unless western countries pay for it


While President Obama challenged China at the United Nations to follow the U.S. lead in pushing for drastic reductions in national carbon emissions to save the planet from “climate change,” it appears that China has dramatically different ideas. As in: no. According to a document deposited at the Geneva-based U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) … Continue reading

Overgrown Beijing slaps new limits on industry in bid to cut smog


China‘s overgrown and smog-hit capital Beijing has passed new rules banning the expansion of polluting and resource-intensive industries, the local government said on Friday. In a list of restrictions published on its website (www.beijing.gov.cn), the municipal government said it would ban the further expansion of a wide range of industries, including food processing, textiles, construction … Continue reading

Chinese river mysteriously turns blood red overnight


A waterway in eastern China has mysteriously turned a blood red color. Residents in Zhejiang province said the river looked normal at 5 a.m. Beijing time on Thursday morning. Within an hour, the entire river turned crimson. Residents also said a strange smell wafted through the air. “The really weird thing is that we have … Continue reading

China: Beijing to enforce use of clean coal in anti-pollution drive


China‘s capital city, Beijing, will enforce the use of cleaner low-sulphur coal from August 1st in a bid to tackle the soaring levels of air pollution that frequently clog the country’s major cities, the official Xinhua media agency said on Saturday. Beijing will implement strict controls and targets for airborne sulphur from coal, Xinhua said, … Continue reading

IBM signs up to help fight China’s war on smog


IBM Corp has signed an agreement with the city of Beijing to use advanced weather forecasting and cloud computing technologies to help tackle the Chinese capital’s persistent smog. After a series of pollution scares and scandals, China’s central government has promised to reverse some of the damage done to the nation’s sky, rivers and soil … Continue reading

China: World’s tallest skyscrapers will also be pollution-eating


Though it is already home to the world’s largest building – in the form of the New Century Global Centre in Chengdu – China is seeking to create the world’s tallest structure as well. Designed by UK-based Chetwoods Architects and known as the Phoenix Towers, this tower concept is slated to be built in Wuhan, … Continue reading

China report says $330 billion more to do fair share on climate; Official stance is developed nations must bear responsibility


China must increase spending on emission cuts and clean technologies by 2 trillion yuan ($330 billion) to do its fair share to halt climate change, a report by Beijing’s Central University of Finance and Economics said. It urged the government to raise money from carbon markets to fund investments. The report’s conclusion contrasted with China’s … Continue reading

Opportunity glimmers through China’s toxic smog


As China’s smog levels crept past record highs in early December, the phone lines at pollution-busting kit maker Broad Group lit up with Chinese customers worried about hazardous pollution levels that have gripped China this year. China’s government is struggling to meet pollution reduction targets and has pledged to spend over 3 trillion yuan ($494 … Continue reading

China continues scientific “research” with new bases in Antarctica


China will expand its presence in Antarctica by building a fourth research base and finding a site for a fifth, a state-run newspaper said on Thursday, as the country steps up its increasingly far-flung scientific efforts. Chinese scientists are increasingly looking beyond China for their research, including sending submersibles to explore the bottom of the … Continue reading

China says world’s worst pollution has benefits


Commentaries by two of China’s most influential news outlets suggesting that an ongoing air pollution crisis was not without a silver lining drew a withering reaction on Tuesday from internet users and other media. In online commentaries on Monday, state broadcaster CCTV and the widely read tabloid the Global Times, published by the Communist Party’s … Continue reading

China: Flights delayed as air pollution hits record in Shanghai


Hundreds of flights were delayed or cancelled on Friday in China’s commercial hub of Shanghai as record levels of air pollution shrouded the city in smog, prompting authorities to issue the highest level of health warning. The incident is especially embarrassing at a time when China seeks to build Shanghai into a global business hub … Continue reading

China’s anti-pollution drive risks running out of gas


A chronic shortage of natural gas is hurting China’s plan to move away from burning coal to heat homes and offices, raising the prospect of more choking air pollution this winter and beyond. The problem is worst in northern China, where air pollution mainly caused by decades of reliance on coal has lowered life expectancy … Continue reading

China: Thick smog blocked road, train, air traffic for two days


Thick smog in Harbin urban areas has caused the closing of primary and secondary schools and expressways. The PM2.5 index has exceeded the maximum range of the metre. After the serious smog on October 20, and the early morning on October 21, air pollution was even worse. The visibility in urban areas was less than … Continue reading

China to cut coal use and shut polluters in bid to clear the air


China unveiled comprehensive new measures to tackle air pollution on Thursday, with plans to slash coal consumption and close polluting mills, factories and smelters, but experts said implementing the bold targets would be a major challenge. China has been under heavy pressure to address the causes of air pollution after thick, hazardous smog engulfed much … Continue reading

Is China really ready for the next influenza outbreak?


Reports on China’s recent response to the outbreak of novel influenza have reflected broad international satisfaction. While we share this satisfaction, we are nonetheless concerned that the international public health community overestimates China’s ability to effectively contain and control a future returning, or newly occurring influenza outbreak. The influenza virus – a leading cause of … Continue reading

Thousands of dead fish found in Chinese river after toxic spill


Thousands of dead fish have been found floating in a river in central China following a toxic spill, Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday, the latest in a series of pollution scandals to hit the country’s water supplies. Xinhua said 300 workers had dredged around 100,000 kilograms of dead fish from a 40-km (25-mile) stretch … Continue reading

Millions face arsenic contamination risk in China


Nearly 20 million people in China live in areas at high risk of arsenic contamination in their water supplies, according to a study published on Thursday. The Chinese government has labelled arsenic contamination, which it first diagnosed in China in the 1970s, as one of the country’s “most important endemic diseases,” due to the chronic side effects which include … Continue reading

China: Spending a penny could cost 100 yuan in Shenzhen


People with a poor aim are to be fined if they miss their mark when using public toilets in Shenzhen, officials said – provoking online derision over how the rule will be enforced. The penalty will apply to those who urinate outside the bowl of facilities in Shenzhen, although draft regulations did not specify a … Continue reading

Heat wave in China


For the entire month of July and the first half of August, eastern China baked in a record-breaking heat wave. Nineteen provinces endured   above-normal temperatures. Shanghai broke its all-time record high three times in as many weeks. The current record – 40.8 degrees Celsius (105.4°F) – was set on August 7, 2013. At least 40 people … Continue reading

China to invest $375 billion on energy conservation, pollution


China plans to invest 2.3 trillion yuan ($375 billion) in energy saving and emission-reduction projects in the five years through 2015 to clean up its environment, the China Daily newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing a senior government official. The plan, which has been approved by the State Council, is on top of a 1.85 trillion … Continue reading

China: 70 dead in Gansu earthquake


Two powerful earthquakes have struck China’s north-west Gansu province, killing more than 70 people and leaving at least 400 others injured. The first earthquake near Dingxi city had a magnitude of 5.98 and was shallow, with a depth of just 9.8 km (6 miles), the US Geological Survey said Just over an hour later, a … Continue reading

Australia helps China build emissions trading scheme


Australia has been drafted in to help design an emissions trading scheme for China, the world’s biggest polluter. A deal announced in Canberra on Thursday will see the Australian National University take leadership of a program that will analyse pollution data provided by China and allow Chinese university researchers to examine Australia’s experience of the … Continue reading

China’s pollution reduces life span by 5.5 years


Air pollution causes people in northern China to live an average of 5.5 years shorter than their southern counterparts, according to a study released on Monday which claims to show in unprecedented detail the link between air pollution and life expectancy. High levels of air pollution in northern China – much of it caused by … Continue reading

China cuts CO2 emissions


The Chinese government has approved a set of regulations designed to protect the environment and improve the safety standards of food and water. The Middle Kingdom is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. The National Council recommended, among other things, to accelerate the installation of emission level controllers for small refineries operating … Continue reading

China: Toxic chemicals found in “thousand-year-old eggs”


Thirty companies producing preserved eggs have been closed by authorities in Jiangxi province after a media exposé that toxic chemicals were used to speed up production, the country’s latest food-safety scandal. China National Radio reported yesterday that all eggs being processed at the plants in Nanchang county had been locked away for further testing, and … Continue reading

China gives environmental approval to country’s biggest hydro dam


China‘s environment ministry has given the go-ahead for the construction of what will become the country’s tallest hydroelectric dam despite acknowledging it will have an impact on plants and rare fish. The dam, with a height of 314 meters (1,030 feet), will serve the Shuangjiangkou hydropower project on the Dadu River in southwestern Sichuan province. … Continue reading

China: Chengdu protest silenced


The article below by Fox News is a very insightful, albeit quick look, at the ongoing struggle for transparency and reform in China. The tone of the piece is focused on a key idea – If China’s government would be open and transparent about what’s being done and why in regards to the environment, maybe … Continue reading

28,000 rivers disappeared in China


As recently as 20 years ago, there were an estimated 50,000 rivers in China, each covering a flow area of at least 60 square miles. But now, according to China’s First National Census of Water, more than 28,000 of these rivers are missing. To put this number into context, China’s lost rivers are almost equal, in … Continue reading

Taiwan mulls opening South China Sea park


Related government agencies and experts in Taiwan are currently conducting evaluations on whether to open an offshore island national park in the South China Sea for tourism and environmental education activities, the Marine National Park Headquarters (MNPH) said recently. “Experts are now in talks on whether to allow tourists to visit Dongsha Island in the Dongsha … Continue reading

In China, the license plates can cost more than the car


Shanghai’s busy streets teem with Buicks, Fords, Volkswagens, and Toyotas. More than 9 out of 10 cars in the world’s most populous city are made by foreign companies, and it’s not just a reflection of mainlanders’ preference for Western design. Some local automakers say the city’s license plate auctions are responsible for their weak sales. Shanghai is … Continue reading

Overcrowding on farms behind mystery of China’s floating pigs


Overcrowding on farms around Shanghai was the underlying factor that led to 16,000 dead pigs floating down the Huangpu river into China’s affluent financial centre, according to an analysis of official documents and interviews with farmers in the region. The appearance last month of carcasses of rotting hogs in a river that supplies tap water … Continue reading

China bird flu outbreak: 3 good, 3 bad and 3 very bad signs


Since the new avian flu strain H7N9 began appearing in China earlier this year, it’s infected over 100 people, killed 22, spread to five provinces plus Beijing and Shanghai and, as of Wednesday, is confirmed to have spread abroad to Taiwan. How worried should you be about this? How serious is the H7N9 outbreak? The simplest and … Continue reading

Baby milk ‘traffickers’ supply China


Blamed for empty shop shelves from Europe to Australia, networks of baby formula traffickers are shipping milk powder to Chinese parents fearful of local products, and working ever harder to meet demand. Chinese parents haunted by scandals involving poisoned baby milk will pay premium prices – three or four times as much as domestic brands … Continue reading

Hong Kong lawyer declared brain dead awakes after calls to pull plug


Lawyer Suzanne Chin is convinced that what happened to her four years ago is nothing short of a miracle. The mother of two was living and working in Hong Kong when she suffered a heart attack, was hospitalised in a coma and declared brain dead. The head of the intensive care unit, two neurologists and … Continue reading

China steps up H7N9 bird flu alert


Health authorities ordered medical staff to strengthen monitoring and prepare isolation units for possible new infections with H7N9 avian influenza, amid rumours that doctors had already found more cases in eastern China. The Beijing city health bureau said it had added H7N9 to its watch-list of viral infections and had received reagent samples for testing … Continue reading

China’s smog levels get the cartoon treatment


It’s no secret that air pollution is a major problem in China. In fact, in recent years, the problem has gotten so bad that the Environmental Protection Agency, the environmental watchdog in the US, has had to revise its Air Quality Index system. Originally, the AQI had a top rating of 500, which indicates 500 … Continue reading

Will China ever get its pollution problem under control?


When Beijing was choking on record levels of smog, observers wondered whether China would ever get its pollution problem under control. It’s an insanely difficult question, with huge implications from climate change to the global economy. Here’s one stab at an answer, in the form of a recent analysis from Deutsche Bank economists. The bad news: Most of China’s … Continue reading

1000 dead ducks found in Sichuan river


Much like the 16,000 dead pigs found floating in a different part of the river, the discovery of over 1000 dead ducks in the Nanhe has raised some serious questions. Foremost amongst them is how they died and why they were in the river in the first place. According to the Agence Free Press, the … Continue reading

Chinese investments in Cambodia ignore environment queries


China’s expanding investment portfolio in Cambodia has brought into sharper focus the darker side of the Asian giant’s “development projects” in the impoverished Southeast Asian nation. And it is in the southwestern corner of Cambodia – known for its rich biodiversity, forest-covered hills and bubbling rivers – where this Chinese economic footprint is leaving a … Continue reading

Dust in Eastern China


When the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on March 14, aerosols were thick over Beijing and the Bo Hai Sea. Although dust hung heavy over the plain, some mountain peaks (such as those of the Taihang Shan) rose above the dust and haze. Dust had been blowing through China for several days … Continue reading

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