I recently heard about the acidic sewage pits found in Tianjin and Hebei province, and am writing to express my views about them.
Although industrial development began in the 1800s, it is still in its early stages on the mainland, when compared to other counties. The technology has improved a lot during that time, so you would expect pollution and waste levels to have gradually decreased.
And yet, two big pits filled with toxic waste were found in China. This tells us that companies care more about getting their hands on more resources and making bigger and bigger profits than they do about the environment. As a result, they don’t invest in greener technology and are cutting corners when it comes to waste disposal.This also proves that the environmental laws aren’t working.
I truly hope the central government will take tougher and more effective action to help protect the environment, for example, by tightening regulations and imposing severe penalties on offenders. We can’t afford to sit back and let people destroy nature.
Ho Man-ching, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College
From the Editor
Thank you for your letter, Man-ching. At some point, the government needs to start criminalising pollution on the mainland. In many cases, the pollution amounts to nothing more than greed.
Companies these days don’t want to use expensive equipment to deal with waste. They want to maximise their profits, so they will discharge effluent (liquid waste or sewage) into rivers or lakes, or release filthy smog into the air. This way, they become rich while the people who live in those areas get sick or die. They must be held accountable as surely as if someone were to kill someone else. Thankfully, the government does seem to be stepping up to the task.
Modern nations are very good about keeping their environments clean – to a point. Recently we discovered that a “deadly” lake in Montana, in the US, killed around 3,000 geese. The poison in this lake comes from copper mines. And nothing has been done to clean it up. All local environmental officers can do is try to stop it leaking into nearby water systems.
We have to ask ourselves what price we are prepared to pay for “wealth”. When will the ordinary people be protected from the
greed of the few who want to make more and more money?