Monday, May 5, 2008

Fatal In High Concentrations

This morning, in the World section of the Times, is a story about 200 people who protested the building on a petrochemical plant in Pengzhou. "The protest lasted two hours and was peaceful."

"The protesters oppose plans to build an 800,000-ton-a-year ethylene plant and oil refinery because they believe it will seriously pollute Chengdu's air and water, it said. The refinery would process 10 million tons of crude a year, the newspaper said ... Ethylene is a common industrial chemical that can be fatal in high concentrations."

I'm glad it was a peaceful protest. Of course the only source of the article was the government news paper. Still -- a relief.

I have a new fact for my wish list: number of new plants/refineries/explorations being built today around the world.

I spend a lot of time thinking about spills -- about all that is happening because of the state that we are in. But maybe it is even more alarming and telling to focus on how we continue to build our future.

The Times ran a whole series about China -- Choking on Growth, I think it was called. It talked a lot about the pollution and effects of the mass industrialization taking place there.

Another line from todays article struck me.

"Environmental protests have grown in China, especially among members of the growing middle class concerned about the effect of pollution on their quality of life."

This idea that concern for the environment and health -- the idea that it is a luxury...
of course we know that to be true. People in Nigeria, in Ecuador, are drinking water with oil in it because it is the only water they have.

Still, if the lower class is unconcerned because they want to loose what they have , and the upper class is unconcerned because they don't want to loose what they have and the middle class is shrinking in most of the world...

No comments: