Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Chinese Earth Day
Today is Earth Day, and yet there were no celebrations or campaigns to get the Chinese more environmentally aware.
Maybe it's because the Chinese government is so focussed on the Olympic Torch Relay and the mess surrounding it.
Anyway -- this is my picture of Chinese Earth Day. As I waited for the bus tonight, I saw two people purposely drop garbage by this tree trunk. They not only litter, but also spit at the trees. Why do people do this?
The government has pushed reforestation projects, proud to add that in the past 27 years, 51.54 billion trees were planted by ordinary Chinese.
So why do many people think it's OK to drop garbage around a tree, when it's providing some oxygen in this polluted city?
And speaking of the torch relay, Wired's blog notes the exercise of trotting the Olympic flame around the world will have emitted about 11 million pounds of carbon emissions into the atmosphere through a series of complex calculations.
Slate then puts this all into perspective. According to the United Nations, the average American has an annual carbon footprint of between 42,000 and 44,000 pounds of CO2 emissions. So that means the entire 2008 torch relay is equal to the emissions output of 153 Americans a year.
And the Beijing Olympic organizers promised this year's Games would be the "green" Olympics.