Another of the NY Times’s excellent series on China titled “Choking on Growth,” this article might make you think long and hard about that seafood you love ordering at the local restaurant in China. Unfortunately, it’s also being shipped all over the world and its full of carcinogens and other poisons, byproducts of China’s GDP, which keeps on growing at the expense of the environment. Whenever I eat shrimp or fish here I have to block out of my mind where it came from – filthy water full of chemicals, pesticides and other goodies that keep the economy on a tear. The short-sightedness here is simply mind boggling: there’s only so much poison you can keep pouring into the water before life is virtually unsustainable. Just one more train-wreck to worry about as China continues its campaign against nature.
My one hope is an emerging awareness of the benefits of “green” among Chinese young people – I think they are beginning to get it. I sure hope so, because they don’t have a lot of time, and I fear that a lot of the damage done is irreversible.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.