Wednesday, May 29, 2013

China's "Cancer Villages" - Pollution's Devastation Coming to Light.

From Investigative Reporter, Deng Fei - A Mapping of China's Worst Hit "Cancer Villages"
 “One hundred and fifty years ago, the monster began, this country had become a place of industry. Factories grew on the landscape like weeds. Trees fell, fields were up-ended, rivers blackened. The sky choked on smoke and ash, and the people did, too, spending their days coughing and itching, their eyes turned forever toward the ground. Villages grew into town, towns into cities. And people began to live on the earth rather than within it.”  ― Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

I try always to be uplifting in my posts, but this story...compels me closer.

It's a story about the impact of pollution on our environment, specifically, discussing the 'cancer villages' of China. And, it's a story about living on the earth, rather than within it.

We are a disposable society. Everything we eat, drink, and even wear...at some point becomes our trash. Our homes, our cars...and even our work spaces - have so sadly become mechanisms for increasing this 'world problem.'

We are leaving our dirty 'footprints' everywhere.  

And, it's time to start doing a little something about it.

There are dozens of ways to make a small change in each day, and these smaller changes...in time...create a much greater impact.

Environmentalists have long campaigned for the Chinese government to recognize their role in these 'cancer clusters' - the results of poisons leaching into the soil, water, and air. But it wasn't until 2009, when investigative journalist Deng Fei helped to bring this issue to the world view.

And he did it by simply creating a Google map of those areas hardest hit.

This single image has garnered world-wide attention, and a call to action for the Chinese Government to respond to its citizens. And today, the Chinese government finally has admitted to this problem. 

The admission came by way of a report by China's Environment ministry, which stated,

"In recent years, toxic and hazardous chemical pollution has caused many environmental disasters, cutting off drinking water supplies, and even leading to severe health and social problems such as 'cancer villages'"
Journalist, Deng Fei had this to say;

"China is suffering from the negative impact of improper economic growth patterns. And the country will continue to pay the price for heavy pollutants in the future."
And though, China may seem such a world away - we are still living and sharing in this one single environment.