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China: 750,000 annual pollution deaths

Last week it was noted that the Chinese government convinced the World Bank to remove the number of premature deaths—750,000in China each year related to air and water pollution along with 30% of the report, ‘Cost of Pollution in China‘, allegedly on the grounds that the truth would fuel social unrest, later saying otherwise the report just would have been too thick.

Just over a week later, the Chinese people have not risen up in furious nationwide riots. However, bloggers are not letting the government off the hook for this.

Lian Yue, originally a columnist primarily for Guangzhou‘s Southern Metropolis Daily, has turned his Eighth Continent blog into an environmental watchdog force. Early morning on July 4 Lian posted the excised version of the World Bank report, which brought in many comments:

[匿名] banny [222.64.105.*] @ 2007-7-4 4:20:43
看过An Inconvenient Truth难以忽视的真相,深知环保的重要性!

I've seen An Inconvenient Truth, and it's hard to overlook the truth now, so aware of the importance of protecting the environment!

[匿名] k [89.2.109.*] @ 2007-7-4 5:40:56
谁来翻译,尽早发布,避免zxb颁禁令,抢第一时间,才有希望

Who's gonna translate this? Hurry up and get it out before the Ministry of Propaganda bans it, it's our only hope.

[匿名] 歇菜吧你 [85.195.123.*] @ 2007-7-4 6:48:47
所以鬼才信‘中央’事先不知道死人、童奴、酷刑、虐待、矿难、贪腐、滥权、民众的苦难。。。领导很震惊。。。

它控制思想、收集情报、管人的本领和效率,向来是世界一流的。那么多的秘密警察、各条各块的情报系统、内参大参考、告密从居委会做起。。。

不让老百姓知道倒是真的。死人没关系(伟大毛领袖曾说死了一半中国人都不怕,正好重画最新最美图画,其暴君禽兽态无人可胜),掩盖了就河蟹了

That's why nobody believes “the central” didn't know beforehand about the dying, the child slaves, the torture, the abuse, the mine disasters, the corruption, the abuse of power, the suffering of the people…the government leaders were shocked…

They control your thoughts, collect intelligence, monitor people's performance and efficiency (the great leader Mao once said ‘even if half the Chinese people die, no worries'. This is just a newer, prettier redrawing of that picture. These tyrant beasts are unconquerable…..

[匿名] zissan [222.69.220.*] @ 2007-7-4 8:18:21
看看历史书,任何一次自上而下的改革的目的都是为了保住/延长执政权,而不是别的。
任何一个政党的最基本的目的也只是执政权,无论它有多“先进”。

Read your history books. The goal of any such top-to-bottom reform is the maintain/extend the rulers’ authority and nothing else.

[匿名] 自由枪 [219.142.2.*] @ 2007-7-4 8:56:11
住在大城市的人有福了,我们不但享受着农民兄弟们没有的社会福利,而且还倍受政府呵护,死了都不知道是因为什么,连带着也不用怨气满腹死不瞑目了,你看社会多稳定多和谐啊!

The people living in the cities have it good, we don't just enjoy social welfare that our countryside brethren don't, but the government's protection too. We die without even knowing the reason, and we can't even pass away angry or with regret. You see how stable and harmonious society is?!

[匿名] 大刀向鬼子们的头上砍去!!! [218.1.217.*] @ 2007-7-4 12:34:47

Chop the demons’ heads off with an ax!!!

[匿名] shizhao [210.72.12.*] @ 2007-7-4 14:51:35
这个报告已经是删节版了吧?

Is this report the excised version?

[匿名] kobe [218.90.151.*] @ 2007-7-4 20:43:27
是病毒~

It's a virus~

Closer to noon that same day, Lian followed up with some statistics:

中国是世界最大二氧化硫(环境危害: 对大气可造成严重污染,可导致酸雨)排放国
中国7条主要河流的一半以上人类饮用会有不安全因素
中国第十个五年计划13个关键空气和水污染控制指标,有10个没有完成,最糟的是二氧化硫排放在人口密集地区,地面水质糟糕。城区河流的90%严重污染,许多河流已多年无鱼
海洋和湖泊水质严重污染。75%的湖泊富营养化
在农村地区,农村人口的2/3用不上自来水。饮用水污染依然严重。自来水常常不符标准。非自来水更是极其严重地违反标准,原因来自地面污染。由污染饮水导致的消化道癌症(胃癌、肝癌、膀胱癌)发病率和死亡率远高于世界平均和大城市。

China is the world's second-largest emitter of sulphur dioxide (environmental harm: creates serious atmospherere pollution, causes acid rain)
China's seven main rivers are unsafe for human consumption for more than half of the people who drink from them
Of the 13 target levels of air and water pollution specified in China's 15th 5 year plan, 10 have yet to be reached, the worst being the sulphur dioxide in densely populated areas and quality of ground level water. Ninety percent of urban rivers and streams are pollution, many haven't had fish for years.
Ocean and lake water is seriously pollution. Seventy-five percent of lakes are flooded with algae which eat up the oxygen
In rural areas, 2/3 of village populations can't use the tap water. Drinking water pollution remains severe. Drinking water often fails to meet standards. Non-tap water by far most seriously violates standards, the reason being surface pollution. As pollution drinking water causes cancers of the alimentary tract (stomach cancer, kidney cancer, urinary tract cancer), the rate of disease outbreak and mortality rates far exceed that of the world and for urban areas.

Comments

[匿名] 生于82 [219.237.196.*] @ 2007-7-4 10:23:35
我觉得我们天天都有散步的理由

I think we have reason to walk every day

[匿名] fxl [61.157.91.*] @ 2007-7-4 10:28:49
没法活了,连岳组织个自杀协会吧,向政府施压。不改善咱们全自杀去。

Since we're not going to live, Lian Yue you might as well organize a suicide society, to put pressure on the government. Make amends or we all kill ourselves.

[匿名] 红蔷薇 [218.1.88.*] @ 2007-7-4 10:30:42
慢慢来,别把他们逼急了.狗急跳墙,受苦的是我们.

Not so fast, don't force them to hurry. If the dog rushes to jump over the wall, we're the ones that will suffer.

[匿名] 红蔷薇 [218.1.88.*] @ 2007-7-4 10:34:23
fxl,别说气话.
在这片神奇的土地上,暴力示威和非暴力示威都是不管用的.
我们要找到一条符合中国特色的……策略.

fxl, don't get so worked up
In this mystical land, violent demonstrations and non-violent demonstrations are all useless.
We need to find a….strategy. Something that carries Chinese characteristics.

[匿名] 500cc [205.160.53.*] @ 2007-7-4 10:34:40
组织一下一人一段抓紧时间翻译出来吧。

Organize people to each translate a piece of it, get it out quick

[匿名] 代号党中央 [218.17.249.*] @ 2007-7-4 10:50:30
这年头什么都靠不住,我感觉中国五千年以来产生的所有想象力到今天这个社会已经彻底枯竭了,再能丰富联想的人也想不到今天中国成了这个样子,人类社会的一颗毒瘤,中国威胁论一点都不错,只是从政治威胁、军事威胁转变为了环境威胁,这一点才是最致命的,估计到2020年中国人基本上都要如外星人一般带着氧气罩才能正常生活了

In this day and age nothing is reliable. I think all the imagination that China's 5000 years have come up with, in today's society, has all been dried up. People who are still fully able to associate could never have imagined that China would end up the way it has today. With human society such a cancer that it is, the China Threat theory isn't so bad. Only the threat from the government and the military has turned into a threat from the environment. This is what's most deadly. I estimate that by 2020 Chinese people will pretty much have to wear oxygen masks like aliens do just in order to to live normally.

[匿名] 狼的传人 [125.77.255.*] @ 2007-7-4 10:51:43
看来,我在留言的同时已经正在触犯厦门的法律了。

真自豪啊。

Look, just by leaving a comment I've already violated Xiamen's laws.
I'm really proud of myself!

[匿名] 我是奴隶 [121.42.104.*] @ 2007-7-4 11:13:36
可耻的中国!!可怜的中国!!可悲的中国!!可恶的中国!!可恨的中国!!可笑的中国!!

Disgraceful China!! Pitiful China!! Tragic China!! Despicable China!! Hateable China!! Ridiculous China!!

[匿名] navsicaa [59.61.94.*] @ 2007-7-4 14:04:33
公布这些真相太有必要了。可是有多少人这样做呢?即使目前的法律允许匿名发布。象你这样敢于大张旗鼓的人是不多的。
和环境问题一样,为网络污染付出的代价,也看不到相关的调查报告。孰轻孰重,多些意见多些信息,利于称量。

Making public these truths is too important. Yet how many people do? Even though the present laws allow anonymous posting. People like you who dare raise the alarm are few and far between.
As with environmental propblems, the price to be paid for internet pollution is that you don't see the relevant investigative reports. What's the solution? More opinions, more information; it benefits quality.

[匿名] 南越夜风 [210.21.35.*] @ 2007-7-4 14:06:03
下一步只能等自然删除中国人了。

Next up just might be the environment erases the Chinese people.

[匿名] 圣人末尊 [222.90.169.*] @ 2007-7-4 15:07:01
等又一个切尔诺贝利的时候…
XX主义的Sb程度就可以又暴露在辐射之下了…

Just wait until there's another Chernobyl
And again a stupid-ass level of Communism can be exposed to radiation…

[匿名] 公民甲 [222.131.150.*] @ 2007-7-4 15:26:35
就说北京吧,70%的空气污染是交通造成的。
各位想想,自己有没有责任?尤其是开SUV的,有多少责任?

Just look at Beijing, where 70% of air pollution is caused by traffic.
Everybody just think, do you have responsibility? Especially SUV drivers, how much responsibility do that have?

[匿名] blueduck [218.5.65.*] @ 2007-7-4 15:47:09
大家也不要太相信外面这些报道了,虽然这些说法可能存在,可是谁让中国穷太久了,毕竟大多数民众希望发展希望改变生活。。。只能说太过激的发展终于等到了反噬的一天,希望政府能适时调整改变这些策略。。。不然不要说外国,自己家里人都受不了了。

Nobody dares believe these outside reports. Although these truths may be the case, who is it that kept the Chinese people poor for so long? And anyway, most people hope for development, hope to change their lives…all that can be said is that extreme development will one day bite us back, and to hope that the government will make adjustments in time to change their game plan…otherwise never mind about overseas, here at home we won't be able to handle it.

[匿名] 如果可以选择 [222.128.41.*] @ 2007-7-4 17:49:22
不要做中国人的孩子!

[匿名] 11 [218.85.192.*] @ 2007-7-4 18:21:26
住在海边远比住在内陆要幸运,你们不知道内地的空气有多差!随便哪个城市!!因为海边空气流通快。

Living by the sea is far better off than living inland, you don't know how bad the air is in here! Any city, take your pick! Because you have air moving in off the water.

[匿名] 1313 [125.203.77.*] @ 2007-7-4 19:41:11
要死就死在天安门广场,千万别被带走,被无声无息的抹掉,可怜的心存幻想的老百姓阿!

If you want to die, go die in Tiananmen Square, just don't get taken away, erased without a sound or peep, you poor deluded people!

[匿名] 我本善良 [218.85.115.*] @ 2007-7-4 22:16:58
政府说公布这些会引起社会动乱,而不是对数据进行反驳,可见数据是可信的。
公布这些会引起政府担心的后果吗?政府只是想为偷懒找个借口吧?不公布这些,长此以往才会引起动乱。
还不肯下决心改革?等多年以后全国人民一起过地狱般的日子吗?无语!

The government says releasing this will cause social unrest, not that the data needs to be refuted; you can see that the numbers are credible.
Making them public will give rise to consquences that worry the government? Is the government just using this as an excuse? To not make them public, to hold them back at length, that will cause social unrest.
They still don't feel the need for reform? What are they waiting for, the day when all the people of China live in hell? Speechless!

[匿名] 一个母亲的誓言 [210.21.224.*] @ 2007-7-5 17:50:45
为我们自己的生存权,和我们孩子的生存权而斗争!

For our right to exist, and for our childrens’ too—fight!

From what Google brings up, Sohu blogger Shuidao523 posts the now widely-spread translation of an FT journalist Richard McGregor article which compares environmental reformers in China to the doctor in Henrik Ibsen‘s An Enemy of the People, an allusion that Phoenix TV reporter and Sina.com Rose Garden blogger Lu Qiu Luwei also picked up on in a July 4 post:

毕竟这是写在一百多年前的一个剧本,但是如果我们把主人公换成一个有良知的诚实的中国普通公民,把场景换到中国的一个城市,如果主人公要站出来告诉大家,工厂的污水把当地的河水污染了,唯一可以做的是关闭工厂,这个时候,他会有怎样的遭遇?如果他同样遭到工厂主和官员的围攻,因为他损害了企业主的利益,而且也让当地官员的政绩没有了来源,因为GDP会因为工厂的关闭而下降,这个时候,不明白真相的当地民众,是不是也会在官商控制的信息流通下,觉得这个讲真话的人居心叵测,目的是要破坏大家美好的生活,是人民公敌呢?

This my be a play written a hundred years ago, but if we swap the main character for a conscientious and honest average Chinese citizen, and the scene to a Chinese city, if the main character stood up and told everyone that the factory sewage was polluting the local river, that the only solution was to shut the factory, at this time, with what sort of response would he be met? If, similarly, he was laid siege to by the factory management and officials, for having damaged the factory owner's interests, for depriving local officials of their source of achievement, and also for the drop in GDP that the factory closure would precipitate, at this time, would the public, unaware of the truth and kept from the truth by officials and big business, feel this truth-speaker to have ulterior motives, seeking to damage everyone's nice life. Would they see him as an enemy of the people?

这样的场景我们并不陌生吧,因为正在我们的身边发生着。当控制着话语权的人不让真相流入民间的时候,真相就会被塑造成为恶魔,民意都会站在真相的对立面。但是问题是,真相总有大白的一天,如果当民众发现,自己原来是被欺骗的时候,就会把这个曾经被视为是人民公敌的人捧为英雄,把不满和愤怒用双倍的力量发泄出来。易卜生在一百多年前就向大家展现了这个简单的道理。

We're not so unfamiliar with this scene, right? Because we've seen it happen before. When those controlling speech don't allow truth to enter the public sphere, truth then becomes demonized, and will of the people will stand opposite the truth. But the problem is, truth will always see the light of day. If and when the people realize they've been cheated, what they once saw as an enemy of the people then becomes the hero, and the double forces of dissatisfaction and rage come spilling forth. Ibsen displayed this simple reasoning to everyone over a hundred years ago.

说到世界银行三月份的报告,到现在大家在世界银行网上看到的,并没有包括一些世界银行正在和中国政府商讨的内容,那就是关于环境污染导致的中国人早亡,每年到底有没有75万这样多的问题。英国金融时报今天有了非常详细的报道,大家可以去看一看。为了是否能够公布这个内容,世行和政府部门争论了很久,这也就是他们特地安排“人民公敌”,为的是提醒大家,还是让大家越早知道真相越好。不然的话,当人民公敌成为人民英雄的时候,反而会更难应对。

Speaking now to the World Bank report from March, until now it can be seen on the World Bank website, and it does not include some content now being discussed between the World Bank and Chinese government, that being the part about environmental pollution leading to the deaths of Chinese people, and whether or not that amounts to 750,000 lives each year or not. Britain's Financial Times had an extremely detailed report today, everyone can go take a look. Over whether or not this content could be made public, the World Bank and governmental departments debated for quite some while, and then sought to create “an enemy of the people” and alert everyone, all the better to let know know the truth earlier. Or else, when the enemy of the people became the hero, the reaction might have been much harder to deal with.

直到现在,我们生活的这个世界依然需要易卜生笔下的这样的“人民公敌”,很简单的一个人,一个坚持真理,坚持自己的良心的人。因为有这样的人,我们才不会生活在假象当中。正是因为有这样的人,一些未来可能变成灾难的隐患可以被及时揭露,如果处理得当,我们就可以安然度过一个个危机。这样的人一开始是寂寞的,很可能长时间是寂寞的,被大多数人所排斥的,甚至是围攻的。但是这样的人又是幸福的,这种幸福来自于对自己,对这个社会真正的问心无愧,也来自于这样才是一个真正意义的简单的人。

Even now, the world we live in still needs ‘enemies of the people’ as written by Ibsen, simple people with enduring truths and persistent consciences. Because there are such people, we are unable to live in lies. Moreso because there are such people, some future possible hidden troubles are revealed before they become disasters. If it's handled well, we can storm any crisis. People like this start off lonely, maybe will even stay lonely for a long time, rejected by many, even stonewalled. However, these kinds of people are happy, and this kind of happiness comes from within, from an authentic conscience in regards to this society. Only when it comes from these will you have a truly significant simple person.

Sohu bloggers Huang Canqiang and jiao2006 have a roundup of a few of the many other places around where discussions on the World Bank report are taking place, including a picture from one of them:

1142e321e0c.jpg

Sohu blogger Global Warm, as with dozens of other blogs at this point, reposts the FT translation, prefaced by some projective pondering:

真相在任何时候都是珍贵的。
但说出真相,其实是最轻松的。
回避某些事实,可以蒙骗一阵子,但是最终还是会大白天下的。
环境问题公开后,会引发那些社会问题呢?
有时候,这些题目还真是让人棘手。

现在最重要的理由就是稳定,也许需要到三十年和五十年后我们才知道为了今天的片面的稳定,我们到底付出了什么。

Truth at anytime is precious.
But to speak the truth, that's actually easiest.
To avoid certain facts, you can put on blindfolds for a while, but in the end they will still see the light of day.
Now that the environment problems have been made public, will it give rise to social problems?
Sometimes, these subjects really are quite tricky.

Now the most important reason was for stability; maybe we'll need thirty or fifty years to understand: for today's spot of stability, just what exactly have we paid?

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