I’m talking about the hazardous level of air pollution in Beijing, not the litany of crimes against humanity the Communist Chinese government visits upon its citizens every day, although The Black Cloud of Beijing can be counted as one of those atrocities.
A clear day with fresh air has become a thing of the ancient past in the Chinese capital. People ride around on their bicycles, now less and less common as more Chinese can afford cars, with inefficient paper filter masks, as many of the particles pass right through the filter as easily as water through a strainer.
Imagine a United States without an Environmental Protection Agency. That’s China today. Think about that shit before you vote for President this November. Yeah, that’s right, Teabaggers, I’m talking to you.
Out past the city limits you can still find an agrarian culture mixed in with modern factories that were moved outside the cities to pollute the suburbs. And in front of the shiny new facades of office buildings or heavy industry plants, you can still see evidence of that: tractors, three-wheeled passenger scooters, all made in the 1940s-1960s, before China opened up to the West, and all puking out clouds of black sooty exhaust, which mixes in with dust from the fields, and smoke from the stubble of previous crops.
The Chinese knew decades ago that their cities would become unlivable as they modernized their machine. But all they did was spread the pollution across a much wider area. An hour from Beijing, there are enormous paper-recycling plants, fed by garbage from your dumpster or mine, or the store down the street.
Waste paper exports to China are huge. Ask any steamship operator that runs the Asia routes; they stay alive by loading up with waste paper before they sail back to China. Otherwise, they’d be empty.
Profits on the importation of foreign waste paper undoubtedly contribute to the Chinese navy’s modernization, and the commensurate gearing up of their entire military.
When you boil it all down, the United States is doing now what they did before World War II; we helped gear the Japanese up by shipping them scrap metal, which was returned to us as bombs and bullets, starting with Pearl Harbor.
We made the same mistake again when we gave Japan the transistor, which of course led to the Made in Japan era and the downfall of the American education system.
“How’s that?” you ask. We send Japan scrap metal; they make bombs and drop them on us. We send Japan the transistor, and they make Nintendo, thereby bombing Americans of school age into vidiots. Now, we send China our garbage, and they build up their military with the profits.
And which two rogue countries are on the brink of obtaining nuclear weapons? North Korea and Iran, the two countries with the most brain-fucked leaders on the planet. And they’re both asshole buddies with who? China.
Do we need to be reminded every single day how our dealings with unfriendly foreign powers have come back to strike us in a deadly manner in the past?
Sadly, we do.