Fall-out from Trans-Pacific Air Pollution and Rabies Campaigns

An AP report last week that discussed the China’s trans-Pacific contribution U.S. air pollution made for an angry reaction by a SEPA official. According to EPA estimates, on any given day, 25% to 33% of Los Angeles particulate matter air pollution originates from China. Li Xinmin, director of the Pollution Control Department of SEPA, said that such assertions were “irresponsible.” (SCMP 8/4/2006 & Xinhua 8/4).

This little dispute is only the latest fall-out from issues of trans-Pacific air pollution. Last spring US EPA Administrator Steve Johnson, while on a visit to China, said that part of US mercury pollution originated from China. Chinese media took that to mean that the US was blaming China for its mercury pollution problems. Johnson had to do some mighty back-pedalling. The story went pretty much unreported in the US.

Also, in another demonstration of the ferocity of public “campaigns” in China – about 50,000 dogs were slaughtered in Yunnan province (in southern China) after 3 people died of rabies. (NY Times 8/2 and SCMP 8/4) According to the AP, dogs were taken from their owners, even while they were being walked, and beaten to death. After 5 days, only police and military dogs had been spared. In fact, the SCMP reported today also that Jining City in Shandong Province would engage in a similar extermination campaign since 16 people in the city have died of Rabies over the last 8 months. The city has about 500,000 dogs.

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