What’s 12369? That’s the phone number you’re supposed to call to report environmental noncompliance in China. I learned it by watching “Under the Dome,” a Chinese documentary about China’s air pollution and energy industry. It’s a little tough to keep up with the subtitles, but it’s worth watching this 1 hour and 45 minute film. The Chinese government blocked the film on the internet in China, but lucky you! here it is:
So why spend almost two hours learning about pollution in China? Because China is the most populous nation in the world with a huge and growing economy. The country’s main source of power is coal. Not only is China a player in global warming and other air pollution issues, the country also has a large impact on wildlife issues, like elephant poaching.
Just like every other country in the world, they’re trying to balance economic growth and environmental health. Just like every other country in the world, politics, money, human nature, and even corruption influence how these two goals are achieved. Since China is so big, we really should be paying attention. The Washington Post recently ran an article by Simon Denyer that provided a nice summary of the issue. A little bedtime reading for the greenmomsters .