China’s And Canada’s Ecological Rogues Compete With One Another In A New And Dangerous Game Called The Great Jump Backward

January 5, 2006: China\'s And Canada\'s Ecological Rogues Compete With One Another In A New And Dangerous Game Called The Great Jump Backward


China's and Canada's ecological rogues are playing a new and dangerous game called The Great Jump Backward, says Immigration Watch Canada.

One dimensional immigration thinking by Canada's rogues (who count Canada's major political parties as their most significant members) will produce environmental disasters similar to those that one-dimensional economic thinking has already produced in China.

As the West knows, for the past 25 years, China has pursued a policy of economic growth at any cost. In recent years and months, the consequences of this policy have become more and more apparent. Pollution disasters particularly in the last two months highlight the precarious state of China's water supplies.

In November, 2005, a chemical plant explosion spilled 100 tons of benzene and other toxins into the Songhua River in northeastern China. The spill contaminated water supplies for the industrial city of Harbin (Population: 3.8+ million). It also poisoned relations with the downstream Russian city of Khabarovsk (Population:about 600,000) which relies heavily on the river water.

In mid-December, 2005, according to Associated Press, a toxic spill of cadmium from a Chinese smelter contaminated the Bei River which flows through China's most heavily populated province of Guandong (Population: 100 million) in southeastern China. The toxins will pass through some of China's most densely populated areas before emptying into the South China Sea, just west of Hong Kong.

The West is very much aware that China continues to suppress news of many such incidents. But it is remarkable how the West has achieved the same suppressive effect by probing only shallowly into the environmental effects of China's new Great Leap Forward and by reporting solely on China's yearly growth rate. In effect, most of the reporting has ignored the consequences of this policy and amounted to cheer-leading. It has failed to see that China's new version of a Great Leap Forward may turn into another Great Jump Backward.

One newspaper, London's Daily Telegraph, has done some probing. According to The Telegraph, “China's Water Resources Ministry recently disclosed that every year 300 million people drank contaminated water, 190 million drank water so contaminated that it made them sick, and that 30,000 children died from diarrhea and other water-related illnesses. Other consequences included rising rates of birth defects and high rates of cancer, particularly along the Huai River”.

This river was the subject of The River Runs Black, a book by American academic Elizabeth Economy. The book “describes how local governments and businesses colluded in turning off waste control systems to enhance profits”.

Since China is notorious for under-reporting, the West is left to guess at the true extent of the damage that China's one-dimensional focus on its economy has produced on its water supplies.

It is true that China's economy is growing at a phenomenal rate. But if the ecological cost of China's progress is deducted, China is falling rapidly into long-term deficit. The future health costs to its own citizens and the costs of cleaning up areas that have been extensively degraded will be enormous.

And as the Russian city of Khabarovsk will testify, it is not just Chinese citizens and China's land mass that will be affected. Russians and others will also pay the price of China's attitude towards its own water. And since water circulates all over the globe, the effects on the planet's water of China's pursuit of industrialization for its enormous population will be phenomenal.

It is not an overstatement to say that Canada has three areas which have experienced the same ecological negligence that many areas of China have seen. As a result of already having high populations as well as of being the destinations of 75 to 80% of immigrants to Canada since mass immigration began in 1990, Southern Ontario, B.C.'s Lower Mainland and the Greater Montreal areas have suffered very significant degradation. B.C.'s Lower Fraser River which flows through the Lower Mainland has repeatedly been cited as being heavily polluted and degraded.

Rivers, lakes and land in the entire Southern Ontario area have been cited as being under serious ecological pressure from the population growth of the past 15 years. Furthermore, they have been described as being incapable of handling the immigration inundation which the federal government has scheduled it to take over the next 15 years. The situation in the Greater Montreal area is similar.

Canadians like to think of Canada as being more advanced than China, and of authorities not being subject to the endemic orruption that has produced environmental disasters in China. But in both countries a small number of people have achieved the same effect. They have profitted from the development and industrialization which has produced the environmental degradation. Both countries have failed to admit that very large concentrations (in certain areas) of people striving for high standards of living will cause the carrying capacity of an area to be exceeded.

Chinese critics have spoken out about the ecological effects of official economic policies, and been ignored or have had their views suppressed. Canadian critics of explosive population growth in Canada's three major urban areas, who have showed that immigration policies are the major factor in population growth, have received similar treatment. UBC's Prospects for Sustainability and the Ontario Environment Commissioner's recent report, Planning Our Landscape, are two examples of thoughtful, extensive studies which have questioned one-dimensional government pursuits. Yet, they have received minimal attention from governments in policy formulation.

Unfortunately, Canada's political parties have continued the race to the enviromental bottom during this election campaign. Very recent announcements about federal immigration policies by both the Liberal and Conservative parties have just stated that they will reduce the Right of Permanent Residence fees and remove other immigration barriers.

In other words, they have concluded: “We must not frighten away our votes from recent immigrants by reducing current high immigration levels–even if it means laying waste to those three areas and betraying our long-term residents.” Previous statements by the NDP and Bloc Quebecois indicate they would support such actions.

Absolutely none of the four major parties has expressed any concern about the environmental effect of depositing more and more people into Canada's three major urban areas. Yet, in varying degrees, all parties simultaneously express concerns about Canada's environment.

The hypocrisy in the one-dimensional immigration policies of all four parties is blatant. Canadians should ask: Is there any real difference between these policies and the attitudes of China's most rapacious and unscrupulous ecological rogues?

Obviously, there are people within each of these parties who possess contrary views and who see clearly what is happening. Canadians have to hear from these people during this election campaign. Otherwise, Canada's own very shameful urban ecological conditions will soon match the disasters we hear of in China.