Re: China, GM crops, pollution, WSJ article

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Sun Apr 02 2000 - 19:38:38 MDT wrote:
> In a message dated 3/29/00 11:34:23 PM Central Standard Time,
> writes:
> > While the WSJ article didn't mention it, I've also been reading
> > (articles in New Scientist, again, I can't find URLs) and hearing (from
> > people who have visited China recently) that atmospheric pollution is
> > becoming a major agricultural problem. Supposedly smog is dense and
> > pervasive even in the countryside to the extent that crops are
> > suffering from decreased sunlight. One striking passage claimed that
> > in Shenyang (I believe the largest Chinese city north of Beijing, in
> > China's northeastern "rust belt") snow is black before it hits the
> > ground due to atmospheric coal dust.
> When I was there many (many, many) years ago, the sun "set" quite a few
> degrees above the horizon, settling into what appeared to be a permanent
> level of coal smog that hovered over the ground. The Chinese economy has
> grown quite a bit since then, and I don't imagine they're doing any better
> now in keeping their air clean.

The Chinese burn grades of coal in their power plants that are so dirty
that it would be literally a crime to do the same here in the US. Not
only does this smog cause health and agricultural problems due to the
particulate content in the air, but these particulates, because they are
not scrubbed out of the exhaust as the coal plant, contain high levels
of beavy metals and radioactive isotopes, which both will have a lasting
impact on the health of the people and crops living in the fallout

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