| Global Times | 2013-1-14 0:28:01
By Global Times
More than 30 cities, especially Beijing, have been shrouded in dense smog in recent days. This has had a serious impact to public opinion. Various kinds of dissatisfactions and self-deprecation flooded the Internet and the media nationwide. Faced with clouded skies, people have been asking "What's wrong with China?" and "What can we do?"
China's pollution is accumulating. Although measures against pollution have had some effect, the seriousness of this problem has not alleviated. The general reason is that China's process of industrialization has not finished and infrastructure construction is rising. China is still the biggest construction site in the world. At the same time, it is a veritable global factory. Seventy percent of global iron and steel, and about half of the world's cement, is produced in China. Against this background, it is impossible for China to be as clean as the West.
However, recent atmospheric pollution has really sounded a warning to us: if we continue this way of development instead of adjusting it, the long-term damage will be serious.
How can we make adjustments? It is the most difficult challenge in China, because both development and clean environment are strong demands of the Chinese people. However, under China's current technical conditions, these two needs are pitted against each other.
On this issue, the government cannot afford to make decisions for the society. Previously, governments used to deal with the pollution information in a low-key way and made the choice between development and environmental protection for public. However, when public opinion didn't go for this way of thinking, it led to some conflicts.
In future, the government should publish truthful environmental data to the public. Let society participate in the process of solving the problem.
The public should understand the importance of development as well as the critical need to safeguard the bottom line of the environmental pollution. The choice between development and environment protection should be made by genuinely democratic methods.
Currently, Chinese public opinion prefers sensational news. Against such condition, the governments cannot always think about how to intervene to "guide public opinion." It should publish the facts and interests involved, and let the public itself produce a balance based on the foundation of diversification.
The government is not the only responsible party for environmental pollution. As long as the government changes its previous method of covering up the problems and instead publishes the facts, society will know who should be blamed.
Environmental problem shouldn't be mixed together with political problems. Chinese society should have a hard-eyed attitude when facing huge problems.
After understanding all aspects of environmental problems, Chinese society can calm down and seriously think about what we really want, and how can we maximize our interest.
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