I have written several articles the environment. A list of links have been provided at bottom of this article for your convenience. This article will, however address different aspects on the environment and the planet in general.
There has been a lot of media hype about the green new deal, and how the U.S. is destroying the world environment. Yet when you look at the data, countries like China and Russia have the worse records with pollution. They also have the worse records with animal conservation. China is responsible for shark fining and the slaughter of Rhinos for their horns. What people don’t know is that they are also the worst polluters of the environment. People in most of the major cities have to wear masks just to go outdoors. While global warming in Russia is 2.5 times the rate in the rest of the world. These two countries have also been responsible for some of the worse human rights violations. But that is a subject for a another article. So please tell me why the left wants us to follow these models?
Many of the issues have been attributed to policies during the early Soviet Union, a time when many officials felt that pollution control was an unnecessary hindrance to economic development and industrialization, and, even though numerous attempts were made by the Soviet government to alleviate the situation in the 1970s and 1980s, the problems weren’t completely solved. By the 1990s, 40% of Russia’s territory began demonstrating symptoms of significant ecological stress, largely due to a diverse number of environmental issues, including deforestation, energy irresponsibility, pollution, and nuclear waste. According to Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Russia is currently warming 2.5 times faster than the rest of the globe.
Russia has many protected areas, such as zapovedniks and natural parks, which are made to preserve the natural state of environments. There are currently 101 zapovedniks that cover a total of over 33.5 million hectares. However, some animals, such as the Amur tiger, polar bear ,and Caucasian leopard, are facing extinction. The Russian government is attempting to revive those populations. A tiger summit was held in St. Petersburg in 2010 to discuss how to save the dwindling tiger population, which is threatened by deforestation and poaching in Russia.
Poaching was extremely uncommon in the Soviet Union, but has recently become a significant problem in the country. The main cause for poaching in Russia is the consequence of the social and political changes since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. State-controlled farms stopped functioning due to the fall of the previous system resulting in high unemployment. Unemployment, poverty, inflation, shortage of food and demand for foreign currency have major impact on the wildlife in the country.
Between 1992 and 1996, law enforcement agencies in Russia mainly focused on drug trafficking, arms trafficking, money laundering and the First Chechen War. Environmental crimes like poaching and illegal timber smuggling were generally not treated as national security issues. During the post-perestroika transition, the government agencies for environment and wildlife protection experienced severe budget cuts which led to layoffs and salary reductions for wildlife rangers in places like Primorski Krai and it reduced the resources of the rangers to fight against the poachers. Animals being poached in the country are bear, musk deer, tiger etc. Approximately 50,000 cases of poaching are registered annually. According to the tiger experts and enforcement officers in Russia, the characteristics of tiger poaching in Russia are:
- Tiger poaching is carried out by two sets of poachers: organized poaching gangs and opportunistic poachers.
- Poaching of the tiger’s prey base (i.e. wild pig and deer) occur for the consumption of the local population.
- The poachers generally sell the tiger parts to middlemen operating out of the cities like Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Ussuriysk, Nakhodka and Plastun.
- The middlemen who buy or sell tiger parts are generally Russians, ethnic Koreans, or Chinese.
- Most tiger parts are being smuggled to the People’s Republic of China, South Korea and Japan.
It is believed that sharp increase in poaching in the first half of the 1990s resulted in rapid decrease of the Siberian tiger population. According to estimation, there were 330 to 371 adult Siberian tigers in the Russian Far East in 1996 while the number was 600 at the end of the 1980s. During the communist rule, borders were closed and access to the Asian demand for tiger products was almost non-existent. Due to this, from 1972 to 1992, poaching was not reported.
The collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in easing of border controls and gun laws, and it became an urgent need for the villagers to earn income in a destroyed economy with high inflation. Almost immediately tigers became similar to a profitable cash crop at a time when there was huge demand for tiger parts for Traditional Chinese medicine. Data obtained from field examinations, skin confiscations and from radio-collared animals indicated that 58%-73% tiger deaths were related to poaching. Poaching of tigers apparently peaked in the early 1990s.
The collapse of the Marxist-Leninist government in the country had a significant influence on the average Russian’s economic ability to maintain his or her family. Because of the large population of bears in Russia and an increasing demand for bear parts, especially bile, poaching of bears became increasingly popular. Its main trade partners in bear parts are primarily nearby Asian countries like South Korea and the People’s Republic of China. Poaching of the snow leopard is also a serious problem in Russia along with Afghanistan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, People’s Republic of China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The situation for antelopes has deteriorated significantly since the collapse of the Soviet system. There has been increase in poaching of the saiga antelope which reduced the saiga population in the country.
However several attempts were made to combat commercial poaching of animals. Operation Amba, started to curtail the poaching of Siberian tigers in the Russian Far East, is credited for bringing the Amur tiger back from the brink of extinction in the mid-1990s. Major General Vitaly Ivanovich Gamov, a Deputy Commander of the Pacific Regional Directorate of the Border Guard Service of Russia, was killed in 2002 in his house after refusing to take bribes and allow poachers to outsource their recourse to Japan.
In January 2009, the Altaigate Scandal developed after the Plenipotentiary of the Russian President in the State Duma was killed along with 6 other officials in the helicopter crash accident (poaching for legally protected argali mountain sheep) and an entire investigation was concealed from the public.
Deforestation and logging
Excessive logging is causing the widespread deforestation of certain areas of Russia. Despite efforts of Russian authorities to preserve forests using nature reserves and parks, funding for park rangers is lacking, limiting the protection of forests. Illegal logging is also widespread, especially in the north-west and in the Far East parts of Russia. It is estimated that Russia loses $1 billion every year due to illegal logging. According to the Center for Russian Environmental Policy, 16 million hectares of forest are lost each year to a variety of causes, including logging, pollution, and fires. Inefficient logging and clearcutting strategies result in 40% of harvested trees never being used, and the implementation of forest protection policies has been slow. Russia has the largest area of forests of any country on Earth, with around 12 million km2 of boreal forest, larger than the Amazon rainforest. Russia’s forests contain 55% of the world’s conifers and represent 11% of biomass on Earth. It is estimated that 20,000 km2 are deforested each year. The present scale of deforestation in Russia is most easily seen using Google Earth. Areas nearer to China are most affected, as it is the main market for the timber. Deforestation in Russia is particularly damaging as the forests have a short growing season due to extremely cold winters and therefore will take longer to recover.
Up to its collapse in 1991, the Soviet Union generated nearly twice as much pollution per unit of GNP as the United States.
Inefficient energy usage and the use of fossil fuels is another environmental issue that Russia faces. The Ministry of Energy stated that upgrading energy sector equipment could cut carbon emissions by 25%, and the Energy Research Institute predicts that such measures could save up to $1 billion of fuel every year. 68% of Russia’s energy is produced by polluting fossil fuels, and it is a large producer of those fuels.
Water pollution is a serious problem in Russia, and 75% of surface water, and 50% of all water in Russia is now polluted. This has caused health issues in many cities as well as in the countryside, as only 8% of wastewater is fully treated before being returned to waterways. Obsolete and inefficient water treatment facilities, as well as a lack of funding, have caused heavy pollution, and has also resulted in waterborne disease spread, such as an outbreak of cholera spread by the Moskva River in 1995. Industrial and chemical waste is often dumped into waterways, including hydrogen sulfide, which has been linked to the large-scale death of fish in the Black and Caspian seas. Lake Baikal was previously a target of environmental pollution from paper plants, but cleanup efforts since then have greatly reduced the ecological strain on the lake. Unsafe dumping of nuclear waste has contributed to radioactive contamination of local environments, such as the area around Lake Karachay.
Unsafe dumping methods have been used sometimes to get rid of military nuclear waste, which was dumped into the Sea of Japan until 1993. The testing and production of nuclear weapons also affected the environment, such as at the Mayak atomic weapons production plant near Chelyabinsk.
Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Volgograd, as well as other major industrial and population centers, have the highest concentrations of air pollution. Overall, over 200 cities in Russia exceed pollution limits, and this is increasing as more vehicles appear on the roads. Before the 1990s, most air pollution came from industries. When industrial production declined, emissions of air pollutants from those sources also declined, although the amount of motor vehicles on the roads skyrocketed. Currently, vehicle emissions exceed industry emissions in most Russian cities. Air pollution is attributed to 17% of childhood and 10% of adult diseases, as well as 41% of respiratory and 16% of endocrine diseases.
Snow run-off has caused substantial erosion in pastures and croplands in northern Russia, particularly near the Ural Mountains. In parts of southern Russia, overgrazing and deforestation has resulted in large plots of bare soil which are highly susceptible to wind erosion.
Pollution in China is one aspect of the broader topic of environmental issues in China. Various forms of pollution have increased as China has industrialised, which has caused widespread environmental health problems.
The immense growth of the People’s Republic of China since the 1980s has resulted in increased soil pollution. The State Environmental Protection Administration believes it to be a threat to the environment, food safety and sustainable agriculture. 38,610 square miles (100,000 km2) of China’s cultivated land have been polluted, with contaminated water being used to irrigate further 31.5 million miles (21,670 km2.), and another 2 million miles (1,300 km2) have been covered or destroyed by solid waste. The affected area accounts of one-tenth of China’s cultivatable land. An estimated 6 million tonnes of food grain are contaminated by heavy metals every year, causing direct losses of 29 billion yuan (US$2.57 billion). Heavy metals (including mercury, lead, cadmium, copper, nickel, chromium, and zinc) in the contaminated soil have adverse health effects on human metabolism. Ingestion, contact through skin, diet through the soil-food chain, respiratory intake, and oral intake can deliver the toxic substances to human beings.
As China’s waste production increases, insufficient efforts to develop capable recycling systems have been attributed to a lack of environmental awareness. In 2012, the waste generation in China was 300 million tons (229.4 kg/cap/yr).
A ban came into effect on 15 June 2008 that prohibited all supermarkets, department stores and shops throughout China from giving out free plastic bags, therefore encouraging people to use cloth bags. Stores must clearly mark the price of plastic shopping bags and are banned from adding that price onto the price of products. The production, sale and use of ultra-thin plastic bags—those less than 0.025 millimeters (0.00098 in) thick—are also banned. The State Council called for “a return to cloth bags and shopping baskets.” This ban, however, does not affect the widespread use of paper shopping bags at clothing stores or the use of plastic bags at restaurants for takeout food. A survey by the International Food Packaging Association found that in the year after the ban was implemented, 10 percent fewer plastic bags found their way into the garbage.
In 2011, China produced 2.3 million tons of electronic waste. The annual amount is expected to increase as the Chinese economy grows. In addition to domestic waste production, large amounts of electronic waste are imported from overseas. Legislation banning importation of electronic waste and requiring proper disposal of domestic waste has recently been introduced, but has been criticized as insufficient and susceptible to fraud. There have been local successes, such as in the city of Tianjin where 38,000 tons of electronic waste were disposed of properly in 2010, but much electronic waste is still improperly handled.
Air pollution caused by industrial plants
In 1997, the World Bank issued a report targeting China’s policy towards industrial pollution. The report stated that “hundreds of thousands of premature deaths and incidents of serious respiratory illness have been caused by exposure to industrial air pollution. Seriously contaminated by industrial discharges, many of China’s waterways are largely unfit for direct human use.” However, the report did acknowledge that environmental regulations and industrial reforms have had some effect. It was determined that continued environmental reforms were likely to have a large effect on reducing industrial pollution.
In a 2007 article about China’s pollution problem, the New York Times stated that “Environmental degradation is now so severe, with such stark domestic and international repercussions, that pollution poses not only a major long-term burden on the Chinese public but also an acute political challenge to the ruling Communist Party.” The article’s main points included:
- According to the Chinese Ministry of Health, industrial pollution has made cancer China’s leading cause of death.
- Every year, ambient air pollution alone killed hundreds of thousands of citizens.
- 500 million people in China are without safe and clean drinking water.
- Only 1% of the country’s 560 million city dwellers breathe air considered safe by the European Union, because all of its major cities are constantly covered in a “toxic gray shroud”. Before and during the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing was “frantically searching for a magic formula, a meteorological deus ex machina, to clear its skies for the 2008 Olympics.”
- Lead poisoning or other types of local pollution continue to kill many children.
- A large section of the ocean is without marine life because of massive algal blooms caused by the high nutrients in the water.
- The pollution has spread internationally: sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides fall as acid rain on Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo; and according to the Journal of Geophysical Research, the pollution even reaches Los Angeles in the US.
- The Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning in 2003 produced an unpublished internal report which estimated that 300,000 people die each year from ambient air pollution, mostly of heart disease and lung cancer.
- Chinese environmental experts in 2005 issued another report, estimating that annual premature deaths attributable to outdoor air pollution were likely to reach 380,000 in 2010 and 550,000 in 2020.
- A 2007 World Bank report conducted with China’s national environmental agency found that “[…] outdoor air pollution was already causing 350,000 to 400,000 premature deaths a year. Indoor pollution contributed to the deaths of an additional 300,000 people, while 60,000 died from diarrhoea, bladder and stomach cancer and other diseases that can be caused by water-borne pollution.” World Bank officials said “China’s environmental agency insisted that the health statistics be removed from the published version of the report, citing the possible impact on ‘social stability'”.
A draft of a 2007 combined World Bank and SEPA report stated that up to 760,000 people died prematurely each year in China because of air and water pollution. High levels of air pollution in China’s cities caused to 350,000–400,000 premature deaths. Another 300,000 died because of indoor air of poor quality. There were 60,000 premature deaths each year because of water of poor quality. Chinese officials asked that some of the results should not be published in order to avoid social unrest.
China has made some improvements in environmental protection during recent years. According to the World Bank, ‘China is one of a few countries in the world that have been rapidly increasing their forest cover. It is managing to reduce air and water pollution.
Vennemo et al., in a 2009 literature review in Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, noted the wide discrepancy between the reassuring view in some Chinese official publications and the exclusively negative view in some Western sources. The review stated that “although China is starting from a point of grave pollution, it is setting priorities and making progress that resemble what occurred in industrialized countries during their earlier stages of development.” Environmental trends were described as uneven. A quality of surface water in the south of China was improving and particle emissions were stable. But NO2 emissions were increasing rapidly and SO2 emissions had been increasing before decreasing in 2007, the last year for which data was available.
Conventional approaches to air quality monitoring are based on networks of static and sparse measurement stations. However, there are drivers behind current rises in the use of low-cost sensors for air pollution management in cities.
The immense urban growth of Chinese cities substantially increases the need for consumer goods, vehicles and energy. This in turn increases the burning of fossil fuels, resulting in smog. Exposure to Smog poses a threat to the health of Chinese citizens. A study from 2012 shows fine particles in the air, which cause respiratory and cardiovascular diseases are one of the key pollutants that are accounted for a large fraction of damage on the health of Chinese citizens.
The water resources of China are affected by both severe water shortages and severe water pollution. An increasing population and rapid economic growth, as well as lax environmental oversight, have increased water demand and pollution. According to an investigation in 1980, the entire country has 440 billion cubic meters of the total water consumption. Consumption by agriculture, forestry, husbandry, and country residents was about 88 per cent of the total consumption. However, an investigation shows that 19 per cent of water in main rivers which has been polluted as well as a total length of 95,000 kilometers. In addition, a survey for 878 rivers in the early 1980s shows that 80 per cent of them were polluted to some extent, and fish became extinct in more than 5 per cent of total river length throughout the country. Furthermore, there are over 20 waterways unsuitable for agricultural irrigation due to water pollution. In response, China has taken measures such as rapidly building out the water infrastructure and increased regulation as well as exploring a number of further technological solutions.
North-Eastern China from space, 2009. Thick haze blown off the Eastern coast of China, over Bo Hai Bay and the Yellow Sea. The haze might result from urban and industrial pollution.In northern China, air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels, principally coal, is causing people to die on average 5.5 years sooner than they otherwise might.
Air pollution has become a major issue in China and poses a threat to Chinese public health. In 2016, only 84 out of 338 prefecture-level (administrative division of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), ranking below a province and above a county) or higher cities attained the national standard for air quality. However, by 2018, those 338 cities enjoyed good air quality on 79% of days.
In the last few years, China has made a lot of progress in air pollution. For example, average PM2.5 concentrations fell by 33% from 2013 to 2017 in 74 cities. The overall pollution in China fell further 10% between 2017 and 2018. Another study shows that China reduced PM2.5 by 47% between 2005 and 2015. In August 2019, Beijing experienced the lowest PM2.5 on record—a low of 23 micrograms per cubic meter. Beijing is on track to drop out of the Top 200 most polluted cities by the end of 2019. The reasons are many fold: (1) Millions of homes and businesses are switching from coal to natural gas (2) Afforestation measures and (3) Being the world’s number one in the use of electric vehicles.
With active economic growth and a huge number of citizens, China is considered as the largest developing country in the world. Due to urbanization, light pollution generalize is an environmental factor that significantly influences the quality and health of wildlife. According to Pengpeng Han et al., “In the 1990s, the increasing trend in light pollution regions mostly occurred in larger urban cities, which are mainly located in eastern and coastal areas, whereas the decreasing trend areas were chiefly industrial and mining cities rich in mineral resources, in addition to the central parts of large cities”. In the 2000s, nearly all urban cities were dominated by an uprising trend in light pollution.
Lead poisoning was described in a 2001 paper as one of the most common pediatric health problems in China. A 2006 review of existing data suggested that one-third of Chinese children suffer from elevated serum lead levels. Pollution from metal smelters and a fast-growing battery industry has been responsible for most cases of, particularly high lead levels. In 2011, there were riots in the Zhejiang Haijiu Battery Factory from angry parents whose children received permanent neurological damage from lead poisoning. The central government has acknowledged the problem and has taken measures such as suspending battery factory production, but some see the response as inadequate and some local authorities have tried to silence criticisms.
A literature review of academic studies on Chinese children’s blood lead levels found that the lead levels declined when comparing the studies published during 1995–2003 and 2004–2007 periods. Lead levels also showed a declining trend after China banned lead in gasoline in 2000. Lead levels were still higher than those in developed nations. Industrial areas had higher levels than suburban areas, which had higher levels than urban areas. Controlling and preventing lead poisoning was described as a long-term mission.
Persistent organic pollutants
China is a signatory nation of the Stockholm Convention, a treaty to control and phase out major persistent organic pollutants (POP). A plan of action for 2010 includes objectives such as eliminating the production, import and use of the pesticides covered under the convention, as well as an accounting system for PCB containing equipment. For 2015, China plans to establish an inventory of POP-contaminated sites and remediation plans. Since May 2009, this treaty also covers polybrominated diphenyl ethers and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid. Perfluorinated compounds are associated with altered thyroid function and decreased sperm count in humans. China faces a big challenge in controlling and eliminating POPs, since they often are cheaper than their alternatives, or are unintentionally produced and then released into the environment to save on treatment costs.
The Yellow dust or Asian dust is a seasonal dust cloud which affects Northeast Asia during late winter and springtime. The dust originates in the deserts of Mongolia, northern China and Kazakhstan where high-speed surface winds and intense dust storms kick up dense clouds of fine, dry soil particles. These clouds are then carried eastward by prevailing winds and pass over Northern China into Korea and Japan.
Desertification has intensified in China. 1,740,000 square kilometres of land is classified as “dry”, and desertification disrupts the lives of 400 million people and causes direct economic losses of 54 billion yuan ($7 billion) a year, SFA figures show. Sulfur (an acid rain component), soot, ash, carbon monoxide, and other toxic pollutants including heavy metals (such as mercury, cadmium, chromium, arsenic, lead, zinc, copper) and other carcinogens, often accompany the dust storms, as well as viruses, bacteria, fungi, pesticides, antibiotics, asbestos, herbicides, plastic ingredients, combustion products and hormone mimicking phthalates.
The increasing number of air pollutants can cause incidences of low visibility for days and acid rain. According to the article “Air Pollution in Mega Cities in China”, “Coal accounts for 70% of the total energy consumption, and emissions from coal combustion are the major anthropogenic contributors to air pollution in China.” The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) also highlights the Huai River Policy established during China’s central planning period between 1950 and 1980. The policy provided homes and offices with free coal for winter heating but was limited solely to the Northern region due to budget limitations. The policy led to a dramatic increase in coal consumption and production. Coal production alongside rapid economic growth has increased the emission of harmful pollutants such as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and small particle matter known as PM2.5 and PM10. Long-term exposure to pollutants can cause health risks such as respiratory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Coal is a huge issue because of the SO2 emissions from coal factories. According to the article, “SO2 exceeded the Chinese Grade-II standards in 22% of the country’s cities and caused acid rain problems in 38% of the cities.”
In 2010 49 employees at Wintek were poisoned by n-hexane in the manufacturing of touchscreens for Apple products.
In 2013, it was revealed that portions of the country’s rice supply were tainted with the toxic metal cadmium.
Criticisms of government environmental policies
Critics point to the government’s lack of willingness to protect the environment as a common problem with China’s environmental policies. Even in the case of the latest plan, experts are skeptical about its actual influence because of the existence of loopholes. This is because economic growth is still the primary issue for the government, and overrides environmental protection.
However, if the measures to cut coal usage were applied strictly, it would also mean the dismantling of the local economy that is highly reliant on heavy industry. The Financial Times interviewed a worker who stated, “if this steel mill didn’t exist, we wouldn’t even have anywhere to go to eat. Everything revolves around this steel factory – our children work here.”
Air pollution contributes to millions of premature deaths around the world each year. In China, rapid industrialization has wrought intense levels of air pollution that present serious social, economic, and political problems. China’s leaders have responded with measures designed to improve air quality, but they face significant challenges in balancing economic growth with environmental and social welfare.
China saw average concentrations of lung-damaging airborne particles known as PM2.5 fall by 10.8% from January to July as industry slowed because of the coronavirus, data showed on Friday, though levels were still well above WHO recommendations.
The environment ministry said the improvement in air quality throughout the country in February and March was “incomparable” after the government imposed lockdowns to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, which cut industrial activity and traffic.
But environmental groups have warned that China might turn a blind eye to industrial polluters and rely on energy-intensive processes to try to reverse the economic impact of the pandemic in the second half of the year.
A 10-year effort by China to improve air quality and reduce pollution-related health risks has caused warming in areas across the northern hemisphere, according to new work published in Environmental Research Letters.
Aerosols are tiny particles that are spewed into the atmosphere by human activities, such as burning coal and wood, or by geological phenomena, like volcanos. Their negative effects on air quality can damage human health and agricultural productivity.
Similar to how the aerosols emitted in a volcanic eruption can cause global temperatures to drop, some aerosols from human activity also have a cooling effect on the climate. Unlike greenhouse gases, which induce global warming by trapping heat in the atmosphere, aerosol particles can cause sunlight to be reflected away from the planet either directly or by interacting with clouds.
“This means that some of the effects of global warming are being masked by aerosol pollution,” explained lead author, Carnegie’s Yixuan Zheng.
Between 2006 and 2017, the Chinese government implemented clean-air policies to reduce the public health risks of aerosol pollutants like sulfate, a cooling agent. These efforts have possibly saved as many as half a million lives a year.
Zheng, along with Carnegie colleague Ken Caldeira, UC Irvine’s Dan Tong and Steven Davis, and Qiang Zhang of Tsinghua University, set out to investigate how these aerosol reductions have affected the global climate.
They applied a sophisticated model based on atmospheric and oceanic systems over a 100-year period, which revealed that China’s pollution-reduction policies might have unmasked about 0.1 degrees Celsius (0.2 degrees Fahrenheit) of greenhouse-gas-induced warming throughout the northern hemisphere — not just in China itself.
“The health risks associated with particulate pollution are very serious and mitigation efforts are unquestionably a good thing,” Caldeira said. “But it’s also important to understand how ongoing and future efforts to improve air quality will create additional challenges in the international fight against climate change.”
So you can see that China and Russia have environmental issues. They apparently put the profit margin above environmental issues. With China’s population in excess of 1.4 billion people, life is cheap. So who cares if a few thousand people die from pollution exposure, right. Even before the advent of Communism, life had little value in China. Thousands of people have been sacrificed to protect secret burial locations for deceased emperors. Millions of people were sacrificed when communism was in its infancy due to mismanagement of farmland. The same happened when communism first started in Russia. Stalin killed tens of millions of people out of shear paranoia. So why should these leaders care about environmentally related deaths? These governments are totalitarian forms of government. There is a famous quote that states “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This is the case in China and Russia, where greed and power trump all other concerns.
en.wikipedia.org, ” Environmental issues in Russia,” By Wikipedia editors; en.wikipedia.org, ” Pollution in China,” By Wilkipedia editors; reuters.com, “China air pollution falls 10.8% because of coronavirus slowdown,” By Reuters Staff; sciencedaily.com, “Are China’s pollution remediation efforts making the planet warmer?”;