Friday, February 16, 2007

A Greener China

The can-do spirit that has allowed farmers' fields to sprout finished factories within mere weeks, and has propelled China up the league tables of economic growth, is now, apparently, being applied to solve environmental problems, according to a story in the New York Times:

The forestry bureau in Fumin County, in southwestern Yunnan Province, paid more than $60,000 for a team of painters to spend 45 days painting a barren hillside green, news reports said. "The painters were saying it was to adjust the hill's feng shui," The Beijing News quoted a villager as saying. Residents said the hillside, a disused quarry, was opposite the new office of the forestry bureau. The bureau confirmed ordering the paint job but did not explain why.

What's next? Rivers running brown with sewage and chemicals being dyed back to a healthy blue color? Actors pretending to be healthy people not suffering from respiratory difficulties caused by China's ubiquitous industrial smog? As the Beijing Olympics approach, such innovative environmental policies may multiply. In the meantime, at least the forestry officials in Fumin County can enjoy the greenery outside their windows.


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