Development and Pollution by Lu Guang, commissioned by Greenpeace International. September 14, 2010. Wuhai Chemical Plant produces PVC products that create lots of poisonous waste material and sewage, which gets dumped along the coast of the Yellow River. China is now the world’s second-largest economy. Its economic development has consumed lots of energy and generated plenty of pollution. A habit of directly discharging unprocessed industrial sewage, exhaust gas and waste material has led to pollution of farmlands, grasslands, and drinking water as well as the ocean and the air. Over the past 10 years, factories have been moved from the country’s east to its central and western parts, thus greatly expanding the polluted area and increasing the severity of the situation. Although the environmental protection administration has shut down many small enterprises with serious pollution emission, some still continue to discharge contaminants illegally. Some have adopted covert operations, such as releasing the smoke and gas waste at night. The sewage channel is embedded into the river and ocean for discharging pollution. Western factories have large evaporation ponds to store sewage, but the sewage sinks into the ground, thus polluting the water source. Minerals, such as coal and iron, are expanded to large-scale predatory strip mine exploitation from the original underground mining. Grassland has been turned into desert. Fertile farmland has given way to barren mountains. Herdsmen no longer have grassland. Farmers have lost their farms, their own homelands destroyed, thus causing the villagers to become displaced. Winds carry the exposed coal dust and sand, causing smog. Smog, in turn, forces middle and primary schools to close. Flights get delayed. The highway gets shut down. The number of hospital patients with respiratory disease goes up. Food and drinking water is polluted, which leads to cancer, so common China has seen the emergence of ‘cancer villages’. China’s environmental pollution has already exerted great threats to people’s life and security. Image courtesy World Press Photos Foundation
The respected photographer has been missing since early November, but the Chinese police have apparently now confirmed that he's been arrested - without detailing why
The Chinese police have confirmed that they have arrested photographer Lu Guang, according to reports in The New York Times and elsewhere. He has been missing since early November but, his wife Xu Xiaoli has apparently confirmed, the police called his family this week to confirm he was arrested in Kashgar – an ancient city in southern Xinjiang that has seen a government crackdown on Uighurs and other Muslim minorities.
Xu says she still doesn’t know why Lu has been arrested though, and says that the police haven’t provided a written notice confirming the detention. A friend of Lu’s who disappeared at the same time is also still missing, though Xu had no more information about his fate.
Lu, who is 57, is well-known for his work, which focuses on social issues such as pollution and the environment. However his wife said that he hadn’t been planning to photograph the Uighurs, who – along with Kazakhs and members of other Muslim minorities in China – have been detained in camps for indoctrination programmes aimed at severing their commitment to Islam and nurturing their commitment to the Communist Party.
“I don’t think he ever mentioned that,” Xu reportedly said. “He was always working on the environment and pollution.”