China is Greening Up

China, that raucous polluter is open about how badly they treat the environment, and they are also open about how they are trying to clean it up, particularly they are encouraging public organizations to pressure factories and politicians to clean up their acts. THe Washington Monthly’s article The Great Leap Forward looks at the growing green movement in China.

Green Camel Bell’s mission is the “protection of the Mother River,” a motto that evokes the history of the Yellow River basin as the cradle of Chinese civilization. Among other activities, the organization’s two paid staffers (Zhao draws no salary) and several dozen volunteers assemble the environmental records of factories across Lanzhou: culling newspaper articles, academic studies, and reports prepared by local environmental officials, many of whom Zhao knows. They send the information to a partner group in Beijing, which feeds it into the China Water Pollution Map (, a free online database that allows users to access information about water quality in their region. The site also publishes a list of factories that violate national environ- mental standards—including many state-owned enterprises.

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