Following The Urbanization Of Properties

by : Jon Caldwell

Japan, during its period of rapid economic growth after World War II had problems with their environment. The government, in an effort to address the problem, applied various measures like investing in R&D for environment friendly technologies and provided funding to the populace and encourage the various industries to construct pollution control facilities. Despite their efforts, none of these proved sufficient. Because of this, the government formed an advisory panel to look into Japan's industrial structure and come up with preventive actions on the part of the industry that are important to protecting the environment. In observance with this panel's suggestion, the government initiated the nation-wide Pollution Control Manager System, which obligates every company in their respective industries to set up pollution control and prevention personnel groups in their factories who is led by a station certified manager who is an expert in regulatory and technical aspects of pollution control in their locality. The move, combined with other preventive measures like the development of environmental friendly technologies and investment in pollution prevention facilities played an important role in Japan's battle against environmental degradation. Because of this, Japan eventually succeeded in overcoming its ecological problems in the 1980s.

In the past few years, Chinese companies have worked tremendously to achieve the country's goal of having a robust economic development. China's foreign assistance has come in the form of new technologies that are pertinent in sustaining the high levels of production. But it is my observation that what China really needs is to build an environment-friendly society. Despite the economic disparity between China's urban and rural areas, ordinary citizens are becoming more conscious about the environmental problems they face. The most crucial element in combating the environmental problem is to raise the awareness of both the companies and citizens. Japan, who was successful with their battle against environmental problems should help China come up with policies that provides greater emphasis in developing environmental training and educational programs customized to raise public awareness on environmental issues.

China is facing a serious environmental problem. Fast paced construction of Olympic related buildings coupled with its economic productivity proved to be very environmentally costly to China. Examples like waste water flushed out from chemical and paper manufacturing industries is polluting and poisoning rivers and lakes all over the country. Mishaps at chemical plants often hit news headlines. Their steel and cement production is probably the world's largest and also contributes smog and CO2 emissions to its highest levels. The air pollution in Beijing, which is brought by the combined and widespread use of cars and factory emissions, prevents Beijing residents from enjoying clear sunlight. The spread of acid rain and the pollution of oceans beyond China's borders is clearly becoming a global problem. Presently, The Chinese government has started reviewing its economy-oriented rules and has taken steps for the construction of a more environment-friendly society.

Recently, I visited Christiansburg, Virginia for a historical story opportunity with Norfolk Southern Railroad. They are in the process of upgrading 28 tunnels on a route between Hampton Roads, Chicago, and Virginia so they can accommodate double-stacked railcars. The tunnel I visited was originally built between 1911 and 1919, The cap of its concrete liner have been removed but it was replaced with rock bolt reinforcements and concrete to the exposed rock to accommodate the double-stacked cars. This distinct tunnel is the longest on the route at 0.6 miles.When I went inside, I saw heavy equipment working double time and I also saw the work in progress. I walked back and forth along its length. I also discovered that carved it was carved through a small mountain with about 180 feet of dirt and rock over my head. It was totally dark and it kinda scared me. The Only visible light were from the light the seeped through the entrances of the tunnel and the flashlight that i brought along with me.