Atheism and the environment

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Air pollution in the city of Suzhou, China.

China has the largest atheist population in the world and has state atheism (see: China and atheism). Most atheists in the world are likely East Asians (see: Asian atheism).

Overall, atheistic societies have a poor record when it comes to the environment. Despite many atheists claiming to be pro-science, the application of environmental science in atheistic societies has been substandard in many cases as can be seen below (see also: Atheism and science).

In addition, there are secular leftist regimes which are inconsistent when it comes to their purported commitment to the notion of man-made climate change/global warming (see: Atheism and climate change policies).

Atheist controlled communist China and the environment

See also: China and the environment and China and atheism and Atheism and communism

China has the world's largest atheist population (see: China and atheism). China has state atheism. Most atheists are likely East Asians (see: Asian atheism).

Anyang, China. Severe air pollution in 2014.

Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia founded by an atheist and agnostic, declares in its article Environmental issues in China:

Environmental issues in China are plentiful, severely affecting the country's biophysical environment and human health. Rapid industrialisation, as well as lax environmental oversight, are main contributors to these problems.

The Chinese government has acknowledged the problems and made various responses, resulting in some improvements, but the responses have been criticized as inadequate. In recent years, there has been increased citizens' activism against government decisions that are perceived as environmentally damaging, and a retired official from the Communist Party of China has reported that the year of 2012 saw over 50,000 environmental protests in China.[1]

In 2019, Wired magazine published an article entitled China Is Still Building an Insane Number of New Coal Plants[2]

In 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported:

China’s efforts to wean itself off coal are losing steam, as the world’s biggest carbon emitter is putting economic growth and energy security above its ambitions to be a leader in combating climate change.

Coal consumption is back near peak levels after rebounding over the past three years, despite China’s pledges to make steep cuts in what is the country’s most prevalent and polluting source of energy. The country is building more coal-fired plant capacity than the rest of the world combined.[3]

In 2019, ITV news reported that Chinese air pollution is ten times worse than in London (China is building new coal plants (The Chinese Communist Party of China supports building new coal plants in China which contradicts their purported commitment to supporting the leftist/liberal position on global warming/climate change).[4]

For more information, please see: China and the environment

China's ocean waste recently surges 27%

China, the environment and cancer

See also: Atheism and cancer

In China, cancer rates are exploding and for the first time the extent has been revealed."[5]

As a result of its poor envirnomental record, China has a significant problem with cancer.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation declared in 2015:

In China, cancer rates are exploding and for the first time the extent has been revealed.

Last year, more than four million people were diagnosed with the disease and nearly three million died from it, research from the American Cancer Journal of Clinicians showed.

In some of the industrial provinces, lung cancer rates have increased a staggering four-fold, but authorities seem reluctant to acknowledge — let alone deal with — the epidemic.

The Cancer Institute and Hospital in central Beijing is struggling to cope with ever-increasing caseloads.

Every day, hundreds pour in from all over China.

People can wait months for a doctor's appointment, but often it is too late for treatment and the cancer is too advanced.[6]

A factory in China.

Science Daily reported in article entitled Nearly half of China cancer deaths attributable to potentially modifiable risk factors:

A new report finds more than half of all cancer deaths in men in 2013 in China and more than a third of those in women were attributable to a group of potentially modifiable risk factors: smoking, alcohol, nutrition, weight, physical activity, and infections.[7]

Cancer epidemic in China

Atheistic Soviet Union and the environment

Radiation-affected areas from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant as of 1996.

See also: Soviet Union

According to the University of Cambridge, historically, the "most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power."[8]

The former Soviet Union had state atheism.

The environmental legacy of the former Soviet Union was a severely degraded environment.[9]

Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident in the former Soviet Union

East Germany under the Soviet Union and the environment

In 1984, the Christian Science Monitor reported concerning East Germany which was under the Soviet Union at the time:

A UN report six months ago identified East Germany as the most polluted country in Europe. East Germany is the third largest source of sulfur dioxide in Europe (after the Soviet Union and Britain); the German Economic Institute in West Berlin calculates that East German sulfur dioxide emissions have reached at least 46 tons annually per square kilometer, or triple West German levels.

A good half of this foul air is concentrated in the industrialized flatlands around Leipzig and Halle. Forests are dying in East Germany at an alarming rate, as they are in West Germany, Czechoslovakia, and elsewhere in Central Europe.[10]

Under atheistic communism, the United Nations reported that East Germany was the most polluted country in Europe.[11]

According to Business Report:

It is a pity that so many extreme environmentalists were in their cribs when the Berlin Wall came down, although it does to some extent excuse their ignorance of the appalling industrial pollution and environmental degradation in communist East Germany.

It can only be ignorance that supports their fantasy that only a socialist economy that bans profit and private property can save the environment and avoid alleged catastrophic climate change.

More than a third of all East German rivers, and almost a third of all reservoirs were so polluted, they were beyond rescue. Half the lakes were dead, or dying.

Only half the amount of domestic sewage was treated and most industrial waste was left untreated and dumped.

East German forests were badly damaged by sulphur dioxide and coal dust. In some places, air pollution was 12 times worse than in West Germany. Almost half the population breathed air that anywhere else would be called smog.

And then there was the town of Bitterfeld. It lived up to its name. When its poor state under communist rule became known, it was dubbed “Europe’s dirtiest town”. Its air and water was so filthy it horrified any western journalist that went there. A Washington Post reporter described rivers flowing red with rust, drinking-water full of heavy metals, and dead trees in the surrounding area.

One chemical plant near the town poured almost 100 litres of mercury into the river every day. This was ten times more than amounts permitted for a large West German chemical factory.

The New York Times said Bitterfeld’s air “stings” and the water in its rivers was “syrupy”. The UK Independent reported that a local guesthouse provided gas masks for its customers.

Bad as pollution and environmental degradation was in East Germany under the communists, it was in places even worse in other parts of formerly communist eastern Europe.[12]

Secular Europe and the environment

See also: Secular Europe

From a global perspective, Europe is more secular/atheistic than the rest of the world although it does have a considerable amount of religious immigrants who have higher birth rates (see: Atheist population and Global atheism).

Central Europe and Eastern Europe and the environment

The Eastern block portion of Europe, which included the central European and eastern European communist countries under the former Soviet Union, had a poor record when it came to the application of environmental science.

See also: Environmental problems and policies in East Central Europe: A changing agenda, Geoscience, 2001

Western Europe and the environment

At the present time, overall Western Europe and the European Union have extensive protections when it comes to the environment.[13]

Most liberals/leftists believe that man-made carbon dioxide emmissions are causing global warming/climate change and that using coal for energy production causes global warming.

Atheistic, communist mainland China and climate change policy

See also: Atheism and climate change policies

As noted above, China is building new coal plants. As mentioned above, the Chinese Communist Party of China supporting building new coal plants in China contradicts their purported commitment to supporting the leftist/liberal position on global warming/climate change).[14]

Atheistic, communist Vietnam and climate change policy

Goose stepping, communist, Vietmanese soldiers laying a wreath at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

Vietnam is a communist country with state atheism.[15]

In 2019, Reuters reported concerning Vietnam and coal usage:

Vietnam is considering importing coal from the United States to meet rising demand for the fuel for power generation, state media reported on Tuesday, as the Southeast Asian country plans to build more coal-fired power plants...

Coal is expected to account for 42.6% of Vietnam’s power generating capacity by 2030, up from 38.1% currently, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.[16]

North Korea and climate change policy

Sketch of communist dictator Kim Jong-un.

North Korea has state atheism.[17]

Reuters reports concerning North Korea:

When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un used his New Year speech to highlight coal as a “primary front” in developing the economy, he was making a case for what analysts see as a flawed but key resource on which his country increasingly relies.

Coal has long been a major resource for North Korea, and Kim’s call for self sufficiency in the face of international pressure is a recurring theme.

But as international sanctions have increased over the past year, coal is one of the few local resources to which Kim can turn as he tries to make good on promises to improve life in a country notorious for limited electricity, analysts and defectors say.[18]

Soviet Union and carbon dioxide emmissions

As mentioned above, the former Soviet Union had state atheism.

The article Former USSR Fuel CO2 Emissions indicates:

From 1950-1991, the former USSR's share increased from 12% to 16% of total global emissions. Growth during the late 1980s was stimulated largely by the rapid exploitation of huge natural gas resources. In 1991, emissions from natural gas consumption accounted for 33% of Soviet emissions. Contributions from coal burning, on the other hand, have shrunk, from 80% in 1950 to 31% in 1991. Petroleum consumption since 1975 have been relatively static. Gas-flaring data for the former USSR are poor and partly estimated and should be considered qualitative only, but gas flaring contributes only a small fraction of total emissions.[19]

Secular Europe and climate change policies

See also: Secular Europe

As noted above, from a global perspective, Europe is more secular/atheistic than the rest of the world although it does have a considerable amount of religious immigrants who have higher birth rates (see: Atheist population and Global atheism).

At the present time, overall Western Europe and the European Union advocate global warming being an important environmental issue.

Religion and various views on the environment

See also

References

  1. Environmental issues in China
  2. China Is Still Building an Insane Number of New Coal Plants, Wired Magazine
  3. [In Tougher Times, China Falls Back on Coal], Wall Street Journal
  4. Chinese pollution ten times worse than London
  5. China's cancer rates exploding, more than 4 million people diagnosed in 2015, study says, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  6. China's cancer rates exploding, more than 4 million people diagnosed in 2015, study says, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  7. Nearly half of China cancer deaths attributable to potentially modifiable risk factors, Science Daily, 2017
  8. Investigating atheism: Marxism. University of Cambridge (2008). Retrieved on July 17, 2014. “The most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power. For the first time in history, atheism thus became the official ideology of a state.”
  9. The Environmental Record of the Soviet Union by Arran Gare
  10. East Germany disputes its status as the most polluted country in Europe, Christian Science Monitor
  11. East Germany disputes its status as the most polluted country in Europe, Christian Science Monitor
  12. East Germany provides bleak ideological lesson, Business Report
  13. Jordan, A.J. and C. Adelle (ed.) (2012) Environmental Policy in the European Union: Contexts, Actors and Policy Dynamics (3e). Earthscan: London and Sterling, VA.
  14. Chinese pollution ten times worse than London
  15. Jan Dodd, Mark Lewis, Ron Emmons. The Rough Guide to Vietnam, Vol. 4, 2003. p. 509: "After 1975, the Marxist-Leninist government of reunified Vietnam declared the state atheist while theoretically allowing people the right to practice their religion under the constitution."
  16. [https://www.reuters.com/article/us-vietnam-us-coal/vietnam-mulls-importing-u-s-coal-for-power-generation-idUSKCN1UW0V5 Vietnam mulls importing U.S. coal for power generation, Reuters
  17. World and Its Peoples: Eastern and Southern Asia. Marshall Cavendish. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “North Korea is officially an atheist state in which almost the entire population is nonreligious.” 
  18. Kim's vision of a coal-fueled North Korean future may be tough to realize
  19. Former USSR Fuel CO2 Emissions