Eye for an Eye, a Death for a Deadly Disease
China Threatens Death Penalty for Serious Polluters
A new judicial interpretation would impose "harsher punishments" and tighten "lax and superficial" enforcement of the country's environmental protection laws. This 2013 excerpt is from Reuters Jun 19.
by ReutersChinese authorities have given courts the powers to hand down the death penalty in serious pollution cases, the government tries to assuage growing public anger at environmental desecration.
"All force should be mobilised to uncover law-breaking clues of environmental pollution in a timely way," it added.
Previous promises to tackle China's pollution crisis have had mixed results, and enforcement has been a problem at the local level, where governments often heavily rely on tax receipts from polluting industries under their jurisdiction.
Protests over pollution have unnerved the stability-obsessed ruling Communist Party.
Thousands of people took to the streets in the southwestern city of Kunming last month to protest against the planned production of a chemical at a refinery.
Severe air pollution in Beijing and large parts of northern China this winter have added to the sense of unease among the population.
Human rights groups say China executes thousands of people a year, more than all other countries combined. The death penalty is often imposed for corruption and other economic crimes.
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JJS: While killing offenders is a bit over the top, at least the national government is killing people in power, and not just poor people into drugs. Note the local governments tolerate the contamination (and killing) of their populace in exchange for money, for taxes. Therein lies a solution. Rather than tax an industry’s output or profit, government should tax everyone’s unwanted byproducts (pollution) and location. The cleaner the location, the higher its value, and the revenue for both the user and the local rent-collecting government. It’s geonomics and it works.
Editor Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics and helped prepare a course for the UN on geonomics. To take the “Land Rights” course, click here .
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