Zhou Jinfeng's Explanation of "Three Axioms" of Pollution Control
2020/7/2 11:35:00 本站

Fighting tough battles on pollution prevention and comprehensively conserving resources and effectively advancing is a major decision and deployment in China, and an important part of meeting people’s new expectations for a beautiful ecological environment and building an ecological civilization.


The so-called "axiom" refers to the basic proposition that is based on the self-evident basic facts of human reason and has passed the test of human repeated practice for a long time and does not need to be proved.


However, nowadays, when the contradiction between economic and social development and ecological environmental protection is outstanding, and the carrying capacity of resources and environment has reached or is close to the upper limit, we can often see some improper pollution control, which violates basic principles and common sense.


So, what are the basic and self-evident axioms that need attention in pollution control? Dr. Zhou Jinfeng, Secretary-General of China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF), explained the "three axioms" of pollution control.


Now the world is carrying out environmental remediation and pollution control work. This morning our working group discussed the standards for heavy metal land restoration and governance. At the meeting, I proposed three axioms. Of course, we must first adhere to the "four principles of ecological restoration", which is very important. As important as the four principles of ecological restoration, we propose today the "three axioms" of pollution control.


What is the three axioms? Axioms are the basic laws and theorems that must be implemented.


The first is the "non-proliferation" axiom. In the process of repair, the most important process of governance, the most important thing is to prevent proliferation. For example, if the land contaminated by heavy metal soil is used, then if we are to strengthen its irrigation and flush the groundwater with rainwater, then this will cause its groundwater to spread, and then the rivers after the rainwater will spread.


Then such governance is inappropriate. The first axiom of pollution control is to stop its spread. If long-term monitoring reveals that it is still spreading to surrounding areas and areas outside the natural area, this is wrong. With its spread, we should increase the area of governance, and all its spread areas should be included in the area of governance and governance monitoring.


The second axiom is called the "no harm" axiom. If a piece of land is contaminated with heavy metal lead and heavy metal chromium, if we remove the heavy metal lead and heavy metal chromium from the land, then it requires a large amount of chemicals, it requires a very large investment, and it does not meet the basic pollution control Axioms.


So, what should we do when faced with this situation? No harm. For example, the land used to grow rice and citrus. In the harvested rice and oranges, cadmium has already been reflected. It is harmful to humans, so it is harmful. So if you plant castor-everyone knows that castor oil is not used for eating, castor oil is used for industrial lubricants and industrial raw materials, then castor rods also have its role, as long as it is not harmful, then this repair treatment is enough is enough.


Like "Changzhou Toxic Land Case", the land has been seriously contaminated, but dig out that piece of soil and transport it elsewhere, then go to bake and wash it? This is not consistent with the second "non-harmful axiom". This kind of treatment has caused harm. During the process of digging the soil, harmful gases are released, and the surrounding students smell pungent pollution. Transportation, soil, solid landfill... all bring about re-pollution, so this violates both the axiom of "no harm" and the axiom of "non-proliferation".


The third is called the "full publicity" axiom. In many cities, houses are now built on contaminated land. Well, although some industries and some places have standards, for example, I went to a desert to investigate the pollution there. The staff took out the instrument and said, there is no pollution, and there is no problem with the atmospheric index. I then asked him: "You atmospheric monitoring, are there any special pollutants from this pollution?" He said no. He is using a unified standard for atmospheric monitoring, the data for detection is limited, and there is no pollution by using his instrument station to test there.


But in fact, is there any harmful substance in that soil? I took a stick and inserted it into the contaminated plot and pulled it out. It smelled very pungent, and I could intuitively feel the aromatic hydrocarbon there, a carcinogen. Therefore, we cannot rely on excessive and superstitious standards. For example, once there was no indicator of melamine content in the milk standard, because there was no such substance in natural milk at that time, so the standard we set did not have a standard for this substance, but there were criminals who added this substance. For another example, if the water standard is second-level or first-level, it must indicate that the water quality is good? No, because the test substances in the standards established by the first-level water are listed, inclusive, and incomplete.


So, how to solve this problem? What is the third axiom of pollution control? It is called the "full publicity" axiom.


For example, if there was any pollution in this land, the relevant parties need to put up a sign there; when the building is constructed, it is also necessary to make it clear to all buyers: what kind of pollution has occurred in this land, and what kind of measures has been carried out and what is the result of the current testing. This is a very important fundamental principle.


The axiom of "full publicity" has several benefits. The first is to avoid the possibility of potential harm to humans and users due to omissions in the standards. If a public announcement is made, buyers and users will realize that they can conduct additional testing and self-protection, and they have the most important right to know.


The second benefit is that the governance of the land can be more adequate and thorough. We have talked about a "limited principle" among the four principles of ecological restoration. "Limited principle" and "full publicity" correspond. For example, the governance of rivers cannot be governed by the standard of drinkable water, which is excessive governance. "Excessive governance" is a disaster for the ecology. At the same time, we also need to tell people about the status of the river, what pollution is present, and how to treat it. This is called full publicity.


So today I talk about the three axioms of non-proliferation, harmlessness and full publicity. The three axioms are the foundation we must adhere to in the repair and governance work. Only by sticking to these three axioms can we guarantee the effectiveness of the later governance work. For example, if it is fully publicized, it can not only prevent harmfulness, but also prevent such land and rivers from being excessively used in this environment. Because it has been publicized, people may not buy this land, thereby reducing the possibility of harm caused by the development of this land. This can form a virtuous circle and make pollution control more effective.


“Publicity” means openness, fairness and information.


Without adequate publicity, it will lead to improper commercial pricing of land, rivers, etc., and will be driven by commercial interests, which will seriously impede ecological governance and effective restoration.


I hope people can follow these three axioms when formulating relevant standards and carrying out related work.



(Video credit: CBCGDF)

Original Chinese article:


By / Maggie, Melody Lee (Volunteer)