Originally Posted by sflocal
Does the Chinese government truly not care about their own environment? Is the almighty yen (or dollar) that much more important than the health of their inhabitants. Do they simply turn a blind eye to what's right in front of them and only act (if they do) when the media catches on?
This is not an Apple issue. I'll bet other manufacturers for other brands have the exact (if not worse) problem with waste.
I mean come on! We had our problems in the US back in the early ages, but even if China is catching up it's not like they started from caves. Heck, they had us to use as a template of how to do things. Do they care that little about themselves?
You don't think there is still tremendous pollution in the United States? While we might not be as obvious about it as the Chinese, we're still pretty bad. And the reality is that until your own water is bad or until there's a cancer cluster close to where you live, most people don't give a crap. Given a choice between clean air or water and jobs, most people in the U.S. (and certainly most Republicans) will choose jobs and profits. When people talk about reducing government regulations on business, what do you think they're referring to? While some of it is about record keeping and SOX compliance, most of it is about environmental protections.
GE and Kodak polluted the Hudson River for decades and we're still feeling the effects - the river is still filled with PCBs. There are still thousands of Superfund toxic waste sites in the United States.
One of the reasons why this happens in China is because companies like Apple and WalMart force the supplier chain to manufacture for such low cost, it's simply not economically feasible to either pay employees well or to follow strong environmental practices. But like Apple ][ above, given a choice between paying more for Apple devices to insure proper environmental practices in China or paying less and not caring, I believe that most people would prefer not to care.