This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

China's Big Bang Theory: We've Gone Green

TAIPEI ( TheStreet) -- - When China gets covered in enough sooty pollution to make a volcano jealous, we can't blame the propaganda machinery for its output.

As the country winds up its two weeks of Lunar New Year celebrations on Saturday Feb. 23 , Xinhua says the holiday has "gone green." The official news agency means that fewer people dropped cherry bombs or sent exploding balls of fire into the air.

Fireworks tend to pick up bit by bit about half a month before the holiday. Once the two-week festivities formally start, fireworks create a staccato symphony so thick there's no silence -- just the purr of something like axes breaking through your walls -- and smoke so thick that it raises pollution levels in an already filthy country.

I acknowledge writing again about the old issue of air pollution. But the fireworks went on much as usual this year in most of China despite Xinhua's claim of green rather than greyish brown air. And there's more.

The news agency's Feb. 14 report follows other Chinese government statements about environmental progress, even when there isn't any. Such statements aim to fire up citizen participation in cleaning the air. They should not be confused with the reality of today's China.

Granted, some people went green instead of glaring red this year, and friends in several cities said they heard more pauses than usual between blasts. I imagine the growing crowd that leaves China every Lunar New Year for resorts in Southeast Asia or tours of Europe accounted for some of the silence.

But I also got one report that one city's fireworks went on from 1 a.m. straight through 9 a.m. During the Lunar New Year period last year pyrotechnics raised particulate matter levels in Beijing to about 1,600 micrograms per cubic meter -- 80 times pre-holiday levels.

I bring up fireworks not because they come close to the scale of industry, traffic or energy-inefficient buildings in causing China's notorious air pollution. I use them as a metaphor for why pollution as a whole persists in China despite calls for cleanups and great lists of rules to make them happen.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
AAPL $124.43 -1.54%
FB $82.22 -1.18%
GOOG $548.00 -0.73%
TSLA $188.77 -0.94%
YHOO $44.44 -1.15%


DOW 17,776.12 -200.19 -1.11%
S&P 500 2,067.89 -18.35 -0.88%
NASDAQ 4,900.8850 -46.5560 -0.94%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs