China lake

With its saturated colors, a picture of a lake in China’s Anhui Province looks like a painting that could have been done by the French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir. No Photoshop trickery here though, the above image is an actual photograph of the lake. But how did it get this way?

Though it looks like green paint, the slime-like substance scooped off the lake’s surface in the above photo is in fact algae, which, due to the effects of synthetic chemical fertilizers, has bred in large numbers. Though continued economic growth has brought prosperity to some parts of the country, accompanying environmental pollution problems such as urban air quality and the state of lakes like this one are once again attracting attention.

lake cleaning
The Chinese government has reportedly spent 7.4 billion yen (about 77 million US dollars) in an effort to restore life to the lake shown here.

Comments posted on the Internet in reference to the top photo include, “it looks like a piece by Van Gogh,” “it resembles a green tea latte,” and “it’s like a landscape painting.” We in Japan cannot be too smug, however, as our own country experienced a plethora of similar environmental issues during its rapid growth stage in the 60s and 70s. Hopefully those experiences can be leveraged to help improve the situation in China and we can work together in creating and sustaining a better global environment.

Source: Byokan Sunday