Here in 2113 everything really is so much better. That becomes even more obvious as we look back at the news of 100 years ago, with a glance at the consequences that those 2013 idiots never even saw coming!
Dead pigs in Chinese River
What began as a mysterious rotting pig phenomenon in China led to a global disease epidemic.
On April 3rd, 2013 more than 16,000 diseased pig carcasses were found floating along the Jiapingtang, a tributary of the Huangpu River in China. At the time, there were concerns that the pigs may’ve poisoned Shanghai’s drinking water (2013 population – 23 million).
Environmental damage and public health consequences were mostly ignored, in order not to damage China’s 50% share of the global pork export market. Back in 1997 Taiwan pork exports were banned for 10 years, following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. China was desperate to avoid a similar penalty.
The official explanation was that the US$12 government subsidy for each diseased pig was too low. The suggested form of disposal, burying the pig 1.5m underground, costs US$26 per pig. Each pig has a market value of US$180.
The farmers only get this US$12 if they have more than 50 pigs. One third of pig farms in China are smaller than 50 pigs.
Attempts were made to provide pig disposal alternatives. Zhu Fangmin of Suining County invested nearly US$160,000 into a carcass treatment plant which turned dead animals into industrial oil or fertilizer. Many such facilities were in existence, however many farmers could not afford the cost of transport to this facility or similar.
At the time, China was responsible for half the world’s pig production: 700 million pigs in 2012 with a disease rate of 5%. That’s 35 million discarded pig carcasses.
What they didn’t know in 2013
By early 2014, these poisonous pigs caused a worldwide epidemic as Shanghai’s drinking water was contaminated with the Porcine Circovirus virus.
Due to the secrecy of the Chinese government at the time, news of the deadly virus was slow to spread, unlike the virus itself. China was completely quarantined in 2014, but not before the disease had spread to neighbouring countries, causing millions of fatalities and being one of the contributing causes of the apocalypse that decimated the human population.
In 2015 China became the first country after Australia to rely on Antarctica to supply all drinking water. This was the key reason Antarctica ceased to exist by 2018, and all penguins were tragically rendered homeless.
Actual Articles from 2013 that covered this issue:
Author: Alexina Grace