Let's commend Chen Guangbiao for his crusade to save the planet

By Gabrielle Pickard
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, October 1, 2011
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Whilst most people are in a state of panic and whinging about the rising cost of fuel, entrepreneur and philanthropist Chen Guangbiao is so intent in there being a further 50 percent rise in fuel prices, that he smashed up his own Mercedes Benz in an attempt to endorse a low-carbon lifestyle. Chen's actions have sparked a double-edged debate about whether the entrepreneur's extreme antics were merely an attempt to gain publicity and promote his own renewable energy business, or whether it was a genuine attempt to encourage the Chinese government to crack down on gas-guzzling vehicles from polluting the world.

Chen Guangbiao has certainly succeeded in drumming up publicity in smashing up his Mercedes, as netziens across the world have heard about him and his antics and are debating the sincerity of them. Although it has to be said that like all successful businesses, success relies heavily on marketing and publicity, and whilst Chen's actions may have succeeded in raising the profile of his company Jiangsu Huangpu Renewable Resources Co. publicity, his definitive message, to encourage a lower carbon lifestyle, has to be commended if we are to stop our planet plummeting into an inevitable demise.

With an average mid-size car producing 5.2 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year and, given that there are more than 800 million cars in the world, that equates to 4,160,000,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide being pumped into the planet's atmosphere each year by cars alone, Chen Guangbiao may have a point on his one-man crusade to encourage the government to raise fuel costs by 50 per cent and increase the cost of car license fees.

Whilst, particularly in the current economic climate where levels of unemployment are high, I can understand people's quips about the rising price of fuel, I am not amongst such 'whingers'. I believe that if we do not take some more drastic steps in combating climate change, it will come at the peril of our planet. In this sense I support Chen Guangbiao's reactionary antics although I can also understand why some people may suspect his latest behaviour to be a publicity stunt. The fact that this is not the first time the philanthropist has stood accused of drumming up media attention by chivalric behaviour adds fuel to this argument. People first suspected that the widely-acclaimed entrepreneur's generosity was a publicity stunt after an image of Chen posing with a wall of thousands of 100-yuan notes in Nanjing circulated the media.


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