Home Politics

I'm glad all this pollution stays in China

BudaBuda Posts: 2,062 Captain

Heavy smog reduces visibility in Jilin, China, northeast of Beijing, on Wednesday, January 30. It's the fourth time this year that a heavy blanket of smog has affected the eastern China area, including Beijing. The air quality has reached hazardous levels, and residents were encouraged to avoid physical activities outdoors. The smog also forced the cancellation of airline flights and closure of highways in parts of Beijing, Chinese state media reported.

It'd be a shame if their pollution of "their" air impacted us at all. We can just keep shipping all of our jobs and expertise over there and take comfort that we are getting such a good deal on their cheap labor that it clearly makes up for any minor inconvenience that we might run into in the future. After all the stock market is heading up to a new high and we have more important things such as unrestricted assault weapon freedom to protect.


China's environmental protection ministry published a report in November 2010 which showed that about a third of 113 cities surveyed failed to meet national air standards last year. According to the World Bank 16 of the world’s 20 cities with the worst air are in China. According to Chinese government sources, about a fifth of urban Chinese breath heavily polluted air. Many places smell like high-sulfur coal and leaded gasoline. Only a third of the 340 Chinese cities that are monitored meet China’s own pollution standards.

China’s smog-filled cities are ringed with heavy industry, metal smelters, and coal-fired power plants, all critical to keeping the fast-growing economy going even as they spew tons of carbon, metals, gases, and soot into the air. The air pollution and smog in Beijing and Shanghai are sometimes so bad that the airports are shut down because of poor visibility. The air quality of Beijing is 16 times worse than New York City. Sometimes you can't even see building a few blocks away and blue sky is a rare sight. In Shanghai sometimes you can't see the street from the 5th floor window. Fresh air tours to the countryside are very popular.

Only 1 percent of the China’s 560 million city dwellers breath air considered safe by European Union standards according to a World Bank study. Air pollution is particularly bad in the rust belt areas of northeastern China. A study done by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that the amount of airborne suspended particulates in northern China are almost 20 times what WHO considers a safe level.

Space shuttle astronaut Jay Apt wrote in National Geographic, "many of the great coastal cites of China hide from our cameras under a...blanket of smoke from soft-coal fires." The northeast industrial town of Benxi is so polluted that it once disappeared from satellite photos. Its residents have the highest rate of lung disease in China.

Coal is the number once source of air pollution in China. China gets 80 percent of electricity and 70 percent its total energy from coal, much of it polluting high-sulphur coal. Around six million tons of coal is burned everyday to power factories, heat homes and cook meals. Expanding car ownership, heavy traffic and low-grade gasoline have made cars a leading contributor to the air pollution problem in Chinese cities.

A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center before the 2008 Olympics found that 74 percent of the Chinese interviewed said they were concerned about air pollution.

Less sarcastic comment by Bud A:

Our present national consciousness is not even semi conscious, it is unconscious. We cannot tell the Chinese what to do, but we could quit buying their products and exhibit just a modicum of intelligence; however, considering our present group of misfits in Washington, and the discipline that our society displays in caring for even their own health, I hardly think that a serious possibility.

Bud A


Sign In or Register to comment.