Saturday, September 21, 2019

Pollution in China Essay Example for Free

Pollution in China Essay Introduction China, with its rapid industrialisation seems to have paid its price by witnessing steeply rising levels of pollution. With millions of largely unregulated industries, the vast rivers, streams and lakes have become easy avenues for chemical, textile and tanning industries to discharge their toxic contents at will. The paper discusses the pollution in China, its impact on the environment and how it has affected the lives of people.   An Overview of Pollution in China   A report by the World Bank (China 2007) has pointed out that China is facing increased levels of pollution that has kept pace with the rising industrialisation of rural China. The report points out that the use of energy in China has went up by 70 % between 2000 and 2005. The use of coal has also increased by 75% and this has created a corresponding increase in the air pollution. The report points out that China’s emissions of SO2 and soot were respectively 42 percent and 11 percent higher making it the largest polluter in the world. The report also points out that pollution of water, rivers, lakes has also increased to alarming levels. Water pollution is also a cause for serious concern and during 2001 and 2005, about 54 percent of the seven main rivers in China contained water deemed unsafe for human consumption. The report points out that the economic burden of premature mortality and morbidity due to air pollution was157.3 billion Yuan in 2003, or 1.16 percent of by WHO. The report suggests that pollution costs China more than 147 billion Yuan a year in the form of increased health related costs. A report from CBS news says â€Å"Chinas air pollution seems like a problem just for that country, think again. The stuff spewing out in China has now been detected in the United States, and some suspect its beginning to affect the U.S. climate Chinas far-reaching dust and soot cloud travelling to the West Coast hits Hawaii first, and that may be why temperatures in Hawaii are rising. A lot of early-computer modelling of Chinese pollutions effects on the global climate is turning out to be just plain wrong. This is why a massive new study with ground and air monitoring across Asia starts next year† (Yinchaun, 31 March 2000). Following table shows the air quality in China Table 1. Trends in Air Quality in China’s Cities (%) (China, 2007) The following table shows the distribution of particulate matter in air Table 2. Distribution of PM10 and SO2 Levels in 341 Cities, 2003 and 2004 (China, 2007)   The list of pollutants that infect China re provided in the following table. Table 4. List of major pollutants and their categories (China, 2007)   Clare (Clare D’Souza, 2002) reports that â€Å"Energy consumption, especially coal consumption, is the main source of air pollutants such as particles, SO2, NOx, and CO in most cities of China. As the primary energy source, coal has accounted for about 65 to 70 percent (China Statistical Yearbook 2004) of total energy consumption in recent years, which has caused many environmental and human health problems. Crude oil consumption has been increasing because of the rapid expansion of the motor vehicle fleet in many cities. In recent years, epidemiological studies conducted around the world have demonstrated that there are close associations between air pollution and health outcomes. PM10 and SO2 are chosen in many studies as the indicative pollutants for evaluating the health effects of ambient air pollution. Although the mechanisms are not fully understood, epidemiological evidence suggests that outdoor air pollution is a contributing cause of morbidity and mortality. Epidemiological studies have found consistent and coherent associations between air pollution and various outcomes, including respiratory symptoms, reduced lung function, chronic bronchitis, and mortality†. The author suggests that industry â€Å"size† is controversial with respect to environmental issues. In some studies large enterprises have been deemed to be more pollution intensive in comparison with small enterprises. The author reports that small enterprises as being more environmentally friendly due to their size and found small plants to be far more pollution intensive because they are difficult and costly to regulate. Empirical research has suggested that enterprise size is inversely correlated with emissions intensity in developing countries. World Bank and other institutions have found that small enterprises are pollution intensive (Mani, 1997).   Karshenas (1992 author has pointed that the Winter’s (model of business and the environment may be a more appropriate way of approaching the problem. According to the author, â€Å"enterprises may not have mastered perfection in terms of ecological sustainability but enterprises can make a systematic assessment of the areas where improvements can be introduced. Although Winter goes beyond traditional management theory, the model emphasizes ecologically sound processes and practices right throughout a firm, from company policy, employee relations, supply chain, public relations and marketing. A firm should consider prevention, reduction, recycling and disposal of wastes throughout its operations. They should use sustainable inputs in environmentally friendly manufacturing processes that result in greener outputs (i.e. maintaining environmentally friendly processes for a product from cradle to grave). This would prove to be profitable, provided that the end users, be they industry or consumers, are committed to using green products. Ideally, enterprises should take control of their own operational structure by viewing cleaner manufacturing as a competitive and strategic challenge, they should resort to manufacturing life-cycle analysis, environmental auditing and environmental reporting. The reality is that an enterprise cannot consider making a product ecologically sound without considering how its raw material acquisition, development, manufacturing, distribution, sales and disposal systems impact on the environment. The author suggests that has gone one step further by stating that managers in a green venture start from a different mindset. They recognise that becoming green is an opportunity to establish a unique position in a niche market or, by being able to produce a higher value product with fewer resources, to gain a competitive advantage. He proposed a trisect by which sustainable business is based on the concept of balancing ecological, economic and social factors†..   Action to fight pollution   The government of China has redoubled its efforts in fighting pollution and has organized task forces at the local levels. The structure is shown in the following figure. Figure 1. Main Government Partners in the Project   The report has identified a number of measures to fight pollution and these are displayed in the following table. Table 4. Sectors and Pollutants Included in the CECM (China, 2007) The team has implemented certain steps to fight the pollution and these are illustrated in the following figure.   Figure 2. Flow Chart for Estimating the Economic Cost of Pollution (China, 2007)   The following steps have been proposed: Step 1: Identify the pollution factors, polluted area, and related conditions. Step 2: Determine affected endpoints and establish dose-response relationships for pollution damage. Step 3: Estimate population (or other) exposures in polluted areas. Step 4: Estimate physical impacts from pollution using information from steps 2 and 3. Step 5: Convert pollution impacts in physical terms to pollution costs in monetary terms. Indiscreet reaction by the Chinese government Wang (Wang Xiangwei. 4 Jun 4, 2007) reports that the Chinese government is paranoid about maintaining a good image about China, for fears that it may hurt its business stakes. The author reports that the most convenient way for China to control pollution is by jailing activists who point out the problems of pollution. The author reports about the village of Wuxi and how it was affected by pollution. For hundreds of years, Wuxi , on the edge of Tai Lake, was the envy of the nation. In the heart of the Yangtze River delta and known as the land of fish and rice, it was bestowed with fertile land and abundant waterways, and was also home to famous poets, painters and industrialists. Since recently however, the city has become a stinking hell for its five million residents as a blue-green algal bloom from the heavily polluted lake contaminated the citys tap water, making it foul-smelling and undrinkable. After scrambling for six days with emergency measures, Wuxi officials said yesterday the tap water was drinkable. But the residents, who have relied on bottled water for drinking and cooking, have every reason to be suspicious. Xinhua has reported that after the usual cleaning aids such as activated carbon failed to remove the odour, the city adopted what Mayor Mao Xiaoping called a bold move by pouring huge amounts of potassium permanganate (Condys crystals) into water-intake points. This allowed the strong oxidising agent to remove foul-smelling matter from the pipes. But Xinhua failed to explain that potassium permanganate is hazardous and can be a health risk. As the Wuxi officials brazenly claimed credit for winning the battle against the water crisis, none of them yet had the decency to apologise to the suffering residents. All of them have blamed factors beyond their control higher- than-normal temperatures that helped to foster the growth of the algae, a lack of rain and favourable wind conditions, and the lowest water level in the lake in five decades. In fact, the fundamental cause of the crisis is the lakes heavy pollution as several mainland environmentalists have repeatedly warned the authorities in the past decade. Wu Lihong, 39, is one of them. He has spent large sums of his own money over the past 16 years collecting evidence of pollution at Tai Lake, the mainlands thirdlargest freshwater lake, and petitioning the local authorities to shut down the polluters. Now, with a water crisis on its hands, one would imagine any government that claims to put the people first would give Wu a medal of honour and make him a hero. Instead, Wu, known as the Tai Lake anti-pollution warrior in overseas media, is languishing in jail and awaiting trial on June 12 on trumped-up charges of blackmail. A farmer turned businessman who grew up in Zhoutie town in Yixing a small, booming industrial city under the jurisdiction of Wuxi Wu witnessed the lake turn into a cesspit. He then made it a personal crusade to petition authorities to shut down more than 2,000 chemical factories in Yixing that spewed toxic pollutants into the lake every day. By passing the local bureaucracy and filing reports to higher- level government officials has led to limited success he is welcomed, even liked by many central government officials and national media in Beijing. In 2005, he was chosen as one of mainlands top 10 environmentalists and honoured at a ceremony in the Great Hall of the People. But he incurred the wrath of local officials and has been constantly harassed by local policemen, officials and thugs. He was arrested again in April on charges of blackmail after the local officials set a trap for him. They offered him 40,000 yuan for a mission to attract investment from other mainland cities, and then laid charges of blackmailing the authorities. His lawyer, Zhu Xiaoyan , said that Wu had told her that he was whipped while in custody, and she was not allowed to see him until more than six weeks after his arrest. Like Gao Yaojie , a retired Henan doctor who refused to keep quiet about Aids, Wu has refused to stand down despite the threat of jail. The mainland leadership should learn from the fiasco of trying to muzzle Ms Gao and release Wu immediately.(Wang Xiangwei. 4 Jun 4, 2007).   Conclusion Pollution in China has assumed the proportion of an epidemic with wide ramifications on the health of the people, the environment, air and water. The paper has presented discussed various aspects of the problem and presented statistics to show the extent of pollution. Certain recommendations have also been made so that the pollution could be averted and reduced to some extent. References China, 2007. Cost of Pollution in China. Retrieved 18 January 2008 from Clare D’Souza, 2002. The nexus between industrialization and environment. Journal of Environmental Management and Health. Volume 13 Number 1 2002 pp. 80-97 Karshenas, M (1992), Environment development and employment: some conceptual issues, in Bhalla, A.S (Eds),Environment Development and Employment, WEP Study, ILO, Geneva, Mani, M, Pargal, S, Huq, M (1997), Does environmental regulation determine the location of new manufacturing?, World Bank, Washington, DC, Policy Research Working Paper Wang Xiangwei. 4 Jun 4, 2007. Release the man who first raised the alarm about Tai Lakes pollution China Briefing. South China Morning Post. Hong Kong. P. 5 Xinhua, 26 December 2006. Chinas Energy Conditions and Policies. Xinhua News Agency CEIS. p: 1 Yinchaun. 31 March 2000. A Global Problem: Chinas Pollution. Retrieved 18 January 2008 from

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