China May Be the Death of the Environmental Movement


I am all for a green planet, cleaner water and air. Since there a lot of people watched the Olympics and China moved a lot of factories to clean up around the Bird Nest stadium, lets take a look at what is happening to China and their environmental impact on the world and the U.S in regards to pollution. Air pollution became a big issue in China as to whether the Olympics would even be held.

CHINA is the world’s worst polluter, in their quest for cleaner air, China cannot (or will not) try and stop or control their heavy polluting of particulate matter, mainly soot, ashes and coal dust. Even though China moved their factories for the Olympics to reduce air pollution and clean up around the Olympic site, they did not shut down these factories.

China Polluting the U.S. according to CBS News YOUTUBE video.

China’s pollution will warm U. S temperature by 3 degrees in the next 50 years, so says this article.
WASHINGTON (AP) — “Smog, soot and other particles like the kind often seen hanging over Beijing add to global warming and may raise summer temperatures in the American heartland by three degrees in about 50 years, says a new federal science report released Thursday.”

Our “Do Nothing” Congress wants to put massive tax burdens on the U.S. taxpayers to control climate change through a cap and trade system. This system is only a tax plan for the states to receive massive amounts of tax dollars as Senator Barbara Boxer promised the states large amounts of money (ear marks) to help Congress pass the Cap and Trade bill.

See CG previous Post: Cap and Trade Bill, Really a Tax with little Benefits.

Since China is the number one polluter in the world, what can they do to clean up their mess? Remember China and India were exempt from the KYOTO Protocol Treaty and the U.S. did not sign the treaty due to China and India’s exemption and other reasons.

China Pollution Picture Credit” B Howdy

“The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the international on Framework Convention for Climate Change with the objective of reducing greenhouse gases in an effort to prevent anthropogenic climate change.”

Many Amercians had excellent arguments for the U.S. Voting against the Kyoto Protocol because of the disastrous effects on the U.S. economy and putting Americans out of work. Even the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly against the Kyoto Protocol. A person writes the reason he opposed it:

Check out this person’s Reason for opposing Kyoto Treaty.

Picture Credit: Michel de tay

So can China clean up their act and get their pollution problems under control?

Not very easy according to an article from Climate Skeptic:

“I have written on a number of occasions that, years from now, folks who would like to see meaningful reductions in man’s negative impacts on the environment are going to look back on the global warming charade as a disaster for their movement — not just in terms of credibility, but in terms of lost focus on real, meaningful improvements.” Source Coyote Blog.

“China is a great example. Like London in the 19th century or Pittsburgh in the early 20th, China’s air quality is a mess. Real steps need to be taken to clean up the air, for the health and safety of its residents. The Olympics might have been a venue for people around the world to apply pressure to China to clean up its act.”

“But, in fact, there is little real pressure from outside for China to clean up the soot, unburned hydrocarbons, NO2, SO2 and other such pollutants from its vehicles and coal plants. That is because all the pressure, all the attention, is on China’s CO2 production. But there is nothing China can do to slow down CO2 growth without killing its economy and probably destabilizing its government in the process. So, it gives the world a big belching burp of pollutants to such admonitions.”

Chinese soot is causing more problems than Co2 and the Chinese cannot stop their gigantic manufacturing machine. Also, millions of Chinese workers have come into the big cities to work and China has to create millions of jobs to keep the workers satisfied and this means enormous clouds of soot belching into the atmosphere that is floating to the California shores and causing environmental fallout.

There is good reason to worry about China’s environmental challenges. Consider for instance that, “Of 142 countries for which environmental sustainability was evaluated, China ranked 129th.” The consequences for environment degradation affect socio-economic losses, heath costs, and even increasing rates of natural disasters. It is impossible to put an exact price on the cost felt by society, but there are a number of poignant examples that will get the point across. We will start small and work our way up: consider, “the annual loss of $250 million arising from factory closures due to water shortages in a single city, Xian.” Or mull over the fact that, “losses of crops and forests due to acid rain amount to $730 million per year.” Increasing in cost there is, “the $6 billion cost of the ‘green wall’ of trees being built to shield Beijing against the sand and dust, the annual direct losses due to desertification ($7 billion). The losses from pollution and ecological damages ranged from 7% to 20% of GDP every year in the past two decades.” Then there are the health costs. “About 300,000 deaths per year are attributed to air pollution. Average blood lead levels in Chinese city dwellers are nearly double those considered to be dangerously high and to endanger children’s mental development.” There are certainly grounds for concern.

Picture credit: luu, luu

Other problems contribute heavily to particulate pollution including burning wood fires and read the rest of the story from Climate Skeptic .

“Which is a shame. Unlike for CO2 abatement, there are real technologies that are proven to be economic that can abate the worst of China’s pollution problems. Had we instead been spending our moral capital pressuring China to take such steps, there might be real progress.”

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13 Responses to China May Be the Death of the Environmental Movement

  1. Brianne September 10, 2008 at 7:03 pm #

    It’s nice to know that the US didn’t sign the treaty because of China and India’s exemption. If it’s for a better planet, for us all, how can anyone be exempt?

  2. Bryce September 11, 2008 at 1:37 am #

    The US should at least set an example and do what’s right instead of refusing to sign. Who produces the most pollution on a per capita basis? The USA.

  3. cchiovitti September 11, 2008 at 5:51 pm #

    I remember my grandmother telling me about growing up in Glasgow, Scotland in the early 1920’s. She said the soot was so thick that they covered their faces with their hankies and had to read with lanterns in their rooms even in the middle of the day. Somewhere (maybe 3 or 4 months ago?) I read online that parts of China have worse particulate pollution than early 20th century London.

    I’d ask for grandma’s thoughts on it, but she died of lung cancer in 1989. Never smoked, never drank, nada.

  4. GreenOfficeBlog September 12, 2008 at 8:58 pm #

    I first read about this issue in the book Earth Odyssey written by Mark Hertsgaard in the 90s, and apparently the majority of the problem lies in the fact that China is powered almost exclusively with coal. It’s difficult for the country to solve the problem because it would be so darn expensive to shift to a different source of power. It’s really unfortunate, because as stated in this article, the massive pollution is affecting the whole world, not just China.

  5. September 15, 2008 at 6:15 pm #

    @ Brianne: Thanks for your comments. It looks like we are not going to have to worry about green or pollution if our financial institutions keep going bankrupt. Kyoto was really a trap for the U.S. and signing this treaty would have been a disaster for the American taxpayer. The EU moved the requirements for the U.S. to meeting Kyoto to previous years which would have meant more costs to the U.S.

  6. September 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm #

    @ Bryce: Thank you for your comment. Please give a few reasons why the U.S. should have signed the Kyoto Treaty.
    Setting a good example is not good enough reason. Bryce, you might not be aware of the results of the EU countries meeting the requirements of kyoto. Japan and most of the EU countries had to pay heavy penalties because they could not meet Kyoto’s mandated pollution limits. Tell me who got all the money from the Kyoto payments that were made by the EU countries.

  7. September 15, 2008 at 6:50 pm #

    @ cchiovitti: Thank you for your comments.

  8. September 15, 2008 at 6:51 pm #

    @ Rob: Thanks for your comments.

  9. John V October 22, 2008 at 10:35 pm #

    The USA did the right thing by not signing on to this farce. Canada has not lived up to it’s Kyoto commitments and won’t. Thankfully we have a re-elected government that is not in the tank with the climate change freaks.

    I predict that little will be done to curb pollution because we are in a paradox on this issue. We can clean up the planet and live in a state of world wide poverty, envy and anger or we can adapt and accept that a many of our seven billion people will die as a result of the pollution.

    The root of the problem is that we have seven billion people who all want to consume more and more and governments who promise it to them.

  10. November 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm #

    @ John V.: Thanks for your comments.Our pathetic governments have wasted billions of dollars due to greed, corruption and just plain being stupid that could have been used to solve many environmental problems. The amount of money thrown at the corn ethanol lobbyists is staggering and with the collapse of oil prices, we are back to where we started. People will go back to using gasoline as long as the price stays down. But for how long? Oil is definitely peaking or will eventually peak.

    Now with a possible complete world financial crisis sucking the wind out of the environmental movement, we have to plan green programs that will give us maximum results for dollars spent.
    The world, as well as China, will have to continue to use coal to generate electricity. We are looking at many years of coal use and China just discoved a gigantic coal deposit inside their borders and will continue to use coal for electricity due to a power starved country.

  11. Johan July 21, 2009 at 11:07 am #

    Interesting – for me, I think that western countries need to stop depending on China for cheap goods.. It only fuels the rise of pollution from industry. has some interesting views on the subject as well.

  12. July 29, 2009 at 1:23 pm #

    @Johan: Thanks for your comments. Appreciate you adding the link. I have questions for you. If the U.S. does not buy goods from China, what countries will be able to supply the U.S? Why does the U.S. purchase goods from China.


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