11 Mar 2014

A few reasons of the recent China smog pollution

JY writes:*

At the end of 2013, the most part of eastern China suffered from a huge wave of smog pollution. The smog has been surrounding eastern China for several months, and it is still jeopardizing people’s health today. The smog, as a natural phenomenon, can be caused by the cold winter weather. However, the level of pollution is so record-breaking, that we must take human factors into consideration when we are trying to tackle the pollution problem. The most important factor should be the increase of motor vehicles on the road. In Beijing, there are more than six million vehicles; no wonder the vehicle exhausts are destructive to the environment. Moreover, the industrialization in China is also a cause of the severe environmental damage. According to some health experts, the smog level could be “due to the lack of wind in dispersing the haze”. As the rapid industrialization, more and more skyscraper buildings have been arisen in large cities like Shanghai and Beijing. These buildings definitely have a huge impact on the air circulation, thus the lack of wind in some large cities in China. The eastern China includes some most developed regions, such as Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang, therefore the high factory emission in these regions is also a major factor.

Bottom Line: Air pollution problem can be greatly reduced by our own behaviour. Although we have limited control on the industrialization of our country, as it is beneficial to all the citizens, we can definitely reduce our car driving, or alternately we can try more carpools.

* These guest posts are from students in my resource economics class at Simon Fraser University. Please leave feedback on their logic, ideas and style and suggestions of how to improve.