25 March 2014

Beijing is like Los Angeles

Zhe Zhang writes:*

Haze in Beijing and some other cities in China has become a serious pollution problem now. People are paying much attention on air quality than before since it has a big impact on people's life. People living in those cities are suggested to reduce their outdoor activities, some elementary schools even cancelled their outdoor P.E classes.

Fortunately, the central government is taking actions to cut pollution: targeting carbon per unit of GDP, implementing environmental laws, and trying to move in the right direction. The pollution in China today reminds me of the air pollution happened in Los Angeles last century, I think China is going through the same process during development, but as citizens and the government concern more about the pollution, this issue will be solved in the future.

Bottom Line: China will learn the lesson of how to develop sustainably.

* 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.

2 comments:

  1. Somewhat, I was attracted by your posted picture:)
    I believe that China has already proven that it can build a powerhouse economy and pull hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. Now comes another huge challenge — constructing an adaptive state under modern century conditions of dwindling resources, greater social inequality, and climate uncertainty change. The tasks are daunting: China must reboot its economy, revamp environmental policies to reverse decades of decline, and rekindle its social contract to citizens in the face of unprecedented urbanization. Thus, we can see that China is at crossroads as there is a balance between the economy and environment.

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  2. It is an important and urgent issue in China, specially Beijing. There are many news that told about how heavy air pollution is in Beijing. As your post said, some schools even cancel the outdoor classes. It affects people's health and behaviour heavily.

    It is good to hear that the central government tends to focus on environmental issues in China, and moving to the right direction to reduce air pollution. It can protect the environment in China. However, I am not sure if it can actually happen in China. I saw the videos that David gave us, and it did say the central government has some environmental laws, but some local governments did not follow the laws. They only care about their GDP growth in their area. I do believe if the central government gives a hard push on protecting environment, it may succeeds as Los Angeles. Hopefully, there are more laws or regulation on local governments to get the economy and environment balance.

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