Oct 13, 2020 in Research

Chinese Environmental Crisis
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Introduction

The rapid development of China is doing great and irreparable damage to the ecology of the country. In fact, China has one of the highest levels of air and water pollution in the world. Thus, in two-thirds of the cities, the maximum allowable air pollution exceeded in five times. Besides, this problem has a number of general causes and implications. The goal of this essay is to analyze the most common factors and consequences of the environmental crisis and the ways of their solution.

Chinas Rapid Development and Pollution Factors

China is a unique country because of its ancient culture, huge population, powerful army and growing economy. Unfortunately, China has also become the most polluted country in the world. The explosive growth of industrial production in China over the past 20 years has led to the fact that uncontrolled releases to the environment have reached catastrophic proportions. In fact, China produced a huge variety of goods that exported to other countries and continents. The share of Chinese exports in a world rose to 10% in 2010 compared to 3% in 1999. This process means that every tenth item in the world was made in China. In the US, this figure is even higher because almost every fifth item sold in America stores came from China. Furthermore, during this period, about 500 million people escape out of poverty, and now China has the second largest economy in the world. In fact, these are remarkable achievements for a country with such size and population. Besides, despite the crisis of 2008, the growth of China's economy continues. However, China paid a huge price for this economic miracle. In fact, scientists have analyzed the growth of serious pollution of the environment since 2003. The most unpleasant are the fact that these contaminants have a number of serious progressing causes and among them are climate changes, water, and air pollution.

 

Environment in New Zealand

In fact, scientists note New Zealand as an example of the correct environmental policy. The geographic isolation of this country, small population and a low amount of heavy industry makes New Zealand as the territory with the highest level of environmental cleanliness in the developed world. Besides, this country gained a reputation as a world leader in the protection and restoration of nature. However, the government and the population made such level of environment only with joint efforts. The country's legislation protects about 60 types of natural areas, and among them are the largest and most important forms of the national parks, natural, scientific, ecological and tourist reserves. Moreover, people taking care of nature by using vehicles with electric motors, bicycles, and environmentally friendly products. Definitely, China should adopt a policy of New Zealand, and try to develop a similar attitude towards the environment.

Climate Changes

Currently, the increase in average temperature of the Earth has led to changes in the hydrological cycle. The main effects of global climate changes associated with the rise of sea levels, movement of climatic zones, a disappearance of a large part of mountain glaciers and water shortages that affect crop yields, food security and human health. In recent years, China is also struggling with the consequences of climate change. This process is a real and immediate threat that can negate years of Chinas development progress. The number of extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, storms and forest fires has increased due to climate changes. In fact, climate changes pose a serious threat to China in terms of agriculture because this country is the world's largest consumer of cereals. Due to climate changes, grain production in China could fall by 5% - 20% in 2050. However, this process is already causing great damage to China. In fact, a country loses from 1% to 3% of GDP per year. Therefore, the problem of climate change has a negative effect on the state of agriculture in China.

Water Pollution

Reduction of stocks and deterioration of water quality is another serious environmental problem of China. In fact, 75% of rivers and lakes and 90% of groundwater in China are polluted. The water of many rivers is so toxic that people cannot even irrigate fields. Besides, discharge of industrial wastewater made the water in the rivers of China undrinkable and unsuitable for fish farming. In many cities, groundwater contaminated with phenols, cyanide, and arsenic compounds. Pollution is also in the waters of the seas, where is the oil, heavy metals and other harmful substances. Unfortunately, most of the wastewater discharged directly into water bodies without any purification. Moreover, the extremely large consumption of groundwater causes the collapsing of buildings, bridges, and railways. Furthermore, the reduction of water flow and contamination of wastewater lead to tragic consequences for the natural balance of the border with Central Asia regions. Besides, due to pollution and water shortage, China has land degradation. Cultivated lands polluted by industrial solid waste and suffered from excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers. Moreover, drying of water bodys lead to the fact that several thousand settlements absorbed by desert. Thus, tens million tons of dust and soot annually carried by air to the big cities. Definitely, the process of water pollution is an extremely serious problem that needs an immediate solution.

Air Pollution

Air pollution is one of the most pressing environmental problems in China. The causes of this problem are industrial emissions, coal heating, and car exhaust. Therefore, nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide are the main pollutants. Such environmental situation in China has contributed to an increase in the number of vehicles in the country and the use of coal for electricity generation. In fact, China uses 55% of the carbon consumed in the world. The greatest danger to Chinese pollution is solid particles in the air because they form a mist that penetrates the human lungs and generate a variety of problems in terms of health. Most of the truly harmful substances enter the Chinese air from the exhaust pipes of millions of trucks and other diesel vehicles, as well as countless generators that support the Chinese power grid. About 80% of China's thermal power plants run on coal, the most environmentally harmful fuels in terms of CO2 emissions. This substance is the main source of air pollution in the country and the leader among the main culprits of global warming on the planet. In addition to carbon dioxide emissions, China is a leader in emissions of biogenic methane that cause the increasing of the greenhouse effect. Moreover, the smoke haze caused by the work of the coal power plants and heavy industry is a long-standing and persistent problem in China. This problem especially noticeable in the area of the Chinese capital and surrounding zones of North China. In 2015, Beijing's air pollution hit a record level. In November 2015, the concentration of hazardous substances in the air of Beijing exceeded World Health Organization standards for more than 17 times. At that moment, the visibility on the roads within the Beijing fell to a few hundred meters. Then, the city received "orange" level. At this level, the factories are ordered to cut production, the government imposed a ban on the transportation of building materials and industrial waste, as well as to enter the city of heavy trucks. Later, the authorities announced the "red" the highest level of danger. According to the standards of the World Health Organization, the maximum allowable concentration of harmful substances of microscopic particles in the air is 25 micrograms per day for a person. In December 25, this norm was exceeded in 25 times, and the pollution level was 620 micrograms per person. In fact, due to lower visibility, Beijing International Airport canceled hundreds of flights. Apart from Beijing, about 50 cities in northern and eastern China are experiencing similar problems. In the north, residents of 10 large cities authorities recommended not to leave home because of excess levels of toxic substances in the air. In fact, the results of studies conducted by the Asian Development Bank noticed that less than 1% of major Chinese cities have air quality that meets WHO standards. Employees of Social Hygiene Institute at Peking University pointed out that more than 8,500 people in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xian died from diseases caused by exposure of the harmful air in the 2014 year. Definitely, the air pollution is the general environmental problem of China that needs a systematic solution.

 
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Influence on Peoples Health

The current state of pollution in China has led to a huge complex of environmental problems that accumulated over the years of uncontrolled industrialization. Chinese authorities began to think about them only when the environmental situation in the country has become a threat to national security. The air, water, and soil pollution lead to a huge number of serious diseases among the population. Detailed studies by the World Bank noticed that smog is a reason of the massive loss of life in the country. Thus, 750 thousand people die from air pollution every year. According to the same study, more than 60 thousand people have been victims of the use of contaminated water and died from gastrointestinal diseases, infectious diseases of the liver and kidneys. Besides, thousands of people suffer from the poor quality of drinking water and acid rain. Furthermore, pollution causes cancer of various kinds. According to experts, every year 1.4 million people die from this horrible disease. Moreover, the number of lung disorders such as tuberculosis and lung cancer is huge, and scientists have isolated "cancer villages", where the most of the people suffering from this terrible diseases. Definitely, such terrible pollution affects the state of health of the Chinese nation and needs urgent preventive measures.

Influence on Peoples Social Life

The unprecedented pace of economic development and the pursuit of uncontrolled consumption of China led to an environmental disaster. The situation in China affects almost all aspects of society, ranging from environmental pollution and health hazards, and up to the problems with the political stability and the country's image in the world. In connection with the environmental problems, people starting riots in many regions of China. The most serious of these are protests against the construction of a plant for the processing of copper ore in the south of Shifan city, against the work of "Fuji" chemical plant in Dalian, and against the expansion of a major oil refinery in the port city of Ningbo. Besides, the plans of the authorities on the construction of a pipeline for the discharge of waste from a paper factory in the city of Qidong caused a huge ecological riot. These mass demonstrations held in rigid form and accompanied by clashes of protesters with the police, attacks on government buildings and police cars. Thousands of people come to the meetings and express dissatisfaction with the overall social policy of the government. In fact, youth is increasingly taking part in these actions, which is a particular concern for the authorities. According to the Ministry of Environmental Protection of China, the number of environmental protests and participants is increasing in three times annually over the past 15 years. Thus, protesters seek non-hazardous industries and defend their right to live in an environmentally clean country. Undoubtedly, the environmental situation in China affects the social life of the people and economic situation in China.

Reducing the Environmental Situation

In fact, the state of the environment in China is in dangerous. According to the state apparatus, the presence of fines is one of the most effective measures to reduce pollution. Besides, authorities reduce the consumption of coal rocks as the heating of raw materials, as well as reduce the amount of exhaust gases emitted from motor vehicles. In accordance with the policy environment improvement, a government adopted a resolution on the limitation and penalties for companies that are polluting the air in the capital of China. Moreover, this law shall apply to vehicles, power plants, garbage disposal institutions and even cafes. Besides, a government will use heavy fines on people who will kindle fires in inappropriate places, construction sites, and coal processing companies. The main objectives of the Chinese government are huge corporations, but not small private entrepreneurs who do not adhere to safety rules. Large factories and plants that cause significant harm to the environment at the same time are able to pay fines. After these measures, disposal of harmful waste will be cheaper than paying the full amount of the fine. Moreover, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China has decided to reduce coal consumption by 160 tons in a period of 2015-2020 years. The five-year plan for Chinas environmental policy provides the elimination of obsolete technologies and production facilities and contributes to the development of clean energy. In the next five years, China's energy will focus on solar, nuclear, hydropower and wind power. According to this plan, the consumption of clean energy from non-fossil sources should be 15% in 2020 and by 20% in 2030. Due to these measures, a government will reduce coal consumption and production in the country. According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the annual coal consumption growth was 5-10%, but in 2014, coal production decreased by 2.5% in comparison with previous years. Besides, authorities reduced import of coal by 10.9%. Besides, the state creates a program to educate the population of environmental awareness and responsible attitude to the environment. The goal of government is to improve public information on the environmental condition. Thus, national television reports about the state of the atmosphere in the major cities in China. Definitely, people can also help to improve the environment situation in China. In fact, measures for planting trees by citizens, campaigning for the use of bicycles and the subway can be effective methods. Besides, the people of China can promote a healthy lifestyle, support environmental action and follow the rules of environmental security level. Therefore, if government will continue their policy of environmental improvement and people will understand the seriousness of the situation, China will be able to reduce the level of pollution.

Conclusion

Consequently, the explosive growth of industrial production in China over the past 20 years has led to the fact that uncontrolled releases to the environment have reached catastrophic proportions. In fact, scientists have analyzed the growth of serious factors of the environment pollution. Thus, climate change poses a serious threat to China in terms of agriculture because the number of extreme weather events affects crop yields. Moreover, pollution of rivers, lakes, and groundwater made the water in the rivers of China undrinkable and unsuitable for fish farming and fields processing. Furthermore, the air pollution is one of the most serious environmental problems of China that caused by industrial emissions, coal heating and car exhaust. In fact, 750 thousand people die from air pollution every year, and more than 1.4 million people suffering from horrible diseases. Besides, the situation in China affects almost all aspects of society. Thus, people starting ecological riots in many regions of China and defend their rights to live in an environmentally clean country. To change this situation, authorities reduce the consumption of coal rocks, decrease the amount of exhaust gases emitted from motor vehicles and provide fines for companies. Besides, people could plant trees, support the use of bicycles and subway in order to improve the ecology. Furthermore, Chinas authorities must take as a basis the policy of New Zealand because this country shows remarkable performance of environmental conservation. Therefore, if China will continue effective policy, the environmental situation in country might be change in a full manner.

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