In the last week, Beijing has witnessed the most oppressive smog and haze in the history, the air quality was “very heavy pollution”, even “dangerous pollution” levels. More ironically, the smog happened much more early than usual. Toxic air obscured the sunshine; the visibility dropped to 200 meters, which make it hard to breathe for 20 million residents. Some residents wearied masks with a furrowed brow; Some said they felt the air filled with the smell of burning tires, industrial cleaners and car exhausts; others complained that the pollutants in the air stung their eyes a lot.
According to the report of the “Financial Times”, on the whole weekend of suburban in Beijing, patients with respiratory problems were overcrowded, even though the hospital’s respiratory department doubled in size recently. In fact, breathing itself does not kill people, but severe air pollution does. Based on the report of New Century magazine, as early as 2007, the World Bank together with the then China’s Environmental Protection Administration jointly conducted a study, one of the conclusions reached was: air pollution measured by PM10 cause 350-400 thousands “early death” every year in China, which caused economic losses of 6.8 billion yuan, not to speak of the more severe PM2.5 pollution in these years.
1, emissions of harmful substances by ourselves is the main cause of this air pollution.Vehicles in Beijing and other major cities where private cars occupy a large proportion are the major pollutants. They are followed by industrial sources, mainly for metallurgy, kilning, chemical engineering, manufacturing and electronics industries; next in line is thermal power generation field; last but not least, residents sources, including food and beverage, building renovation and so on. The existence of these sources and emissions are the internal reasons for the haze pollution, if the emissions caused by these sources is not so strong, no matter how the weather changes in the process, severe air pollution would not happen like this.
2,Unfavorable weather conditions exacerbated the air pollution. Take Beijing as an example, there are some “big polluters” surrounding Beijing, such as Shanxi, Henan, Hebei, Shandong. If these traditional provinces can not cooperate working on this pollution, Beijing smog problem will be a deadlock. Besides, Beijing is surrounded by mountains except for one side. Therefore a southerly wind could easily get Beijing into a heavily polluted state while a surge of cold northwest wind can easily allow Beijing to return to the blue sky. In conclusion, its geographical conditions as well as skyscrapers all over the city make the contamination hard to spread.
Dealing with pollution can not wait any longer.
1, This issue has not yet been taken seriously by the whole society. People show roughly three typical of attitude: first type of attitude called “words speak louder than action”, they just emphasis on the damage but not the solution. Second one is “waiting for help”, people focus on local resource shortages, inadequate financial capability and other difficulties, just waiting for the help from above; the third one is “blaming others,” some people shunt the responsibility on to others. These three attitudes seem reasonable respectively but short-sighted and irresponsible as a whole.
2, See the whole picture but not only took some partial methods. In history, the United Kingdom, Japan and many other developed countries, have encountered serious environmental problems. However, compared with these countries, China’s situation is more complicated. China’s main fuel today includes coal, oil, natural gas and even wood and straw, these complex materials brought more complex contaminants, putting forward a great challenge of governance. Meanwhile, the huge population and rapid urbanization process in China worsen the situation as well.
At present, the sulfur standard in Chinese fuel market is generally dozens of times that of Europe，Japan and other developed countries, unsaturated hydrocarbon is also higher than in other countries. This kind of fuels is more prone to generate ultrafine particles in the combustion process, which can easily cause haze in the atmosphere.
In The last 30 years, under the “efficiency first” development strategy, China has promoted rapid industrialization and urbanization in order to achieve rapid economic development. Various resources has been concentrated in certain areas, then capital flow and information flow concentrated as well, resulting in an unprecedented flow of people concentrated in some areas. After the economic activity increased, highly concentrated wealth brought massive consumption of resources and energy, all kinds of waste including emissions continued to rise. These are the true focus and the primary factor in the forming of PM2.5 air pollution.
Well, to conclude, there is no better time than right now for everyone to take effective actions!
by Xiaorong Ren