Pollution levels in China have reached an all-time high. If you live in China, it certainly was not necessary for you to have viewed the dramatic images taken by NASA’s Earth Observatory satellite to know China was being enveloped by a thick carpet of heavy pollutants. All you had to do was step outside. This deadly cloud of dark infuriating smog has come to be known as ‘Airpocalypse’.
Worryingly, in the past few weeks, the quality of China’s air has been labelled so hazardous that it has led to many civilians becoming housebound. Staying indoors is really the best option, as the pollution is so poisonous that it hurts your throat and eyes.
What has led to this? One word: industrialisation. Obviously the last century has seen China emerge as a big player in the world of economy where profits have rocketed. With profits come more factories. With more factories comes more harmful pollution.
Alarmingly, the U.S Energy Information Administrator recently revealed that China’s is burning nearly as much coal as the rest of the world combined.
So does a thriving economy mean there has to be a threat to one’s health? Sadly it appears so. It is impossible to deny that people’s lives are at risks.
China has been credited for its improved transparency in regards to its approach on pollution related issues. However, there has been a dangerous increase in the amount of cardiovascular and lung related illnesses. If these worrying health occurrences are anything to go by, then a long-lasting solution is needed.
Fortunately there appears to be the consensus that risks cannot be taken and this notion was endorsed when more than 100 factories were closed in Beijing in order to halt or at lease decrease the amount of toxic chemicals being released into the atmosphere.
Prosperity and economic strength is indeed coveted and celebrated in China- but it seems the one thing that most people want is clean air.
By Paula Pennant.