How Air Pollution Effects China's Economy By Devin Hirsch

Air pollution poses ongoing challenges to human health and the environmental quality in China, especially with their growing economic development and increased fossil fuel consumption. Based on research by the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, people who live with the impact of smoke from fossil fuels live shorter, unhealthier lives. 663,000 people in Asia have died on the fault of air pollution, 73% of these casualties come from China. (Lavelle) The destruction of China's environment is contrary to the philosophy of Daoism on how to live a harmonious life. According to Laozi, the creator of Daoism, the way to live a good life is to become one with nature, and hurting nature with pollution is doing the exact opposite of what he would have wanted. Air pollution in China is harming the economic lives of every person, whether they live in the country or in the city, it affects them and how they live their lives.
Two aspects in China that air pollution effects economically are their government and their people. Estimates from the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) indicated that in August 2016, the damage cost of air pollution accounted for 6.5 percent of GDP when calculated on a human-resources basis. That is over 600 million dollars that is gone because of China’s pollution problems. But it is not only the government that is hurting because of Air Pollution, there are individual workers that are hurting as well, more specifically farmers and manufacturers. For farmers, with the fact that 60% of china's underground water contains pollution their crops are affected which lowers their profits. 20 percent of China's soil is contaminated. And in the country's largest rice-growing province, Hunan, the soil is laced with heavy metals from factories. This pollution taints the country's food supply. And for the factory workers, they won't be able to live as long as the average citizen. If they breathe in too much smoke, and fumes from the coal they could get lung cancer, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and other lung disorders. With 773 million factory workers, slaving away under these conditions for only a little over a dollar an hour is another horrible tragedy where air pollution is at fault. (Domínguez)
Another aspect in China that air pollution effects economically is China’s industrial uprising. China has been progressing as an economic power within the past 16 years and this is mainly due to the use of coal, a cheap power source that affects the air negatively. (Henderson) The heads of these manufacturing companies, who enjoy substantial autonomy, often ignore environmental edicts. If this keeps up by the year 2044 China's economy will plummet because all the coal, which powers 69% of their society will have been all used up. (Tatlow) But back to the present day the chinese government is starting to crack down on this type of behavior. They are trying to cut down on their greenhouse emissions and are starting to enforce that these companies need to find a better, more environmental friendly energy source. A few of the smaller companies have already been told by the government that they must cut down on their use of coal and when they reach the bigger companies within the next ten or so years the transition between power sources will be very time consuming and delayed which will hurt the industrial part of China’s economy. (Lavelle)
All of these casualties show the opposite of how the philosopher Laozi, the founder of Daoism wanted us to live. If people in society would rather make a little money than help elements like nature He would believe that we live in a very corrupt world where money is more important than keeping our environment safe. If Laozi was here today he would be appalled by how we prioritize our lives, how our work and money is more important than living a stress free life and being one with nature. Even with all this research I have done I still have a few questions about my topic, they are: In the long run can all these greenhouse gasses being produced in China affect the way we live our life in the United States? And my last one is that I have read that it is too late for us to Air Pollution get rid of air pollution all together even if we end using fossil fuels today, but based on the facts is it possible that we can find a way for us not to be affected by this forever?

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