Sand Storm in Spring Season in a Snake Year

2 Mar

What a way to usher in the new year. China, notorious for its pollution, is suffering from its own acts.Over the first week of 2013, the capital of China seen some of its worst air quality. Who else can be blame except the usual suspects? From the number of vehicles, coal burning to the factories emits and industrial pollution, you name it.

Just as the capital city is preparing for the annual National People’s Congress, the sandstorm hits Beijing and it has reached its record high. Pollution is, amongst many others, a real problem the country is facing and will surely on the priority list of the Congress. A solution is clearly needed as the people are facing to the consequences of the pollutions.

What can be done?

Perhaps it can adopt the practice that is used in another South East Asian country, Singapore. Singapore is a tiny country, 274.1 square miles compared to China at 3,748,000 square miles. Precisely because of its much limited land area, it has to limit the number of vehicles on the road. This is necessarily so to not only reduce pollution but also wary of the fact that uncontrolled number of vehicles will undoubtedly result in massive traffic jams, as evidenced from many cities in the world. The Singapore Government consequently imposes a series of taxes on the vehicles and the cost of owning a car is considerably high compared to most places in the world. This is of course complemented with a sound transport system that runs through the entire country, much to the people’s convenience. By imposing such taxes and complementing with a good transport network ie buses and trains systems, the country not only reduces traffics on the road, but also exhausts of the vehicles. Moreover, this country has a measure where almost 2 million trees are planted strategically all over the country, earning the name of a ‘Garden City.China could use Singapore, a country with one of the highest population densities in the world,  as a case study.

Notably, 16 out of 20 of the world’s most polluted cities are in China as it currently stands. Understandably, Beijing is situated near to the deserts and as soon as the winter snow melts, the dry sands will be exposed to the wind, bring the stinging grit into the air, causing massive sandstorm in the cities. If more changes are not implemented, the consequences of these pollutions will be more stark and frightening. Not to mention health problems on a wider scale, the economy will also be affected when these after effects prevent people from going to work and shops closing.

There is an undoubted allure to this new modern China – a witness to the greatest economic miracle, a potential global super power and thrummed with new money and big dreams, the country is inhibited by many other issues from food safety to human rights and at leastfor now – the smothering pollutions and its effects.Image

picture taken from: http://world.time.com/2013/02/28/spring-sandstorms-add-to-chinas-bad-air-misery/

As the Times reports states succinctly of the sandstorm ,

‘a reminder that as China tries to clean up the pollution caused by untrammeled development, it also struggles to contain the mess it has faced for centuries.’

see: http://world.time.com/2013/02/28/spring-sandstorms-add-to-chinas-bad-air-misery/#ixzz2MQJuRbhu

http://world.time.com/2013/01/14/beijing-chokes-on-record-pollution-and-even-the-government-admits-theres-a-problem/

http://www.nparks.gov.sg/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=173&Itemid=161

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2157488/Gardens-By-The-Bay-Supertrees-Singapore-light-night-sky.html

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One Response to “Sand Storm in Spring Season in a Snake Year”

  1. Callum Wright March 6, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

    Recently there have been calls for China to make ‘ecological progress’ amongst analysts at a World Resources conference, with members stating that China must deal with a series of interconnected problems – economic prosperity, energy security, social unrest and mitigating climate change. However, changes unlikely to be seen until after 2015 when the country’s current five-year plan ends. Currently, we are in the middle of China’s 12th ‘five year plan’ which is partly directed towards lowering the state’s carbon direction.

    As of late China has been making progress on their targets for their current Five Year Plan to increase the non – fossil fuel share of primary energy consumption to 11.4% by 2015.
    Growth in the use of non-fossil fuels is over 9 percent for 2012, with some estimates at 9.9 percent, compared to about 8.6 percent in 2011. The country’s overall rate of economic growth fell to 5.5 percent in 2012 from 11.7 percent in 2011, reducing expected pressures on the environment
    .
    While growth in Chinese coal demand is not as vast as it has been, China’s use of coal is still nonetheless growing. China’s coal consumption will continue to grow exponentially according to Julio Friedmann, energy technology chief at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Friedmann said he expects a 50 to 60 percent increase in China’s coal consumption in coming years. Chinese demand for coal depends greatly upon the rate of economic growth as well as their domestic environmental policy and regulation.

    Can we expect any dramatic regime changes in the near future under China’s new leadership – you have to assume so simply because China is now the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter. As a quickly developing power on the world stage China must soon take responsibility for their awful environmental record and strive towards a greener environmental policy for their future.

    The Guardian, ‘China’s new leadership faces growing environmental pressures’ – http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/mar/06/china-new-leadership-environmental-pressures

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