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China To Begin Submitting Air Pollution Reports 176

Posted by timothy
from the everything-counts-in-large-amounts dept.
smitty777 writes "China will start to publish air pollution reports, possibly in response to reports from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing which has been publishing its own data. This report is significant in that it's based on the PM2.5 standard, which measures the more harmful particles that are less than 2.5 microns. This comes on the heels of a separate report that lists China as the worst polluter worldwide. According to this report, China now produces 6,832 m tons of CO2, a 754% increase since 1971. While the U.S. is in second at 5,195 m, this represents an increase of only 21%. This article notes 'the rapid growth in emissions for China, India, and Africa. This will continue as their middle classes buy houses and vehicles. The growth in Middle East emissions is staggering, a reflection of their growing oil fortunes.' While we're on the subject of India, their pollution levels are thought to be responsible for a dense cloud of fog that is so thick it created a cold front, and is repsonsible for a number of deaths."
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China To Begin Submitting Air Pollution Reports

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  • Meanwhile... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vought (160908) on Saturday January 07, 2012 @11:05PM (#38626724)

    Half the US population will pretend that scientific consensus does not exist as they drive automobiles created with the fruits of science, the Chinese will fudge their numbers, and nothing will change.

    • Re:Meanwhile... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 07, 2012 @11:38PM (#38626846)

      As you type this in from a computer thats electricity was probably generated by natural gas or coal. (hint those are the two largest polluters in the world). As you sit in your house with its fertilized yard with fertilizer created from oil, on your chair with foam made from oil, in the room painted with oil, typing on plastic keys created by oil.... See my point?

      It is *everywhere*. We as a society are addicted to the stuff. We use it by the metric ton.

      What is my point of this? You sit all smug in your computer chair or couch or wherever saying others should 'listen to you'. Guess what you sound like a twat who tells others what to do without realizing you yourself are part of the problem. Want to change peoples minds? Its simple, pollution sucks. People get that. "we might be changing the climate" will get you a yawn and no one will really care. But lets say 100% of everyone gets the point. What is the alternative? The current one on the table (and being implemented) is higher taxes. That helps very little and does not actually make things better. It just means those who can afford to will pollute will while you pick up the tab. As those same companies can afford it (due to many of them being regulated monopolies). And companies will just do what they always do. They will pass down the cost to the consumer. As guess what I can not buy my electricity from someone else I pay a higher price for no change. I need to get to work so I can buy food for my family (so I have a car). Without a radical remaking of our entire society nothing will change.

      • The coal is up north But I do see the train cars full it going up to the plant from time to time.

      • Re:Meanwhile... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by caerwyn (38056) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @03:34AM (#38627694)

        What is my point of this? You sit all smug in your computer chair or couch or wherever saying others should 'listen to you'. Guess what you sound like a twat who tells others what to do without realizing you yourself are part of the problem. Want to change peoples minds? Its simple, pollution sucks. People get that. "we might be changing the climate" will get you a yawn and no one will really care. But lets say 100% of everyone gets the point. What is the alternative? The current one on the table (and being implemented) is higher taxes. That helps very little and does not actually make things better. It just means those who can afford to will pollute will while you pick up the tab. As those same companies can afford it (due to many of them being regulated monopolies). And companies will just do what they always do. They will pass down the cost to the consumer. As guess what I can not buy my electricity from someone else I pay a higher price for no change. I need to get to work so I can buy food for my family (so I have a car). Without a radical remaking of our entire society nothing will change.

        This is not strictly true. The point of taxes on carbon emissions is that it helps to reduce externalities- costs that party A incurs and party B must pay, without an actual economic link between them. For instance, power plants currently emit pollutants (including greenhouse gases). Those pollutants ultimately result in costs (health care cost increases, infrastructure development to deal with changing climate, environmental reclamation costs) that are not paid by the entity that reaps the benefit from incurring them - the power plant operators. By placing a tax on the polluting activities, we cause those entities to pay for the costs that they are incurring. That cost more fully reflects the actual cost of the good that they are providing- electricity produced from coal, which levels the playing field for alternative energy sources which do *not* incur such external costs. *That* is the point of such taxation- to *level* the playing field by actually making every pay for all of the costs that they incur to society.

    • by shentino (1139071)

      This ought to be a real gas.

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      we don't burn millions of tons of plastic in barrels as an industry

  • by davester666 (731373) on Saturday January 07, 2012 @11:06PM (#38626728) Journal

    Our CO2 output has only grown 21% since 1970. We simply MUST do better.

    With just a little more effort on each persons part, we can once again be in first place.

    • by niftydude (1745144) on Saturday January 07, 2012 @11:25PM (#38626790)
      Don't worry - USA is still winning per capita!
      • by fred911 (83970)

        From the US census bureau numbers of world population, the US accounts for 4.48% of the world, with a Jan 2012 population date. They use a population date of Nov 2010 for comparison, and put China at 19.18% with relation to the current US census numbers (dont ask).
          Seeing how we consider China to be a "developing industrial" nation, and the US "developed", whos the real dirty dog?

        • Quite a sophisticated argument to justify individual selfishness you have there.
          So according to your logic, each country in the world should be allocated the exact same resources, without taking into regard the size of their population?

          Well if that is what everyone agrees to - I guess I'm moving to Iceland! (pop. 320,000).
      • That's the point. The US is crying about China polluting, but Americans are wasting the most resources and polluting the most. Chinese are more economical and haven't even started looking at pollution and green energies until now. Americans seriously need to clean up.

    • by hey! (33014)

      We *shifted* the majority of our carbon emissions involved in manufacturing to China. A lot of China's emissions should be charged to *us*.

      • by BlueStrat (756137)

        We *shifted* the majority of our carbon emissions involved in manufacturing to China. A lot of China's emissions should be charged to *us*.

        If that means that the industrial manufacturing base with all the low and middle income jobs and real wealth generation that goes with it, that followed our carbon emissions to China, returns to the US with the "charges", I say "where do we sign"?

        Strat

  • by GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) on Saturday January 07, 2012 @11:13PM (#38626748)

    According to this report, China now produces 6,832 m tons of CO2, a 754% increase since 1971.

    Why not going back to numbers of middle age? That should be a quite impressive increase then. For anyone who knows Chinese history, it's obvious that activity in 1971 wasn't high, so it really doesn't make sense at all. And by the way, since when CO2 is one of the worth polluting component? Judging by the short version, it doesn't at all make me want to read TFA. Then I still did, and TFA is crap. Come to Shanghai, and I'll show you that the biggest issue isn't CO2!!!

    • by SeaFox (739806)

      Come to Shanghai, and I'll show you that the biggest issue isn't CO2!!!

      Yeah, it's pirates! Right?

      • by Arker (91948)

        Yeah, it's pirates! Right?

        No, it's actual air pollution. You know, that means elements that are NOT natural parts of the atmosphere. Things like CFCs, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and industrial particulates. Those things are pollution.

        CO2 is a natural component of the atmosphere. It may well be harmful in large enough quantities, but that doesnt make it pollution.

    • Re:Stupid numbers (Score:4, Interesting)

      by JimCanuck (2474366) on Saturday January 07, 2012 @11:19PM (#38626772)

      But 1971 is such a good year to pick, after a decade of China not only stopping any real industrialization, but instead falling apart in its manufacturing and technological base, while at the same time it was the start of the EPA and the Clean Air Act in the US. It helps skew the numbers the right direction for a politically motivated article.

      /sarcasm

      China in 1971 might as well have been the Democratic Republic of Congo technology and manufacturing wise, actually I think the Congo today outperforms what all of China did then!

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This comes on the heels of a separate report that lists China as the worst polluter worldwide

      No shit.
      Last time I checked (big industry) == (big pollution).

      Some people also expects a Ferrari is going to get great gas mileage.

    • by plover (150551) *

      1971 is a very sensible choice. 1971 marked the start of U.S. - China trade, which was the starting point of China's massive industrialization boom. China's pollution problems were minor until Tricky Dick's visit.

      And while CO2 may not be the best number to measure for human health problems, it's an important measure with respect to global climate change. Other pollutants simply don't matter to the U.S. Chinese particulates are regional, and precipitate out long before they get across the Pacific. Remem

      • And while CO2 may not be the best number to measure for human health problems, it's an important measure with respect to global climate change.

        That's the problem! We aren't sure of the scale of the effect of CO2. But we are 100% sure for the rest of. Like I'm 100% sure that I've been sick after going in the city center of Shanghai because of pollution.

        Chinese particulates are regional, and precipitate out long before they get across the Pacific. Remember, as long as we get cheap consumer goods from them we don't care how much China pollutes their own sky, their own dirt[...]

        So basically, even if it kills Chinese, you don't care, if at least it doesn't arm US citizen? What a selfish jerk! Or maybe that's "humor"? If so, that's not funny.

        We only want to worry about their contribution to CO2 around the globe

        This is why the CO2 scam is extremely dangerous. We're focusing on the wrong thing. Also, if it's down to pollution per hab, US is the c

        • by plover (150551) *

          Sorry, I wasn't trying to be funny, I'm trying to point out the positions that seem to be held by the Western governments, and the hypocrisy behind them, using sarcasm. Our words are those of "concern for human rights", but our actions are those of "we don't want to increase the prices we pay by demanding you clean up your environment or pay fair wages." It's terrible and it's ugly, and I hope China can suppress the corruption long enough to clean up your environment.

          CO2 is still seen as a huge problem ov

          • Thanks for taking the time to make yourself clear. I agree with the first part, but really, I'm not sure with the 2nd one.

            While I'm 100% sure about toxins, as you said only "most climatologists" agree, but many who don't aren't climatologists which research would be funded to search a global disaster. This thing seem to be full of lobbying and it scares the hell out of me that each time I read a scientific paper about global warming, I also have to research who's writing it, as it's very often biased view
            • by plover (150551) *

              But that's why I consider it important. I don't think there's an argument about CO2 causing an effect, only the degree of impact. And the impact is very visible to me as I'm from Minnesota, and I can see that our winters have gotten progressively milder over my lifetime. (Yes, I know that's localized data and essentially meaningless over the globe, but it's certainly personal.) The ice caps are shrinking rapidly, according to people who measure such things, and satellite photos make such information vi

              • And the impact is very visible to me as I'm from Minnesota, and I can see that our winters have gotten progressively milder over my lifetime.

                NO! First, that's not a scientific way of studying things, and it's charged with emotions from a very long time ago, which (sorry, but that's truth) your human brain can't deal with. Second, even if we could take into account your personal experience (I don't think it's valid, but let's admit so), then it doesn't tell you if it is caused by CO2 or if it's a natural process, let's say as an effect from the sun activity.

                The ice caps are shrinking rapidly, according to people who measure such things, and satellite photos make such information visible to anyone.

                There's a huge controversy about that. There's no doubts that it got hotter in the north,

  • These stories are another way to block CO2 reduction. Provide some statistics that make it look like China is main polluter and therefore they need to change before the US should.

    I think the fairest way to measure this is CO2 per person (possibly with allowances made for cold countries). As each person has a requirement for energy for personal and economic use, that will require CO2 to be produced. Saying China should not be allowed to burn the same amount of CO2 per person as the US for cheep power and pet

    • by JimCanuck (2474366) on Saturday January 07, 2012 @11:28PM (#38626804)

      Per person you say?

      Qatar is number one at 53.5 tons per person, followed by Trinidad and Tobago at 37.3 tons oddly enough.

      Going down the list you find Australia to be the number one developed polluter per person at 18.9 tons, giving it 11th place. Immediately afterwords at 12th place is the US at 17.5 tons per person. We Canadians are 15th with 16.4 tons per person, and going down you find Russia at 12.1 tons per person or 23rd.

      Germany is 37th with 9.6 tons per person, Greece is 41st with 8.8 tons, The UK is 43 with 8.5 tons. And France who can forget them at 6.1 tons, they are 65th.

      For the drum roll, China is number 78th at a mere 5.3 tons per person.

      All per the US Department of Energy's Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC)

      • by nzac (1822298)

        For the drum roll, China is number 78th at a mere 5.3 tons per person.

        So its the rich, especially those with oil, that are the problem. I stand corrected.

        China is a small fish though.

      • by chrb (1083577) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @12:20AM (#38627044)

        This graph [cam.ac.uk] is more interesting - it shows Co2 emissions per capita against population (so area of rectange = absolute emissions). Being able to compare the area visually gives a better indication as to the degree of the problem in each nation. This graph [cam.ac.uk] shows another interesting thing - responsibility for cumulative/historical co2 emissions. Since co2 stays in the air for 50 to 100 years, the vast majority of co2 that is in the air right now was actually put there by the nations that were industrialised throughout the last century - ie. the US and Western Europe.

        btw. The author of that book also addresses the issue of China:

        What about China, that naughty “out of control” country? Yes, the area of China’s rectangle is about the same as the USA’s, but the fact is that their per-capita emissions are below the world average. India’s per-capita emissions are less than half the world average. Moreover, it’s worth bearing in mind that much of the industrial emissions of China and India are associated with the manufacture of stuff for rich countries.

        So, assuming that “something needs to be done” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, who has a special responsibility to do something? As I said, that’s an ethical question. But I find it hard to imagine any system of ethics that denies that the responsibility falls especially on the countries to the left hand side of this diagram – the countries whose emissions are two, three, or four times the world average. Countries that are most able to pay. Countries like Britain and the USA, for example.

        Whether "it is fair to share CO2 emission rights equally across the world's population" is an ethical question, as is the question of who should pay to clean up a problem like this, but it is hard to construct a moral argument that a Westerner should be entitled to emit more co2 than a person born in another nation. Why should we have this entitlement?

  • I love reading fiction!
  • Zzz (Score:5, Insightful)

    by XiaoMing (1574363) on Saturday January 07, 2012 @11:27PM (#38626796)

    I guess it shouldn't be surprising anymore that the concept of "per capita" is once again completely omitted to make a headline rather than a point?
    7000 MTon vs 5000 MTon... hmm doesn't sound impressive enough, let's try 754% vs 21%!! Oh my god!

    How about 5.4 Ton/person (China) vs. 16.7 Ton/person (U.S.)?
    Or better yet, how about 90+% of U.S. consumer needs being shifted to China?

    Not only is China already more efficient in what it does for the CO2 it's producing compared to the U.S., it's supplying the rest of the world too. What's the complaint here?

    • Since you are all about efficiency: What is the per capita emissions in terms of people who actually benefit or live the life associated with it?

      Here's the thing you either don't know or choose to ignore about China: It is not uniform in the way the population lives. There are two Chinas, more or less. The "city" China is the one you always hear about. Large, modern (in most ways) cities very densely packed, lots of heavy industry and so on. This is, of course, where the pollution happens. Then there's the

  • by SalsaDoom (14830) on Saturday January 07, 2012 @11:27PM (#38626800) Journal

    This is a funny numbers game. CO2 is far from the worst greenhouse gas, so all these people posting their reactions about Americans and their big suv's, cars whatever, need to look more closely at which gases cause the most greenhouse effects, and where these gases come from.

    You can fit me into the "greenhouse deniers" if you like, but I'm suspicious of pretty much all the data that is surrounding this issue -- there is too much money to be made on "popular" science like this for there to be any real hope of getting sound scientific data right now...

    I've also yet to hear anyone make a reasonable sounding proposal to make any positive changes, its always up in the air stuff like "We all need to hold hands and plant trees and drive less" -- that's absurd. Lowering pollution is a good idea whatever the effects on temperature so I'm all for this goal, but to actually get to the point of seriously damaging the economy and lives we've all come to like living isn't going to happen and shouldn't. These are scientific issues and probably have scientific solutions.

    People seem to want impossible things on this issue. Hippies are an illogical group of people who work solely in knee-jerk reactions and boogey-man scare tactics, they just complain without making much sense. Coal power bad, but nuclear is bad too! Damn, these goes our safest and best way to generate power. It all has to be hippie-power, hydro and solar. Yeah, well, if that worked then why wouldn't they use it, they can fleece us on power bills with solar or hydro just as easily as coal or nuke.

    I don't see a lot of logic and reason with this entire issue.

    • by dbIII (701233)

      there is too much money to be made on "popular" science like this

      Oddly enough far, far less then can be made from working with various PR groups (eg. Heartland Institute) denying it. A puzzle writing snakeoil salesman like Monckton makes more money as a travelling climate "expert" than any Nobel prize winner, and it's the same with the various economists that are rolled out to supply the feelgood message that we don't have to do anything.
      Do you really think people are freezing their arses off in the coldes

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SalsaDoom (14830)

        there is too much money to be made on "popular" science like this

        Oddly enough far, far less then can be made from working with various PR groups (eg. Heartland Institute) denying it. A puzzle writing snakeoil salesman like Monckton makes more money as a travelling climate "expert" than any Nobel prize winner, and it's the same with the various economists that are rolled out to supply the feelgood message that we don't have to do anything.
        Do you really think people are freezing their arses off in the coldest places on the planet faking data when they could be at home faking it where it is warm?
        This weird science denying crap is annoying.

        Well, is that a fact, though?

        Also, even if so, that doesn't actually change anything -- because what you are talking about are lobby groups, not scientific researchers. Lobby groups always make a tonne of cash, but take a good look at the number of environmental organizations that are actually lobby groups, there are a great many of them and they all appear to be well funded. Its easy to say, "oh look, this climate change skeptic got paid a bunch.." but look at the other way, entire pro-climate change organ

        • by dbIII (701233)
          Those nicely shifted goalposts may give you a warm fuzzy feeling but to me they tell me enough to let me know that we have left the realm of rational discussion long behind. Enjoy writing your fiction kid but I'm going elsewhere where there are a few less idiotic luddites that like to pretend that science is worthless.
      • by Troed (102527)

        [citation needed]

        Last time I checked, it's the AGW proponents - not the skeptics - that get big paychecks. Have you actually verified your statement?

        Example: James Hansen of NASA collecting over a million dollars in personal income for work he's already been paid for with his public salary

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/18/dr-james-hansens-growing-financial-scandal-now-over-a-million-dollars-of-outside-income/ [wattsupwiththat.com]

        • by dbIII (701233)

          [citation needed]

          Turn on the TV, read a newspaper, or go find some news on the internet. Oh that's right, you already did know but you are just pretending to be incredibly ignorant for the sake of pretending to win some sort of argument.
          Also even loonies like Monckton get a hell of a lot more than that million.

          • by Troed (102527)

            So, no citation. I suspected as much. It's a popular myth, but being popular does not make it true.

            • by dbIII (701233)
              Come on now kid, it needs no citation because you can prove it to yourself by going outside and having a life.
    • by Namarrgon (105036)

      there is too much money to be made on "popular" science like this

      seriously damaging the economy

      I'm guessing you don't see any contradiction here? Or are you referring to all those researchers who have apparently been getting rich doing climate science? Coz I'm not seeing any - maybe they're hiding behind all the oil billionaires.

      These are scientific issues and probably have scientific solutions.

      And if they don't? I'd actually call dramatic increases in storms/drought/famines/conflicts/refugees something more than a "scientific problem".

    • This is a funny numbers game. CO2 is far from the worst greenhouse gas, so all these people posting their reactions about Americans and their big suv's, cars whatever, need to look more closely at which gases cause the most greenhouse effects, and where these gases come from.

      It would have been nice if you had written those greenhouse gases. Let me do that for you: sulfur hexafluoride is the most potent greenhouse gas (luckily, we don't release a lot to the atmosphere, or things would be much different today), and the biggest contributor to the greenhouse effect is water vapor. After that, the biggest contributors are carbon dioxide, methane and ozone, which human beings release. This raises the atmosphere's temperature, causing indirectly more water vapor. There.

      You can fit me into the "greenhouse deniers" if you like, but I'm suspicious of pretty much all the data that is surrounding this issue -- there is too much money to be made on "popular" science like this for there to be any real hope of getting sound scientific data right now...

      If you are as s

    • >there is too much money to be made on "popular" science like this for there to be any real hope of getting sound scientific data right now...

      >I don't see a lot of logic and reason with this entire issue.

      I hope someday that you realize that an ad hominem attack doesn't exactly put you in the domain of logic and reason.

    • by Xyrus (755017)

      This is a funny numbers game. CO2 is far from the worst greenhouse gas, so all these people posting their reactions about Americans and their big suv's, cars whatever, need to look more closely at which gases cause the most greenhouse effects, and where these gases come from.

      From such a statement, you have clearly not read much of the scientific research on climate change. The most potent GHG is water vapor, however it's atmospheric life is measure in days. Another potent GHG is methane, with an atmospheric life of 10 years. CO2 on the other hand has an atmospheric life of a century or more. That's what makes it more of a concern.

      You can fit me into the "greenhouse deniers" if you like, but I'm suspicious of pretty much all the data that is surrounding this issue -- there is too much money to be made on "popular" science like this for there to be any real hope of getting sound scientific data right now...

      Seriously? You're actually being serious when you say that? Have you even looked at what the funding level is for climate science as opposed to, I don

  • Millions were still dying as a result of famine & the cultural revolution in 1971, it's only natural emissions would spike once everyone stopped dying, but still...
  • Day 1: Air sucks big time. Day 2: Can hardly see across the street. Is this bad? Day 3: ... bad... Day 4: Did I mention the air sucks big time?
  • They go putting their people before the profits of the multinationals, and the multinationals will relocate to Mars or Venus...with Corporate America leading the way.
    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Vietnam is the place to go next. Cheaper and their Party understands the needs of investors rather a place on the world stage.
  • Canada was getting a pretty bad rap last month and the sad part is that the big polluters were the ones who had the loudest voices.

    How about a better comparison: Pollution(CO2 tonnes) vs area of land (km2) [cadvision.com]? This is a better comparison based on the CO2 tonnes divided by the area of the country/region with a resultant tonnes of CO2 per km2 value:

    Sources:

    Wikipedia for areas of country/region
    IEA CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion 2011

    (and yes I am Canadian)

    • by amorsen (7485)

      So Canada doesn't have to do anything because it happens to control vast areas of mostly-useless land?

    • You've got China listed as being 10.5 times the area of the United States and India being 3.6 times as large. They don't teach you maths in Canada or you were just so exited when it put the US in the lead that you forgot to just look over for a brief sanity check?
    • CO2 and pollution should be tied to 2 things: Size of area (farming, etc) as well as GDP.
      The size of area makes sense for 'fairness', but another issue is how much business somebody does. You will notice that China's pollution rose with GDP rising. They basically, cheated their way to growth, but that is because they are in a cold war.

      At this time, controlling CO2 emissions and pollution is not possible because far too many are pushing for OTHERS to do something. What is needed is for nations to TAX A
    • And you have SERIOUS issues with you calculations. For starters, you show China with 10x the land mass of USA. That alone should let you know that you were incorrect. The reality is that China and USA are about the same size. Instead, grab the data from CIA.gov and parse it correctly.
  • When that comes out, we are going to find out that CO2 is MUCH MUCH HIGHER.

    What is interesting is that this report shows some of the much higher emissions that I have spoken about here. When I mentioned it, I told about a group of ppl that were allowed to monitor them, but could not report it. What few realize still, is that this report is STILL FAKED. What happens is that China has numerous coal plants that have pollution controls on them (required by Japanese treaty), but they purposely turn off (low
  • time to do something about it.

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