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Made In China

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MJ Weir

on 1 November 2012

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Transcript of Made In China

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli What are the top 5 environmental issues within this rising global power? MADE IN CHINA Carbon, metal, soot, smog. These aren't usually things that you would think of breathing in. In China these are things that you inhale in a daily basis. China's cites are surrounded by factories which release these pollutants into the air. According to a World Bank study, only 1% of city air in China is safe to breathe. Out of the top 20 cities with the worst air pollution China is home to 16 of those cities.

There are many different pollutants that these factories release into the air. The most abundant pollutant is the smoke from burning coal. Many homes and factories in China use cheap coal that produces dense smoke and releases a rotten egg smell when burned. #1 Air Pollution Water Pollution is the second biggest concern in China right now. 90% of underground water supplies are contaminated with raw sewage due to the lack of treatment systems in cities. Over 75% of the population drinks contaminated water each day. These contaminants can be dangerous chemicals such as arsenic, fluorine, sulfates, and high concentrations of radiation have also been found in some areas.

Water pollution leads to another problem, the shortage of clean water available to drink. Over 70% of rivers and lakes are polluted and 43% are deemed unfit for human contact.Due to this severe pollution, about half of all the cities in China are facing water shortages and are in threat of extreme droughts. #2 Water Pollution 220 million tons. That's a big number. That number is the approximate tonnage of solid waste that China generates in a year making it the #1 producer in the world. With this much trash it makes things difficult when you need to put it somewhere. It is predicted that by 2020 that most landfills will be at capacity. Most smaller cities don't even have landfills which leaves them to be surrounded by their own wastes.

Over 1 billion tons of industrial waste is also being produced each year. This mostly is composed of toxic sludge that is dangerous to humans. The methods of disposing this sludge are very few and all have huge downfalls including releasing toxic chemicals into the air and water. The number of waste that China produces is only getting larger and soon conventional methods of disposal will no longer be an option. This is why waste disposal makes the third spot on the Top 5. #3 Waste Disposal Desertification, the process of fertile land becoming sand and desert. This process has increasingly become a bigger problem for modern-day China. Each year over 2,500 km becomes useless and infertile. By this process over 800 km railways, roads, and homes are being buried each year. The cause desertification is excessive grazing and over cultivation. Small villages have grazed and grown crops and overtime the soil has become useless.

Sandstorms have become increasingly common with the rapid desertification of the land. More sand means for more material that wind can pick up and carry creating more sandstorms. Also, because there is less resistance due to the lack of vegetation, storms have been getting stronger. This year in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, wind speeds hit a record of 211 km per hour, the strongest they have been in 50 years. #4 Desertification and Sandstorms Soil erosion is the last to make it into the top 5 list. Soil erosion effects over 3,569,200 km of land in China making it in a more dire situation then any other country in the world. Every year over 4.52 billion tons of soil is eroded away. In about 35 years it is estimated that over 100 million people will lose their homes and will have to relocate if erosion keeps occurring at the rate it does today. In the next 50 years it's predicted that 40% of all fertile land will be lost even as the population still is growing.

Water supplies and resevoiurs are also being affected. Due to deposits of soil, reservoirs are not able to hold as much water as they used to, making already scarce water even harder to come by. #5 Soil Erosion Bibliography http://www.wwfchina.org/english/loca.php?loca=4
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/21/china-soil-erosion-population Beijing China http://paige7793.blogspot.com/2011/04/hong-kong-coughing-fit.html Beijing China http://www.courier-journal.com/blogs/bruggers/2008/02/gasping-for-air-in-china.html http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=391&catid=10&subcatid=66 Guangxi, China http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=9977 Sichuan, China Small Village Outskirts in China http://www.eeo.com.cn/ens/homepage/briefs/2010/12/16/189190.shtml http://www.knowledge.allianz.com/environment/pollution/?280/pros-and-cons-of-carbon-offsets Landfill Emitting Dangerous Fumes in China By: Missy Weir http://egotvonline.com/2012/08/21/20-photos-of-sandstorms-eating-up-entire-cities/golmud-china/ Golmud, China Small Village in China http://www.gluckman.com/ChinaDesert.html Shaanxi Province, China http://www.flickr.com/photos/31972429@N02/3568091831 Loess Plateau, China http://www.ironammonite.com/2010/06/empire-risen-from-dust.html In conclusion, China needs to take some major action against their pollution problem. If you look back, at least 3 of my top 5 problems are #1 in the world. If China does nothing to stop this, then pretty soon the China we know will be gone forever.
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