Throughout the leading weeks, China and specifically Beijing have been seeing record levels (a trend happening over the last few years) of smog levels. Now, the smog has reached what the nation calls a “red alert” in 24 of the nation’s cities.
But why, why is China the leader in smog creation worldwide? Geography, Economics, and History all play their role. First, China is situated south of the dry deserts from Mongolia and Inner Mongolia, the dry dusty air is pushed through to the nation’s capital, Beijing, and stays there. Next, China is expanding rapidly, faster than any other country in the world, the energy needed for this development needs to come from somewhere. Energy producing factories like coal burning power plants fill the air with toxins, and in cities bustling with millions of people, the energy needed is extremely high, thus CO2 levels in the air can become extremely dangerous. To add to these problems, consumerism in China is reaching new levels during the new administration, as the economic plan of the nation is to now focus less on exports and more on internal consumption. The ownership of cars and the production of new goods within the nation have also led to more factories and pollution.
NBC has a great article with some great pictures here: