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Air Pollution In China Essay

Air Pollution In China Essay

Introduction:
China has suffered from pollution issues, such as air and water pollution, for a long time. On Thursday Nov. 5th, 2013, the China’s National Meteorological Center renewed a yellow alert for heavy smog and fog continued to hit many parts of east and north China, causing traffic disruptions and school closures (Mu 2013). This essay will mainly focus on discussing the effectiveness of agencies and policies with respect to the air pollution. It will reveal the main causes of heavy air pollution along with the remedies adopted by the government. Finally it will present practical difficulties to bring the implementation of environmental policies into effect.

Causes of air pollution and major polluters:
In recent decades, China experienced a great economic growth. The active economic performance requires a large amount of usage of energy, and the massive use of energy disturbs the environment in the form of pollution. That is the root cause of China’s air pollution.
There are two major causes of air pollution in China. Firstly, soot and sulfur dioxide caused by coal burning are the two main air pollutants and coal burning occupies 50.2% of total energy consumption in China in 2012 (BP 2013). Industrial production processes consume more than half of China's coal and are the biggest sources of air pollution. Moreover, it is worth mention that the burning of coal for heating in winter in many northern cities of China worsens the air quality. However, this essay will not consider this source due to it is a seasonal effect and is the most efficient way of supplying heat considering the large number of population in China. Another major air pollutant was produced during transportation by consuming oil and gasoline, especially the emission from automobiles and aircrafts.
So far, two major groups of polluters can be identified. The first group refers to huge energy consuming industries (producers). And another group of polluters is vehicle sellers and owners (consumers). This involves the problem of “externalities” in economics. Here, the air pollution is the undesirable external effects of production and consumption. From the economic view, it can be solved by charging costs to the producers and consumers who is responsible for this problem of externalities (Hillman 2009).

Government policies and evaluations:
The China’s lawmakers have been aware of the environmental issues and have made serious efforts to address those problems. Owing to the unique social and political circumstance, the central government commenced several revision processes with regarding to air pollution laws and regulations. So far, these legal framework changes pose trifling impact on the environment protection and improving process. However, according to Beyer (2006), even in highly-developed legal framework, such as the system in the US, efforts through legislation to address pollution issues carry enormous challenges.
To exam the efficiencies of environmental...

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China's surface water system has been severely polluted in the process of rapid industrialization. The second chapter investigates how this water pollution affects infant mortality. I find that surface water pollution has a significant, nonlinear effect on infant mortality. As surface water quality deteriorates, infant mortality first increases and then decreases. Moderate levels of pollution are the most dangerous. People's avoidance behavior may explain the results: as water becomes more polluted people reduce the consumption of surface water. The ordered-probit selection model is applied to estimate the effects, and precipitation and wastewater dumping are used as the instruments for surface water quality.

China also witnessed a dramatic increase in cancer rate in the past thirty years. In the third chapter, I investigate whether this high cancer rate is caused by water pollution. The difficulty in estimating the long-run health effects of pollution is that the lifetime exposure to pollution is hard to measure. However, China provides an ideal setting to estimate the long-run health effects of pollution because the Household Registration System (Hukou) effectively stopped people from migrating for many years. I focus on the elderly people (Age>60) because their mobility is extremely restricted by the System, so their life-time exposure to water pollution is more likely captured by the water quality data in recent years. I find that water pollution has large, significant, positive effects on all cancer mortality rate, digestive cancer mortality rate, urinary cancer mortality rate, liver and stomach cancer mortality rate. I also find that water pollution has no impact on cancer mortality rates for the younger adults (Age from 20-50), which may partially justify our argument that pollution exposure for the younger people cannot be accurately measured because they migrate.

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