We’ve all heard the saying that living in Shanghai is like smoking a pack a day. Well it seems there’s some substance to this. According to this report up to 750,000 people die each from air pollution in China’s larger cities, findings which have been censored by the Chinese government. This doesn’t come as an enormous surprise. While China’s unprecedented economic growth has been truly astonishing, this has largely been in the absence of regulation, particularly environmental regulation. I suspect China will face far more serious problems in upcoming years. The middle class of China is growing, all of whom want their own cars. The electricity demands will skyrocket. Industrial pollution with increase to satisfy ever increasing demand for goods. Population densities will remain incredibly high. It’s a pretty bleak outlook.
4 thoughts on “Chinese air polution”
Physics is a reductionist science. The string is hypothesized to be the smallest particle of which everything is made. The goal of reductionist physics is to find a few simple principles that underlie complex phenomena. The string theorists invent astonishing physical and mathematical complexity as the end point of reductionism. Well, quite obviously, the end point of reductionism is a theory as Einstein stated that we can teach to the kids and quite obviously not a theory that nobody can understand. When the end point of reductionism is the greatest complexity imaginable it is just plain absurd.
In 2000 an independent scientist working alone sent a copy of his book, The N-particle Model, to all the physics graduate students at Berkeley. Now he’s back and on the Reference Frame. He claims the universe is made of a single elementary particle that he now names the Ö particle and that particle is neither created nor destroyed. He claims its energy is 2.68138×10^-54 J. He claims the small size of the Ö particle is the reason electric, magnetic, photon and gravity fields appear continuous.
There is the question about lemmings when they get to the edge of the cliff. Do they choose to jump off or are they responding only to herd instinct or maybe aerodynamically drafted. It looks to me like the theorists are right on the edge.
“….living in Shanghai is like smoking a pack a day”
So they should all be fine, right? Even running marathons!
I’m not convinced that there will be any meaningful change in developing countries until developed countries are able to prove that a more sustainable economy is viable. Individuals in developing countries will rightfully pursuse through consumption what they perceive is a better life for themselves and we are in a pretty weak moral position to suggest that they do otherwise.
I agree. Things are unlikely to change. And you’re right, we can’t realistically expect them to forgo the economic development that developed countries have achieved. Nonetheless, avoidable or not, the prospects are frightening indeed. Can you imagine the environmental strain when China and India reach per capita GDPs comparable to Western countries.