Air Pollution in Beijing
Air pollution refers to the introduction of chemicals, biological materials or particulates which cause damage, discomfort or death to both the human beings, other living and non-living organisms. China has been one of the countries which significantly contribute to environmental pollution. In fact, it is the second highest carbon dioxide polluter after the United States of America (USA). Beijing is one of the most polluted cities in China. Many researchers have reported that it is the most polluted city in the larger China. Its air is not clean and safe for the inhabitants. This has resulted from the discriminate emissions of carbon dioxide; sulphur dioxide; nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide.
According to the Black Day which was published by the Economist in Beijing on Jan 14th 2013, the condition of the air in this city has seriously deteriorated in the recent past. It can be attributed to the rapid urbanization, industrialization and increased traffic. At the same time, there have been emissions from coal-fired plants alongside those from slow moving gas guzzlers. As the article reports, the existence of the above-mentioned emissions has made the condition in Beijing be bad for all the people living within and other neighboring suburbs. Although there have been lots of protests from environmentalists and the international community, the government has not taken any significant steps to eradicate this problem. It has not shown any commitment in the way it handles this issue. Maybe it has been ignored because of inadequate pressure from the lobby groups.
The article reports that the Chinese authorities have not released comprehensive reports on the environmental conditions. Despite the efforts made and pressure exerted on the government, Chinese are yet to know the truth behind this issue. They have not been acquainted with information on the major causes of air pollution in this great city. Although it had made commitments to tackle this issue, the article reports that nothing has been done so far. The lives of the Chinese have been jeopardized. Such problems can continue for a very long time until the government implements its environmental protection policies in compliance with the United Nations Environmental Program’s (UNEP) standards.
Such assertions have been repeated by the New York’s Beijing Takes Steps to Fight Pollution as Problem Worsens, which blames the Chinese authorities for showing reluctance in addressing environmental issues in Beijing. This article written by Bernard Wong agrees that air pollution in Beijing has been worse. It has caused a lot of problems for many people. Their health has been endangered as a result of the increased air pollution especially after the 1980s when its industrial base rapidly expanded. There has been smog which has caused the atmosphere to be not conducive. Hence, it has made life extremely difficult for the people of China whose life should be safeguarded by the government.
However, Wong acknowledges the recent seriousness demonstrated by the government in dealing with this problem. He says that the current mayor of Beijing Wang, Anshun, has restored the confidence of the residents of this city by promising the implementation of the government’s environmental policies in order to satisfy Chinese. In his address, the newly appointed mayor promised Chinese, ‘I hope we can have blue skies, clean water, less traffic and a more balanced education system.’ He said that Beijing should be cleaned so as to create a safe city and appeal to other people to view it as a conducive place where they can live without any fear related to their health.
The problem has affected the lives of Chinese in many ways. For instance, the number of vehicles has been tremendously reduced in this city. However, the mayor assured his municipal assembly that such regulations will be uplifted in order to make better for the people of this city. The mayor’s promises were confirmed by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao who, in his comprehensive address to the seminars on economic development, said that deliberate efforts would be put by his government to maximize emission reduction, industrial structure, energy savings and ecological progress. These are aimed at ensuring that Chinese live in a good environment which can not affect them in any way. Beijing is one of the world renowned cities which should be glorified.
In conclusion, I would like to accept the fact that environmental pollution has become an issue of global concern. However, as the articles state, Beijing which has become a hub of industrial activities in China is worse hit. As an ecosystem, it has become dangerous for the biodiversity in totality. Although the government has made commitments to protect it, a lot has to be done. There should be more action, not rhetoric. Instead of complaining about international pressure, it should take the initiatives for ultimately resolving the problem. It should cooperate with the international community to properly sensitize the population. This can be accomplished by providing adequate and comprehensive information. Instead of complaining about the active involvements of the international players for ‘tainting’ its image, it should be at the forefront in providing the correct information about the environmental situation in this country. This is the only way through which it can show that it is concerned about the environmental security of its population. Environmental safety is a very important tool which can be used to promote peace and development. Beijing is a prosperous city which should be given the required attention.