Apr. 23, 2014
In every civilization throughout history, wealth has been shown to be synonymous with power and influence. Not alienated by this natural law, China’s richest individuals hold the authoritative power in advocating for the regulation of their nation’s air pollution. Similar to the donations given from an institution in New York, composed of the state’s wealthiest individuals, to fund 75% of the state’s annual park budget; China can form an institution almost indistinguishable to this model, having it organized by wealthy individuals that could work with the government in order to provide proper funding for air pollution reform for ...view middle of the document...
The constant rise of businesses creates a cyclical relationship: as more people flock to bustling cities more and more infrastructure will continue to grow, and as these businesses grow only more people will come to the cities for opportunities. The relationship has created a toll on city life in the passed years specifically, and government officials are just starting to take notice.
In the recent years the government has been intervening and passing an increasing amount of litigation to keep smog levels at a sustainable level, albeit it hasn’t been enough to reverse current damage already done to the nation. The government is also however not intervening for selfless reasons, government officials have taken notice that tourism is plummeting due to unsafe conditions within the city, and that China’s richest investors are moving their families to less polluted nations. Remarkably the regulations are not completely disregarded by the public, many businesses have started going well beyond the standards set in place by the government. Major steel and coal producing cities have been taking cuts in production, Hebei specifically has pledged to cut 60 million tons of steel and 40 million tons of coal by 2017 (Stanway). This however does not leave residents unscathed by the implications which left 43,000 workers unemployed and the equivalent of $2.41 billion U.S dollars lost in assets (Stanway).
It seems quite difficult to create equilibrium for both parties. If businesses take cuts on the amount of steel and oil produced then there would be less pollution although it will cost people’s jobs and supply. If you keep or increase production then residents will be continually burdened by pollution, however workers will be able to keep their jobs. What if the businesses were completely displaced out of the city altogether, hosted in rural areas scattered throughout the nation ? This is exactly the kind of thing that has been on the minds of some coal plant owners. Many companies have already started setting monumental size bases in less densely populated areas where in comparison tower their previous bases in the city. The hope is that by moving their bases will form a resolution within their own city and create jobs for people out in underdeveloped parts of the nation. However this is creating an even bigger problem because the pollution is only being dispersed throughout the nation rather then being resolved and the heavy industrialization is only putting a great toll on the wholesome lives of the natives. Many organizations such as Greenpeace have been monitoring areas such as Northwest China where grassy arid lands were stripped away by infrastructure costing herders to seek alternative livelihoods. Similarly the water used to extract the coal is scarce due to the dry arid climate in the Northwest, and Greenpeace is worried that with water being scarce that extracting coal there will dry up the supply.
The dangers of moving the coal bases are just as...