“China’s problem has become the world’s problem”

China’s recent incredible economic growth and the approaching Beijing Olympics have prompted extensive media coverage on issues concerning the Chinese environment. Many sources may claim that it is China’s isolated pursuit of economic gain that has led them to environmental crisis. I believe that these statements create a false impression that the environmental issues in China are separate from the US when in fact, “China’s problem has become the world’s problem” (1).

 

A significant portion of China’s pollution is indirectly or directly caused by US companies. In many water pollution cases the, “Chinese manufacturers that dump waste into rivers or pump smoke into the sky make the cheap products that fill stores in the United States and Europe. Often, these manufacturers subcontract for foreign companies — or are owned by them. In fact, foreign investment continues to rise as multinational corporations build more factories in China” (1). Therefore the United States is a key contributor to pollution crisis in China and should also be held accountable.

 

By contributing to pollution in China, we are in turn contributing to our own. It has been proven that on “some days, nearly 25% of polluting matter above Los Angeles can be traced to Asia, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Scientists have confirmed that the pollution is carried by air currents and they fear that China could one day account for a third of all California’s air pollution” (2). This is a clear example of how the welfare of China is directly related to our own welfare. Combined China and the US are responsible for producing 40% of the world’s greehouse gas emissions. Together we must face address climate change and environmental injustice. 

 

1. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/26/world/asia/26china.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=China%20environment&st=cse&oref=slogin

2. http://www.asianews.it/index.php?art=6843&l=en

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