Mar 23, 2010

Hong Kong Pollution as sign of Chinese Manufacturing Environmental Degradation

Hong Kong had it's highest pollution reading every on Monday the 22nd of March
The blame seems to rest largely on a strong storm movement whipping up the Gobi desert and blowing it's particulates southeast toward the larger Chinese population centers on China's west coast.

from Bloomberg tv:
Hong Kong’s Air Pollution Index rose to 500 -- the top reading possible -- at seven stations as of 5 p.m., according to the Environmental Protection Department’s Web site. The pollution, at the worst levels since the government began keeping records in 1995

Certainly the expectorate from the Chinese manufacturing colossus is to blame as well as is the coal fired generation of electricity that China relies on.

We have members of our company that have traveled in China and they complain of the pollution at all times of the year. They speak of driving from the countryside which is clear with daylite into a large city where the pollution is so bad that it appears as in twilight although only at 2pm. This is largely due to the coal fired power plants that do not have many of the controls forced on utilities in other areas of the world.

This pollution is a part of the China experience that the American(and world)press does a poor job of reporting. The American press loves to show all the large buildings in Shanghai and Beijing but rare is a series of reports on how China's rise to be THE manufacturer for the world has ruined it's environment and air quality.

If the world medical community and accordingly the world press would focus on how this pollution hurts the people of China, the Chinese government would be under more pressure to make their manufacturing colossus observe more Green procedures

“Apart from cities in greater China, I don’t know of anywhere with a comparable level of social and economic development which remotely compares with Hong Kong” in terms of air pollution, said Anthony Hedley, a professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Hong Kong. “In terms of competitiveness I would say it must be a serious handicap.”
from Bloomberg tv

The pressure on the Chinese government to reduce pollution will add to the cost of manufacturing of Chinese firms and will automatically begin to level the playing field with other world manufacturers who are forced to pollute less.

As China's costs do increase after being forced to reign in the pollution,
manufacturers, many based in the US and Europe, will slowly find their way to Africa as it's infrastructure improves to make it the final manufacturing cesspool before the world runs out of places to pollute and finally forces all manufacture to be green whereby most if not all residual(most importantly air gases) from manufacture is recycled or reused.

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