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Mon May 25, 2020, 09:32 AM

Back To Normal! China's Air Pollution Now Just As Bad As Before COVID Pandemic!

Last month, China finally ended its coronavirus lockdown. While air quality improved dramatically during The Quiet Time, new data shows it was short-lived. What’s more, air pollution is coming back at higher levels than during the same period last year.

A report out Monday from the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air, an independent organization that tracks air pollution, shows air pollution is rising throughout China in its post-pandemic reopening. The group monitored particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and ozone between April and May. The findings show that after controlling for weather patterns, all pollutants exceeded last year’s levels after lockdowns lifted.

The results suggest that the pollution is largely coming from coal-fired power plants. Coal is full of sulfur, so when the fossil fuel burns and is released, this sulfur interacts with the oxygen in the air and creates sulfur dioxide. Science, baby. The uptick in sulfur dioxide points to coal plants as the culprit, a finding that’s reinforced by particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide also being at their highest levels where sulfur dioxide spiked.

China has seem similar spikes after economic crises, including the SARS epidemic of 2003 and the global financial shitshow in 2008. Both times, the country prioritized dirty construction projects and burning of coal to jumpstart the economy. However, both of those pollution spikes came before China’s more recent attempts to improve air quality. That includes a “war against pollution” the nation started in 2014 in an effort to cleanup its notoriously noxious air. Prior to the pandemic, China was succeeding at doing just that: A 2019 study found that six of the air quality improvement policies alone resulted in more than 400,000 lives saved in 2017. Now, China appears to be backtracking.



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Reply Back To Normal! China's Air Pollution Now Just As Bad As Before COVID Pandemic! (Original post)
hatrack May 25 OP
Mike 03 May 25 #1

Response to hatrack (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2020, 10:35 AM

1. If we're not going to cooperate, we're going to compete

and you get the "Tragedy of the Commons" on a global scale, with each nation fighting to shore up its own survival, hoarding whatever resources are left, with no concern whatsoever about what is being lost and destroyed.

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