View topic - China's record air pollution "off the charts"

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PostPosted: January 15th, 2013, 4:14 pm 
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<cough> ... coal use is being phased out over here.


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Beijing's off-the-charts pollution brings health warnings

Schools cancel outdoor activities as respiratory cases spike in hospitals

The Associated Press

Jan 14, 2013 1:05 AM ET

Air quality in Beijing was the worst on record on Saturday and Sunday, according to environmentalists, as the city's pollution monitoring centre warned residents to stay indoors amid pollution levels that were 30-45 times above recommended safety levels.

Beijing schools kept children indoors and hospitals saw a spike in respiratory cases Monday following a weekend of off-the charts pollution in China's smoggy capital, the worst since the government began being more open about air-quality data.

...

Particle pollution levels highest ever recorded

Levels of PM2.5 particle pollution over the weekend reached the highest levels since the Beijing government began publicly releasing figures following a public outcry. In separate monitoring by the U.S. Embassy, levels were at 886 micrograms per cubic meter in a reading that was labeled "beyond index."

...

Air pollution is a major problem in China due to the country's rapid pace of industrialization, reliance on coal power, explosive growth in car ownership and disregard for environmental laws. It typically gets worse in the winter because of weather conditions and an increase in coal burning for heating needs.

Several other cities, including Tianjin on the coast east of Beijing and southern China's Wuhan city, also reported severe pollution over the last several days.



http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013 ... level.html

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PostPosted: January 15th, 2013, 5:46 pm 
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To boot, I hear there are a lot of cigarette smokers in China.


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PostPosted: January 15th, 2013, 5:52 pm 
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China, with the third largest, has 114,500 million tons of proven recoverable coal reserves (in 2008), and it's current consumption is 3.2 billion metric tonnes. That's only some 31.7 years of proven reserves (minus 4 years from 2008). US proven reserves are the largest in the world, and are just twice that.

We're heading towards a coal crunch, and if you have kids today (your grandkids are going to be growing up in a very different world than we have today). It seems we'll be running low on nearly everything in 40 - 60 years (coal, natural gas, oil, cost effective uranium). We better find some replacements soon, and hopefully our atmosphere and cryosphere (even a pair of eagles in Haldimand County) can wait it out for us to get our act together.


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PostPosted: January 15th, 2013, 6:31 pm 
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My wife spent 3 weeks in China just before the Beijing Olympics. She said that the air pollution was unlike anything she'd ever experienced - and we live in Southern Ontario!

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PostPosted: January 18th, 2013, 9:33 am 
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It seems we'll be running low on nearly everything in 40 - 60 years (coal, natural gas, oil, cost effective uranium).


Hm, well, 200 years' worth of fossil fuels in America seems to be the number I'm reading most often, still, it could be the industry talking, and in the past, those interests have been a little biased (eg. the tobacco industry assuring the public it's fine to smoke, 9 out of 10 doctors prefer Chesterfields).

Even with 40-60 years, if the trend to lower solar prices keeps dropping as it has been year after year, it should eventually drop far enough to allow lower solar electricity prices to become competitive in the marketplace. The tax breaks for construction of solar facilities mean that costs are 30% lower... eventually the incentives will run out and the electricity will need to be price-competitive.

There are backlogs in the solar industry so the demand is there, and there are long-term investors (eg. Buffett) laying down some substantial money, betting that solar will become cost-effective enough to replace fossil fuels in the bigger picture. Both Democrats and Republicans should have enough vision to see this through over that longer time frame.

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