The smog in Beijing and its negative effects
by Ye DaSen on October 5, 2017 - 12:45pm
In the article “Beijing's smog: A tale of two cities”, the authors Joshua Berlinger, Steve George and Serenitie Wang demonstrate the negative effects of smog on the heath of people in Beijing and the Chinese society. By doing so, they want to help people to better understand the catastrophic effects that the air-pollution has. If people can know more facts about this issue, then they can also potentially improve the situation. The authors start the article by describing the equipments that a high-income Chinese family uses to purify and filter the polluted-air in their home. Those equipments can indeed improve the air quality in a particular zone, but they are also very expensive. This becomes a major social issue in China or even in the entire world, since the air-pollution not only causes the health problems but also increases the inequalities between rich and poor people. Rich people are capable to protect themselves from smog by purchasing highly-expensive air-purification devices, which are unavailable for poor people. The article also states that even though the Chinese government tries to improve the air quality very hard by developing clean energy and signing Paris climate accords, the effects are still very limited. Finally, the article ends by referring to “Kuznets curve”, which optimistically predicts that as the per-capital income of people increases, the environment degradation decreases and therefore, the smog in Beijing may disappear one day.
The problem of smog cannot be solved completely by any simple and ordinary ways, such as emphasizing the use of public transportations, and planting more trees. The problem of smog is an inevitable yet necessary result of any industrializing country. Countries like U.S., Britain and Japan, they all suffered the problem of smog during the process of industrialization. This can be explained by environmental determinism since the smog is a result of using fossil energy, which is essential as a motor of economics. To solve the problem of smog, the governments must perform several reforms such as supply-side structural reform, and emphasizing the innovation of technology in order to transform the style of economics. Once the transformation is done, the national economics will be mainly based on tertiary sector instead of secondary sector, which is the main creator of smog due to massive production.