Happy Earth Day!
Since today is Earth Day I thought I would share in something that is near and dear to my heart, Steel. As a product of the American Middle Class and third generation of Steel Mill Workers in Birmingham lets just say the post below is a hot topic for me. China’s Pollution Problem
Growing up in a state that has weak environmental laws that barely expand the basic laws the Federal Environmental Agency demands has always been issue for my community. We have come a long way and still have further to go. But one country is not doing its share of keeping the environment clean.
TreeHugger’s John Chamber’s has reported on AAM’s recent study of China’s steel industry. Chambers notes that steel production in China creates 5 times more sulfer dioxide, 18 times more particulate matter and 3 times more nitrogen oxides per ton of steel than that of production in the United States.
Moreover, carbon emissions for each ton made in China are twice that of their American counterparts. The American steel industry has worked hard to cut their environmental footprint. The reduction of greenhouse gases means industry has surpassed Kyoto target by 240%. Plus, the Chinese companies can expect smaller fines for non-compliance of environmental standards for the iron-based resource from their centralized governments. The maximum fine in China is $14,000.00 compared to $450,000.00 in the United States.
Read the report.
Steel isn’t the only thing China is polluting with. You might want to Check out what the Brits are saying about pollution in China too. Somewhere else too look is the Australian’s chatter on the topic.
A 2007 New York Times Article puts the pollution in Bejing in Perspective:
As China Roars, Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes
No country in history has emerged as a major industrial power without creating a legacy of environmental damage that can take decades and big dollops of public wealth to undo.
But just as the speed and scale of China’s rise as an economic power have no clear parallel in history, so its pollution problem has shattered all precedents. Environmental degradation is now so severe, with such stark domestic and international repercussions, that pollution poses not only a major long-term burden on the Chinese public but also an acute political challenge to the ruling Communist Party. And it is not clear that China can rein in its own economic juggernaut.
Public health is reeling. Pollution has made cancer China’s leading cause of death, the Ministry of Health says. Ambient air pollution alone is blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Nearly 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water.
With all the problems China is inflicting on the world, why not buy American Steel?