Question: Why is China so polluted?

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  1. Hi jcubo3,

    I think it mainly has to do with their massive population size. This is how many people that live there: 1,344,130,000! Where as in Australia we only have 22,620,600 people. Generally, more people = more waste and pollution.

    China has also recently grown economically, so more people are able to use more energy and buy more products. This has increased their energy consumption which creates more smog. Politically, China hasn’t made strong decisions on how to manage waste and pollution so this means that they aren’t dealing with their pollution as well as other countries do.


  2. I have spoken about this topic to various other scientists and from what I have heard the Chinese government seems to only be concerned with economic growth. They are willing to do anything to increase their national GDP no matter what the cost. Even if the environment is at stake. China seems to be an economic super power at the moment but the country still has some of the poorest people in the world living there. The government need to address this because poverty will always bring with it pollution. At the moment industrial companies can dispose of their chemical waste straight into river systems turning the rivers all kinds of crazy colours. Also as Blaire pointed out they have a huge population and all these people produce waste but the government have failed to invest in adequate sewage treatment to process these huge volumes of human waste. A lot of sewage again just goes into the river systems. They are also one of the worst countries for carbon emissions. As climate change and pollution in general is a global problem they will have to start addressing their pollution problems soon.

    I think China will hopefully begin to try and change its ways soon. There are good scientists in China doing research into pollution there and I have met a few of them at a recent conference I went to but there just seems to be a break down in communication between the science and the government.


  3. Blaire nailed it straight off with the size of the population. If the 1.3 billion chinese lived like 21 million Australians then china would be 3x more polluted. Conversely if the 21 million Australian only had the ecological footprint of 21 million chinese (on average) then Australia would be, in an evironmental sense, in better shape than it currently is.