As Paris Talks Begin, China Chokes on Pollution

November 30, 2015

One Response to “As Paris Talks Begin, China Chokes on Pollution”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    Yes, and and air pollution kills an estimated 4000 Chinese every day and 1.6 million a year (and ~7 million worldwide).

    Of course, we don’t want to consider fighting that massive death toll by expanding the world’s most carbon free source of large quantities of electricity. Because we are afraid of the “bogey man” of nuclear power, we will continue to take half-measures at reducing CO2 emissions, and at a pace that likely isn’t rapid enough to avoid serious environmental and societal disruption.

    I have just finished reading “Dirty Old London”, a book subtitled “the Victorian fight against filth”. It has an interesting chapter titled “The Veil of Soot” about the “black fogs” that enveloped London in the mid to late 1800’s. Many efforts were made to fight the pollution, but since the black fogs were episodic—lasted only for a few days and were relatively infrequent—most people just gutted it out and ignored the increased death rates during the “fogs”

    There were even efforts by reformers to pass a primitive sort of carbon tax and subsidize technology that burned coal more “cleanly”. Welsh anthracite was touted over the more common (and dirtier) bituminous coal, but higher cost and love for the traditional “non blue flame” fires kept it from taking hold. Sound familiar? The Victorians did solve many of their “filth” problems, but never did manage to deal with the black fogs—-it took another 50+ years before the next serious attempts.

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