Chinese Pollution from Making US Products Sifts Down on US

BEIJING — Filthy emissions from China’s export industries are carried across the Pacific Ocean and contribute to air pollution in the Western United States, according to a paper published Monday by a prominent American science journal.

NY Times

 Black carbon pollution from China to the U.S. each year, according to a new report. (PNAS.org/Lin et al.)

Black carbon pollution from China to the U.S. each year, according to a new report. (PNAS.org/Lin et al.)

Makes me wonder what Europe and Africa suffered during the US industrial age as coal burning and iron smelting from Pennsylvania east made the US the richest nation on earth.

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More at Climate Progress

China’s pollution has been setting records recently — in December, Shanghai was hit with a week of air pollution so bad that it cancelled flights and sporting events and forced children and the elderly indoors. And last week, Beijing experienced its first off-the-charts air pollution of 2014. China has implemented pollution reduction targets and a carbon trading scheme in some major cities, but in 2013 the country also approved the construction of $10 billion worth of new coal production capacity.

An oft-cited argument against measures to reduce emissions in the U.S. is that if major polluters like China and India don’t also reduce their emissions, a U.S. effort won’t make a difference. But Davis said that the study’s conclusion that China’s emissions directly affect the U.S. proves that the world needs to “move beyond placing blame” and realize that reducing pollution is within everyone’s common interest.

“We’ve outsourced our manufacturing and much of our pollution, but some of it is blowing back across the Pacific to haunt us,” Davis said. “Given the complaints about how Chinese pollution is corrupting other countries’ air, this paper shows that there may be plenty of blame to go around.”

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