A Video To Help You Understand China’s Pollution

Via a strong recommendation from James Fallows, here’s the video to watch if you want a concise summary of the pollution problem in China. Featuring Fons Tuinstra, president of the China Speakers Bureau, and Richard Brubaker of All Roads Lead to China, the 30-minute show touches on the causes of pollution (the “bowl” of Beijing, cars), the effects (people leaving the country), and possible impetuses for solutions (competition among leaders and government officials to clean things up).

Fallows rightfully flags the final 10 minutes as particularly illuminating. “Very matter-of-factly Brubaker lays out the basic realities of China’s environmental/economic/social/political conundrum,” Fallows writes.

For example, as Brubaker says in the video:

Just the sheer fact that they’re going so fast, it means that they need to find, even if they’re efficient, more and more supplies of energy. For China to double its GDP in the next 20 years to surpass the US’s GDP, they will need 350 percent more energy than what they have today. Just a simple mathematic, back-of-the-napkin equation, 78 percent coal times 350 percent equals a lot more emissions no matter how they cut it.

Go check it out. And relive the horror starting here.

    3 Responses to “A Video To Help You Understand China’s Pollution”

    1. Ander

      Weibo is indeed a tool the government can’t ignore. Power to the people!
      And that was am excellent 10-minute finale.
      Foreign companies do provide the quality products Chinese need. Even Hitachi.

    2. Brian

      The point Fallows makes about the future energy needs and goals of China are startling and should be a reality check for the Chinese government. The current track is simply unsustainable. I think the real question now is at what point does the pollution become too much? What will be the tipping point for change and will neitizens push for change more than they are now?


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