China's Latest Exports to U.S. Include Smog, Pollution

China's Latest Exports to U.S. Include Smog, Pollution

West Coast pollution from China

The Western United States is getting large quantities of smog and pollution coming via "westerlies" across the Pacific Ocean.

The United States gets a lot of exports from China, but a new study shows that one of the things we are getting from that country may have even more negative implications than lead-based toys.

"We've outsourced our manufacturing and much of our pollution, but some of it is blowing back across the Pacific to haunt us," said Steve Davis, a scientist at University of California Irvine, and co-author of the study put together by a team of Chinese and American researchers and published by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

The report noted that cities such as Los Angeles, which already has its own grey haze problem, may get as much as one extra day of smog a year as a result of pollutants such as nitrogen oxide coming from China.

China does a lot of production for Western countries, and the research said that in 2006, as much as 17 to 36 percent of the country's pollution comes from export industries. About one fifth of that could be traced back to U.S.-specific exports.

Trade agreements with China need to include provisions for cutting the amount of pollution coming from the country, a problem that neighbors Japan and South Korea have faced for years. But China has said that it wants help from the West to curb the problem, since the production causing the pollution is for goods heavily sought by the West.

"International cooperation to reduce transboundary transport of air pollution must confront the question of who is responsible for emissions in one country during production of goods to support consumption in another," the report said.

It doesn't matter who takes the lead on cutting back on these emissions as long as it gets done. While the West Coast may be getting the brunt of the hit in the United States, pollution and the greenhouse effect continue to be a global problem.

Source: Business Insider

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China isn't even the worst offender. At least they're moving to more modern cars. Most of SE Asia still uses cheap 2-stroke engines which are waaaaay worse, and have been contributing to the pollution on the west coast of the US for decades.

"We've outsourced our manufacturing and much of our pollution, but some of it is blowing back across the Pacific to haunt us," said Steve Davis...

Meh, that's kind of the issue: The title is wrong. We (USA, Europe etc.) exported our smog and pollution there. Whatever may be carried back via winds is only a fraction of what is actually going on there. So, the article seems legit, but the title seems misleading.

Dammit, is anything made in America anymore?

Well at least they seem to be working together on the problem rather than simply ignoring it.

Did you know China's smog zone stretches about 1,000 kilometers and can be seen from space?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/12/china-smog-problem-space-photo_n_4433615.html

I'm sure the free market will save us.

Let me know if I'm not understanding this correctly...

1) USA outsources most of its manufacturing to China
2) China pollutes its air by manufacturing things for USA
3) Pollution flies over to USA
4) USA complains about pollution

What am I missing?

That's what you get for outsourcing your manufacturing to the lowest bidder. That gadget you buy on ebay for $1 including shipping or all those ultra-cheap components in your iPhone or PS4 aren't manufactured using the best environmental standards if all you go after is price.

Gary Thompson:
Dammit, is anything made in America anymore?

As Yahtzee once put it, corn and shitty TV.

This has been a thing for years. Why is this news now? I don't see relevant information here that wasn't in the reports in the late '90s.

Gary Thompson:
Dammit, is anything made in America anymore?

Massive piles of debt, for one.

Also, terrible fast food. But we only assemble it.

Gary Thompson:
Dammit, is anything made in America anymore?

Freedom. This is where freedom is made. And exported.

John Keefer:
But China has said that it wants help from the West to curb the problem, since the production causing the pollution is for goods heavily sought by the West.

"International cooperation to reduce transboundary transport of air pollution must confront the question of who is responsible for emissions in one country during production of goods to support consumption in another," the report said.

Um... what?

Chinese businesses are solely responsible for the pollution created by their products. They are already compensated for their products when they export them, if they want more money to make pollution-free products they should charge more. And if Americans want pollution-free products they should be willing to pay more.

Weaver:
I'm sure the free market will save us.

The free market solution is rather simple; the only barrier is, do people want it?

This is why we should make enviromental agreements enforcable universaly. A country should have no right to break international enviroment agreements because polution does not care for borders.
Then again there is a lot of things that should be enforced in china, but as the saying goes The road is long and the emperor is far away....

Sgt. Sykes:

What am I missing?

Lack of enviromental regulation in china that allows this.

thiosk:

Gary Thompson:
Dammit, is anything made in America anymore?

Freedom. This is where freedom is made. And exported.

Dont forget democracy.

Gary Thompson:
Dammit, is anything made in America anymore?

Ego... Delusions of Grandeur... The inability to perform simple maths to solve a National Debt that will never stop growing in size... Remakes of TV shows for their 'slower' audience...

I think that about sums it up.

Raise your hand if you're willing to take some of the smog back to ensure America has a working industrial base that can support its economic needs in a local manner.

Seriously. I'd rather deal with a little local air pollution and know that the 25000 people that were working at the glass plant down the road are still eating and keeping their children clothed than know for a fact that the only reason they are still eating is because their mother is bringing home left overs from her night job at McDonalds...which is a lot more common than you may think. 25000 people working locally > 25000 people working in China to funnel what little money our local middle class still has out of the country and into completely untaxed corporate holdings that benefit nothing within the borders of the United States.

American companies being given an incentive to dismantle and remove the industrial base which built this economy into the largest producer of goods in the world back after WWII, to whatever nation they can manufacture in cheapest is the biggest crime against the people of the United States that has been perpetrated in the modern era.

China isn't exporting air pollution, its exporting the death of the American middle class and has been for many years now due to the complicit agreement of our elected representation and their cherry picked deals with their corporate constituents.

I'd go into further reasoning and solutions for how to deal with it at a local level but I see no reason to bother because if our situation was going to be instigated to a positive change it certainly wouldn't start with a post on an internet gaming website. If Youtube can't get people off their asses and into political action and stop the very people that are getting hurt the hardest by Wal-Mart from shopping at Wal-Mart then I simply am not sure what will....and it won't be solved here by any stretch of the imagination.

VoidWanderer:

Gary Thompson:
Dammit, is anything made in America anymore?

Ego... Delusions of Grandeur... The inability to perform simple maths to solve a National Debt that will never stop growing in size... Remakes of TV shows for their 'slower' audience...

I think that about sums it up.

First, we do math just fine in America, the failures of our educational system are not in as much failures of the educational system but failures of the population at large to utilize the educational systems in place properly. You don't get a nation full of dummies and Neil DeGrasse Tyson from the same educational systems if the education system is the problem. Simple facts are, lots of American's are quite happy to skate through life on as little effort as possible, its a sad reality and it is a reality but it is not so stereotypical as to mean the entire nation is incapable of math.

You try to solve the national debt. It can't be done without a massive tax increase which the population cannot economically bear. If America increased its national tax rate to the median global average of 37.5% or above, the entire working class of the nation would be taxed into poverty and homelessness because they're pretty much already there as it is. Whats more the United States while having one of the lower national personal income taxes globally, taxes corporations at one of the highest rates in the world, and those corporations use loop holes in our tax laws to pay absolutely nothing at all and even end up entitled to huge tax rebates. So not only do we not encourage corporations to do business on American soil because we're taxing them at the highest percentage in the world, our ridiculous tax code allows them to still exploit the American market for their profits and not pay a dime in taxes while moving their entire manufacturing and production and support bases to other countries entirely...where they also pay no taxes or very little tax.

I'm getting a bit tired of "America bashing" being tolerated on the Escapist, the problems in America are very real and they are not born of a national ideology of stupidity. They are born directly of a small group of extremely rich, extremely greedy individuals...not all of which are American, basically using the nation as a money farm, while they exploit the cheap labor of other markets.

America used to export the greatest things in the world. We are a nation of people with the capability to do anything, we have the resources, the population base and the mental, physical and yes, even industrial capability to out produce any nation on the planet and we've done it before and we could very well still be doing it right now if it wasn't in the best interests of a few extremely rich people that we didn't.

The American people are not stupid by choice, nor are we stupid as a nation, we are "stupid" by design. And the people at fault for that aren't in America....nor are they American.

Pr0:
Raise your hand if you're willing to take some of the smog back to ensure America has a working industrial base that can support its economic needs in a local manner.

Are you seriously trying to argue that the only path to prosperity is to regress to the conditions of the Industrial Revolution and maintain it perpetually?

Producing certain goods locally does not necessarily lead to prosperity. Production and trade is what creates prosperity and wealth, all else is tangential. Trying to argue that certain kinds of production are necessarily better than others is the height of hubris and economic ignorance.

Pr0:
It can't be done without a massive tax increase which the population cannot economically bear.

So a reduction in spending is off the table, then? Because obviously the government is already currently spending the perfect amount, and every dollar spent is towards the most economically efficient end it could possibly be put toward.

Step 1 of reigning in a spiraling debt is a balanced budget, and you don't need to raise taxes to do that.

DjinnFor:

Pr0:
Raise your hand if you're willing to take some of the smog back to ensure America has a working industrial base that can support its economic needs in a local manner.

Are you seriously trying to argue that the only path to prosperity is to regress to the conditions of the Industrial Revolution and maintain it perpetually?

Producing certain goods locally does not necessarily lead to prosperity. Production and trade is what creates prosperity and wealth, all else is tangential. Trying to argue that certain kinds of production are necessarily better than others is the height of hubris and economic ignorance.

Pr0:
It can't be done without a massive tax increase which the population cannot economically bear.

So a reduction in spending is off the table, then? Because obviously the government is already currently spending the perfect amount, and every dollar spent is towards the most economically efficient end it could possibly be put toward.

Step 1 of reigning in a spiraling debt is a balanced budget, and you don't need to raise taxes to do that.

Local production creates jobs, jobs create individual wealth, individual wealth buys products from other production centers globally and...everyone wins.

The issue is not that local production > global trade, the issue is that local production of goods is in direct and complete disproportion to global production. Local production stimulates local economy which then feeds the global economy. Its simply a leg of the table that holds up a healthy national and global economy. And its a leg that is seriously missing in the American economy. WWII pulled America out of the Great Depression, imagine what life would be like if we could pull off that kind of economic growth without having to have 60 million people die?

Far as a reduction in spending goes, I'm all for that, if it were up to me I'd cut the US Defense budget by half and apply it to advanced infrastructure (more jobs) programs. (which we kinda desperately need, it was a topic of debate in the 2008 election but everyone seems to have conveniently forgotten about it), but its not up to me and there are at least 2000 analysts and lobbyists and consultants that will probably tell me why doing something like that is insane and impossible.

Far as the debt limit and cutting spending goes, we can't even blame the President for that, heres an explanation as to why.

Gary Thompson:
Dammit, is anything made in America anymore?

Yes, the cockroaches. We sent them a fair deal of them. They deserve it for the stink bugs.

I'm amazed by some of the comments in this thread. The original article proves the grand majority of the pollution isn't America's fault.

1. 17-36% of the pollution is from export industries.
This alone would mean that at worst America is only responsible for 36% of the pollution coming its way.

2. One fifth of said pollution was from exports destined for America.
I'll even give this stat the benefit of the doubt and say it's low, and put the number at 1/4 (it also makes the math easier) 1/4 of 36 is 9%. If you take the low end, it's 4.25%. Saying that America is responsible for all the pollution when only 9% (at best) can be directly attributed to them is ludicrous.

Gary Thompson:
Dammit, is anything made in America anymore?

Filthy foreigners stealing our smog production.

My papa used to be a proud smog maker until them foreigners came and took our jobs.

 

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