Take Two for April 4, 2013

Bureaucracy makes China's pollution problem a tough fix

MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

A Chinese family wearing face masks to protect against air pollution walk along a street in Beijing on March 27, 2013. China will more than double the number of cities covered by air quality monitoring, as part of efforts to tackle heavy smog that has sparked huge public anger. Swathes of acrid haze have repeatedly shrouded large parts of the country in recent months, provoking outrage among Internet users and unusually outspoken calls for action in state-run media.

California has some of the nation's toughest environmental regulations, and those regulations might be something that the state tries to export when Gov. Jerry Brown makes a trip to China next week.

The governor is expected to sign several environmental agreements with China. Pollution in that country has been an ongoing problem. A recent study shows that air pollution contributed to 1.2 million deaths in China in 2010 alone. There's also been some significant problems with water pollution. Just last month, 16,000 dead pigs were found in rivers that provide drinking water to Shanghai.

But despite these issues, environmentalists have struggled to enact any reform in China. Barbara Finamore is China Program Director for the National Resources Defense Council. She explains how pollution in China compares to what we see in the US.

 


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