The U.S. isn’t immune to the high concentrations of smog that fill the air in China. And domestic demand for Chinese exports is part of the reason why, a study finds.
The New York Times reports that research published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that prevailing winds known as westerlies facilitate the movement of pollutants, including dust, nitrogen oxides. and carbon, from China to the western United States.
The study, which was undertaken by a group of nine academic researchers, demonstrates a link between air pollutants in the U.S. that have migrated across the Pacific Ocean from China and the pollution given off by the production of goods in China for export abroad.
While the effects of air pollution in the U.S. from China is minimal compared with other major sources of domestic industrial and commercial pollutants such as power plants, the study shows that U.S. consumers cannot entirely escape the environmental consequences of the bustling Chinese export market.
The study also concluded that atmospheric concentrations of pollutants in the U.S. were lower than they would be in the aggregate if the scale of manufacturing that takes place in China to provide exported products for domestic markets were to take place on our soil rather than abroad.
Nevertheless, “this is a reminder to us that a significant percentage of China’s emissions of traditional pollutants and greenhouse-gas emissions are connected to the products we buy and use every day in the U.S.,” commented Alex Wang, a law professor at UCLA with a focus on Chinese environmental policy. “We should be concerned not only because this pollution is harming the citizens of China but because it’s damaging the air quality in parts of the U.S.”
What We're Following See More »
The Presidential Inaugural Committee "acknowledged late Monday that a final report it filed with the Federal Election Commission this month was riddled with errors, many of which were first identified through a crowdsourced data project at HuffPost." The committee raised about $100 million for the festivities, but the 500-page FEC report, which detailed where that money came from, was riddled with problems. The likely culprit: a system of access codes sent out by the GOP's ticketing system. Those codes were then often passed around on the secondary market.
The Michael Flynn story is not going away for the White House as it tries to refocus its attention. The White House has denied requests from the House Oversight Committee for information and documents regarding payments that the former nationals security adviser received from Russian state television station RT and Russian firms. House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking members Elijah Cummings also said that Flynn failed to report these payments on his security clearance application. White House legislative director Marc Short argued that the documents request are either not in the possession of the White House or contain sensitive information he believes are not applicable to the committee's stated investigation.
The U.S. deployed "F-35 joint strike fighters" to Estonia on Tuesday. The "jets will stay in Estonia for several weeks and will be a part of training flights with U.S. and other NATO air forces." The move comes at a time of high tension between the U.S. and Estonia's neighbor, Russia. The two nations have been at odds over a number of issues recently, most of all being Vladimir Putin's support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in light of Assad's chemical weapons attack on his own people in the midst of a civil war.
It took long enough, but the Trump administration finally includes an Agriculture secretary. "The Senate easily approved Sonny Perdue on Monday" by a count of 87-11. Perdue enjoyed the support of Democrats like Delaware's Chris Coons and Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin, both of whom spoke in his favor.