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 »
"Senate Democrats on Thursday failed in their first attempt to save the state and local tax deduction, which helps many residents of California and other high-cost states reduce their federal income tax bills. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-47 to reject an amendment that would have prevented the Senate from considering any bill that repeals or limits the deduction as part of a planned tax overhaul."
"President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appeared on Capitol Hill for a closed-door interview with the Senate intelligence committee Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the matter. Lewandowski is the latest senior official in Trump's orbit who has met with the committee as part of its investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign."
"A growing number of key Republicans are sending this message to the leaders of the congressional committees investigating potential Trump campaign collusion with the Russians: Wrap it up soon. In the House and Senate, several Republicans who sit on key committees are starting to grumble that the investigations have spanned the better part of the past nine months, contending that the Democratic push to extend the investigation well into next year could amount to a fishing expedition."
After initially promising it in August, "President Trump said Monday that he will declare a national emergency next week to address the opioid epidemic." When asked, he also "declined to express confidence in Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), his nominee for drug czar, in the wake of revelations that the lawmaker helped steer legislation making it harder to act against giant drug companies."