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The widespread use of coal in the north is causing the lower life expectancy

Chinese citizens living in the northern part of the country have a lower life expectancy than those in the south, according to a new study. 

The study, led by Michael Greenstone from the environmental economics department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (who was accompanied by an Israeli and two Chinese scholars), said that heavy pollution in northern China causes citizens in that area to have lower lifespans than those in the south.

In fact, the study says that the 500 million people who live north of the Huai River will lose 2.5 billion years of life expectancy because of air pollution. More specifically, each northerner has a 5.5-year drop in life expectancy compared to southerners. 

This cut in life expectancy, according to the study, is mainly due to outdoor air pollution in the north. The concentration of particulates north of the Huai was 184 micrograms per cubic meter higher than in the south. This is about 55 percent greater in the north than south. 

This much air pollution is leading to cardiorespiratory diseases and other health problems related to breathing this in. The pollution is caused by the use of free coal for boilers for winter heating north of the river. Also, coal-fired factories are extremely common in the north compared to the south. 

The study analyzed health and pollution data collected by Chinese officials from 1981 to 2001. 

“It highlights that in developing countries there’s a trade-off in increasing incomes today and protecting public health and environmental quality,” said Greenstone. “And it highlights the fact that the public health costs are larger than we had thought.”

The researchers hope that this study pushes China to make greater environmental protection laws and take health risks associated with air pollution more seriously. 

This study was published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Source: The New York Times

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By BRB29 on 7/9/2013 10:30:14 AM , Rating: 0
Like I said before, we have nothing to worry about as far as China catching up economically. It will take them a long time to catch up but they won't because they'll suffer the same problems the US and Japan will.

Their 1 child per family has to be done. But it will also cause a huge problem when the current working generation retire or just not able to work anymore. The huge medical and social benefit costs will send their deficit spiraling downward. Look at Japan, their current government is spending almost twice as much as they collected in taxes. In China, it will be much worse than what the US and Japan has to go through.

China is still enjoying many surplus due to their growing economy. Let's not forget the very real and apparent problems that people don't realize right now. China is pretty much importing "wives" because they value males over females but can only have 1 child. They buy these wives from other countries. These wives will send money back to their home family much like what many immigrants is doing to the US.

China is buying up foreign properties like crazy and especially in the US. People think this is a good thing for the Chinese. The truth is it may be a good thing for those individuals but the money supply is leaving the country and taxes are paid to other countries. Right now, there's more money coming into China than coming out. But when the standard of living is higher in China and it is no longer profitable to shift labor to them, China will face a huge decrease in international money supply rushing to them.

Their other significant source of income is from natural resource. We all know this is finite and while it may last for more than just a couple decades, the cost of these resources will go up as their supply diminish.

RE: ...
By DanNeely on 7/9/2013 10:56:58 AM , Rating: 2
With all the exceptions in it, China's policy really is an ~1.5 child/family policy. The (admittedly somewhat suspect due to not changing at all for a number of years) official current birthrate estimate is 1.6 due to some people cheating and having additional kids in secret. While they're going to take a major demographic hit if they don't loosen it (and convince more people indoctrinated against it for decades to have a second kid); it's only going to be at a similar scale to western Europe, not the much more brutal decline that some wealthy Asian countries with birthrates currently near one are facing.

RE: ...
By Zingam on 7/9/2013 12:17:47 PM , Rating: 2
Don't worry! Advance muslim civilizations like the ones in Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, etc. will replenish the Earth.

RE: ...
By Solandri on 7/9/2013 1:57:11 PM , Rating: 2
With all the exceptions in it, China's policy really is an ~1.5 child/family policy. The (admittedly somewhat suspect due to not changing at all for a number of years) official current birthrate estimate is 1.6 due to some people cheating and having additional kids in secret.

Their population is still growing. That indicates the real birthrate is more than 2.0 children per family.

RE: ...
By BRB29 on 7/9/2013 2:03:11 PM , Rating: 2
The pop is still rising because the marriage and pregnancy age is China is low. You can see 3-5 generations in a life time. There is no longer constant war. It's not a 1 for 1 exchange but a delayed effect. Their population will decrease or remain flat when this last generation of baby boomers starts to die.

RE: ...
By Fujikoma on 7/10/2013 11:30:44 AM , Rating: 2
And it is mostly male (over 50% of the general population compared to the rest of the first would which is in the high 40's), which is really going to cause problems down the road. In general, chinese men do not like better educated women, so their choices of partners are going to be slimmer than what is already present. They will probably have a 'bust' period that is much larger than the one the U.S. had. India is more likely the country that should be seen as a future population problem.

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