Sunday, February 3, 2013

China uses nearly as much coal as the rest of the world combined

By  | January 29, 2013, 10:33 AM PST
Thick smog has enveloped parts of China for the second time this month, pushing levels of tiny particulate matter that can penetrate deep into the lungs more than 20 times higher than World Health Organization safety levels over a 24-hour period.
The carcinogenic haze has–as it did before–prompted the government to take temporary actions, such as ordering 103 heavily polluting factories in the Beijing area to shut down production,reported the Washington Post.
The smog has sparked an unprecedented call from Chinese citizens for the country to adopt a national clean air law. Real estate tycoon Pan Shiyi asked social media users on Sina Corp.’s Weibo microblogging platform to vote on whether China should take legislative action, reported the WSJ’s China Realtime Report blog. The response was abrupt and overwhelming. Nearly nearly 32,000 microbloggers in less than 10 hours of voting, said they agree with Pan’s call for a clean air law. Fewer than 250 said they were opposed and a little more than 120 said they weren’t sure, according to WSJ blog.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration released a graphic and information about China’s coal use that points to the source of at least some of the country’s pollution problems. Coal consumption in China grew more than 9 percent in 2011, continuing an upward trend for the 12th straight year, according to the EIA data.

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