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China's reliance on coal reduces life expectancy by 5.5 years, says study

China's reliance on coal reduces life expectancy by 5.5 years, says study | Geography Education | Scoop.it

........"Linking the Chinese pollution data to mortality statistics from 1991 to 2000, the researchers found a sharp difference in mortality rates on either side of the border formed by the Huai River. They also found the variation to be attributable to cardiorespiratory illness, and not to other causes of death."


High levels of air pollution in northern China – much of it caused by an over-reliance on burning coal for heat – will cause 500 million people to lose an aggregate 2.5 billion years from their lives, the authors predict in the study, published in the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Also read this compilation of articles and resources to get a sense of how bad the pollution is is China. 

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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 29, 2013 9:44 PM

We talked in class about how certain poor working conditions or pollution emissions are permissible in countries whose laws allow for such situations, and how countries like the US arrange for certain work to be done in those countries.  This 'work' stuff all centers around an ever-necessary "profit" that exists as a carrot being dangled in front of a horse as it runs all of its life, blinded to everything else.  It is almost cartoonish, that for a percentage increase in profit due to minimalized expenses, a moral businessman might yield and give in to the temptation of exposing workers to dangerous conditions... or that all businesses might do the same thing... It is socially dangerous; a hazard like bullying, or cheating, using others as human shields to collect the damage while someone else collects the benefits.  I don't think that any life form should be exposed to such unfairness, because it just does not resonate with my philosophical consciousness that any individual should have a better life than another (or worse).  And why make it worse for someone?  Why pollute their areas?  Why steal their natural resources?  Why... Capitalism at all?  I do not think greed is innate to human nature, because selflessness does occur, and is often leaned towards in conventional modern morality/ethics.  I think that the vicious cycle that capitalism puts us in causes us to self-servingly run around like angry rats trying to feed ourselves, which causes us to take out risks on other people, and polluting other people's living space.  It really is sad, because this planet is alive... there is so much life on this planet, assumedly and debateably from this planet, this planet that we consider our home.  To be killing ourselves by not keeping our home clean and healthy is like a very bad habit- it's like smoking.  And it is taking a toll on the planet, as well as its inhabitants

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 12, 11:20 AM

This article and the accompanying resources describe the damage the pollution problem China has in its cities. China's economic desire to do things as cheaply as possible for the best profit margins has done significant damage to the air and now to its own people. By burning cheap coal to meet energy needs China has created a fairly toxic atmosphere in its Northern cities. The pollution is causing high rates of cardiorespiratory illness and even the government-controlled news can't keep quiet about the issue.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 15, 5:28 PM

This article explains how China is burning an abundance of coal for heating. The Chinese population is over 1 billion; image the amount of coal that must be burned in order to supply heat for the people of northern China. Unfortunately, the burning coal is polluting the air and causing the Chinese to have lower life expectancies. China, along with other countries should start to find other ways to heat their homes. 

Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective:  Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon