Despite countless years of research on increasing pollution, environmental issues remain at a low priority globally. A thick layer of smog has blanketed numerous Chinese regions for weeks now, and scientists are now likening it to ‘nuclear winter.’
The problem with environmental pollution is that it is not an immediately tangible issue. We are told that the air we breathe is no longer pure, the water we drink is contaminated and that each day, our planet’s environment is getting worse, leading to climate changes. But since the outcome of these environmental issues are long drawn and not immediately visible, we shrug a shoulder and carry on.
But the immediacy of the environmental pollution is beginning to dawn, at least in China. Nearly six provinces of China, including the capital Beijing, have been under a thick layer of smog. In other words, these areas haven’t received a decent sunlight in weeks, not because of clouds or a grey winter, but because of the sheer pollution.
A Chinese scientist has now penned down his thoughts in a Guardian piece, calling this unabated spell of smog a ‘nuclear winter’ for China. According to him, ” Beijing’s concentration of PM 2.5 particles – those small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs and enter the bloodstream – hit 505 micrograms per cubic meter on Tuesday night. The World Health Organisation recommends a safe level of 25.”
The whole thing has not only cast immediate economic downtime, such as a decline in tourists and cancelling of flights, it also threatens to pose more dire, long-term problems such as a severe hit taken by the country’s agrarian produce. The smog in the air directly prohibits sunlight from reaching the plants, thus hampering their growth.
Chinese government, unfortunately, hasn’t taken any serious note of this environmental catastrophe. The regime has frequently promised to address the environmental problems but any definite reforms haven’t been put on the table so far. If the situation persists, China will have a very serious environmental problem at its hands, perhaps the first country among many to experience similar problems in the next decade or so.
Source: The Guardian