China is one of the countries whose environment is adversely affected due to pollution. According to Jared Diamond, in “Collapse” How societies choose to fail or succeed, China has decided to abandon. The environment issue in China is one of the pressing problems that is pressing the country. The growth of the China economy has caused some impacts to the environment. The environmental issue is a global challenge faced by each and every country on the planet. According to Jared Diamond, China is facing six main environmental problems that affect; air, water, natural habitat, soil, and biodiversity. Jared Diamond adds that, due to this environmental degradation, China is frequently hit adversely by natural disasters leading to loss of human life and severe environmental issues such as landslides, floods, and dust storms.
The problem of environmental is so critical that it should be handled carefully. Its effects are felt by each and every person in the universe (Diamond, 2005).
To tackle the issue of environment, all states need to approach and manage the matter collectively to save the world. There are so many ways of environmental pollution. Some are contributed to by the activities of humanity. China is perceived to be the only country that emits carbon. The main cities of China too, do not comply with the international health policies. Failure of complying with international health regulation has caused an adverse effect on the country since the life expectancy in some cities ahs gown down, for example, as a result of air pollution, life expectancy in Huai River is lower compared to those in the south. China is already facing severe water shortage and contamination that have led to land deterioration. These environmental threats have come along with degradation challenging the growth. China’s environment has posed a significant challenge to an extend of compromising the county’s position on environmental content as it faces environmental scrutiny from public and other countries (Council On Foreign Relation, 2016).
History of Pollution
As China progress economically, the environment has degraded the environment as the land and other natural resources have been exploited resulting in famine and other environmental related disasters. In 1972, the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment intervened the environmental condition in China forcing the leaders to establish institutions to work on the environment. However, Chinese officials have already acknowledged the problem, and as a result, China people are faced with the following challenges.
Air pollution
About the environmental Safety Bureau’s air quality level, any contamination exceeding 300 shows that the air is unfit to inhale. Following these conditions, individuals are advised to remain indoors with an operating air conditioner machine. This is by the States Embassy rules.
In a month for instance, from the Washington Post, there were around three weeks where index exceeded 300 threshold and levels above 500 perceived usual. This reading suddenly shot 886, a condition that is unfavorable for normal eye functioning (Kuo, 2011). Several factories and the numerous cars in Beijing contribute a lot to the significant air pollution, but more time, experts lay blames on the notorious charcoal burners who do not spare electrical plants thus affecting China’s economy. Currently, according to the New York Times, China produces 47% of charcoal worldwide that reflects a combined coal burnt from other countries globally. Moreover, Beijing is engulfed by a massive network of power plants operating coal burning. Worst of all is the Urumqi air contamination to the western part of China that holds the record in air pollution.
Water pollution
One of the China’s water pollution challenges is the cause of many death of pigs which then float on the water bodies past Shanghai. Also, chemical leakages such as benzene contribute much of the water contamination. For instance, an accident that involved benzene occurred that caused the death of pigs and several people being hospitalized. As a result, the surrounding residents were pressured to relocate and be supplied with safe water for drinking by the trucks.
Three-quarters of the China’s water is contaminated beyond treatment while the other quarter is also risky for consumption and the remaining is unsafe for use by the industries. Water beneath the ground is still is not safe for use as half of it is used in farming activities such as irrigation. A report by Kuo (2011) shows that 88 percent of the underground water is contaminated. The report further finds out that over 59 percent of the underground water is severely contaminated. Due to the release of wastes by factories in the cities into the mainstream rivers, the river waters are now black, and no one can dare swim across them. One example is given by a businessman who offered a reward to any environmental official that will swim across the river Jing where he swam twenty years ago as a young boy, to date the prize is still uncollected. This shows how pathetic the condition is and what makes it worse is that no water flowing in these rivers black chemicals from industries.
In china’s history, it is clear that farming is intensively crawling back millennia; this is a clear indication that China’s 9.6 million Km2 lands are facing deforestation. The high rate of population growth that pushes individuals to find farming areas in the forests are factors that have led to the country’s deforestation. Infrastructure development and other developmental projects such as hydro-electric are contributing to deforestation in China. The high rate of deforestation in China has prompted the United Nations Environment Program – (UNEP) to register China’s forests to be under threat and look for measures to put in place to save it from destruction (Lallanilla, 2013). When the land vegetation cover is destroyed, the ground remains bare thus leading to gradual erosion of the cover soil and rock thus resulting in deforestation as the land cannot support the growth of vegetation.
Land that is under desertification is approximated to be over 2.6million Km2 as surveyors state that this is more than quarter of China’s land. Other causes of desertification are an erosion of the top soil and muddy waters. Despite the efforts of reducing desertification by restoring grasslands, the deserts have continued to increase significantly according to the annual surveys done by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The lack of farming land has led to the establishment of a generation known as the eco-migrants, due to environmental degradation, this generation is forced to look for other options of living and quite their lifestyle of farming since there is no land that is arable (Lallanilla, 2013).
Biodiversity is the loss of habitat as a result of what occurs between desertification and deforestation. While significant portions of land are cleared to give room for farming, nature struggles to survive. China has lost environmental species as elephants are poached for their ivories, rhinos are poached their horns and tigers for their bones which are which is used as medicine. Sharks are also facing distinction as the demand for shark fining gets high.
Cancer Risks
Due to the environmental pollution, China’s city dwellers are at high risks of developing cancer and other cancer-related diseases. A study was done by Council On Foreign Relation (2016), show that individuals and groups have held campaigns to alert the government to acknowledge that there are high cancer-related diseases in cities that are adjacent to industries. The natural habitats for aquatic creatures can no longer support their life since the waters are severely contaminated.
Despite the government focus on the economic development the of the country, it is critical that they consider and give priority to the health of the citizen who is the force behind all the success in the country. By accepting that there exist cancer villages, it is clear that the government has acknowledged that the environmental contamination is causing health damages and there is the need to address the matter. As Jared Diamond states, solutions to the environmental pollution lies with the people of China, he proceeds by sharing how deforestation can be reduced by getting other sources of fuel instead of wood. Industrial pollution can be directed elsewhere to save the rivers, and all industries should comply with the environmental rules and regulations failure to which they risk closure.
Council On Foreign Relation. (2016). China’s Environmental Crisis – Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved December 11, 2016, from
Diamond, J. (2005). Collapse: How societies choose to fail or Succeed. Retrieved December 11, 2016, from
Kuo, K. (2011, January 23). Error 429 (Too Many Requests) – Quora. Retrieved December 11, 2016, from
Lallanilla, M. (2013, March 15). Chinas Top 6 Environmental Concerns | China Environment. Retrieved December 11, 2016, from

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