Chinese Coal Pollution Reaches the Sierras

"China is generating such enormous quantities of pollution [from coal plants] that the effects are felt farther downwind than usual. Sulfur and ash that make breathing a hazard are being carried by the wind to South Korea, Japan and beyond."

"Not enough of the Chinese emissions reach the United States to have an appreciable effect on acid rain yet. But, they are already having an effect in the mountains in West Coast states. These particles are dense enough that, at maximum levels during the spring, they account at higher altitudes for a fifth or more of the maximum levels of particles allowed by the latest federal air quality standards. Over the course of a year, Chinese pollution averages 10 to 15 percent of allowable levels of particles."

[Still]

"For all the worries about pollution from China, international climate experts are loath to criticize the country without pointing out that the average American still consumes more energy and is responsible for the release of 10 times as much carbon dioxide as the average Chinese. While China now generates more electricity from coal than does the United States, America’s consumption of gasoline dwarfs China’s, and burning gasoline also releases carbon dioxide."

From a saddening story about coal plants in China in the NYTimes.

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