Climate Change | Spotlight: China — VR

For thousands of years China has stood as a global beacon of culture, achievement, and natural beauty. As industrialization spread massive change, a mere 21 people have redefined how we think of China. (dark, brooding music) The earth’s leading greenhouse gas emitter. The factories, controlled by just 21 people, are responsible for more than 10% of China’s enormous CO2 emissions. China now produces more CO2 emissions than the United States and Europe combined. These factories also fill the air with sulfur, dust, nitrogen oxide, particulates and mercury. For the Chinese people, these results are tragic. Spending one day in Beijing is now the equivalent of smoking 40 cigarettes. Poisonous air causes the premature deaths of over 4,000 people each day and two birth defects every minute. While the Chinese government struggles to adopt new technologies and reduce emissions, these 21 people amassed fortunes exceeding 70 billion dollars by destroying air, water, soil and human life. These same companies have consistently lied about how much damage they’re causing.

It was recently revealed that the Chinese companies manipulated emissions numbers, and are burning 17% more coal than stated. Just the hidden usage represents more emissions than Germany. As China talked about reducing CO2 emissions, they provided permits in 2015 to build 155 new coal power plants. These 21 people power their factories with dirty coal because they were given special, cheap, backdoor access to it. What is economically good for them is ecologically devastating for the world. The Chinese people suffer in heartbreaking ways at the hands of these 21 polluters. The Chinese people are bound to live their lives in masks beneath apocalyptic, smog filled skies. But the rest of the world suffers, too. The biggest export of these 21 Chinese industrialists is pollution.

The acid rain they manufacture in China falls on Seoul and Tokyo. Much of the particulate pollution that falls on Los Angeles and the western US originates from factories in China. The greenhouse gases and toxins spewed by these 21 polluters and others like them affect the health and safety of the entire world. No greedy few from any country should hold the earth’s fragile climate and the quality of our families’ lives hostage..