Friday, January 24, 2014

China Pollution Is Blanketing America's West Coast - Business Insider

China Pollution Is Blanketing America's West Coast - Business Insider:

Oh boy.

We export raw materials and coal to China so they can make finished goods and export them back to us in the West/USA. They don't have the safety worries that we do... Some of the externalities affect only China, but many affect us all, especially those countries and environments closer to the mainland of China.

"Cities like Los Angeles received at least an extra day of smog a year from nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide from China's export-dependent factories, it said.

"We've outsourced our manufacturing and much of our pollution, but some of it is blowing back across the Pacific to haunt us," co-author Steve Davis, a scientist at University of California Irvine, said."

Yuk! :-(

A good economist would argue that  products (say coal, especially the really dirty, high sulfur stuff) that produce negative externalities should be assessed a tax that roughly matches the costs of the externality. Using this logic, we would tax coal (especially high sulfur coal) that goes to a developing country, and tax them even more if they intend to burn the coal without scrubbers and such. This might not stop them from burning coal, but it would make other options more attractive that are cleaner (less negative externalities).

Unfortunately, China has a LOT of coal in the country. They now burn more than half the world's coal each year, so they do have to import it as well.

'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment