Are there any costs in regard to how humans and the environment interact? Why or why not?

For your initial post in the discussion topic, view the Beijing Blanketed in Toxic Smog for a Week in 2014 video and complete the following:

Are there any costs in regard to how humans and the environment interact? Why or why not?
Find a picture or article on the internet that supports your perspective and include it with your post.
In response to your peers, you should make connections from the original posts to your choice of any one or more of the five themes of geography.

To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document.

Peer 1

Hello Class,

My answer to the question presented, “Is there any cost to how humans and the environment interact?” is a definite YES!! We are seeing an impact on human health from the use of fossil fuels. Breathing in smog created from the burning of fossil fuels has become a severe health risk causing deaths from stroke, lung cancer, and heart disease (WHO, 2018). Air pollution can be a silent killer. Even if you can’t see, smog does not mean the air is healthy (2018). No one can escape air pollution. The microscopic pollutants bypass the body’s defenses and cause damage to our heart lungs and brain (2018).

The University of Gothenburg identified a link between countries’ economic growth and environmental pollution. Studying China’s economic expansion beginning around the 1970s, with an acceleration over the decades, they noted that environmental pollution was keeping pace (UnivofGothenburg, 2019). We are seeing the cost of this growth in human and ecological health. The article by the University admits that environmental pollution in China has begun to decline, but greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase (2019).

breathe

Reference

Borenstein, S. (2015). Study: Air Pollution Kills 4000 People Per Day In China • Earth.com. Retrieved 10 February 2020, from https://www.earth.com/news/study-air-pollution-kills-4000-people-per-day-in-china-3/

UniversityofGothenburg (2019). Environmental pollution in China decreases. (2019). Retrieved 10 February 2020, from https://phys.org/news/2019-09-environmental-pollut…

WHO, How air pollution is destroying our health. (2018). Retrieved 10 February 2020, from https://www.who.int/airpollution/news-and-events/h…

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Peer 2

Donald Hopkins posted Feb 10, 2020 2:50 PM

China has paid a high price as a result of the negative interactions between humans and the environment. Two pollutants, smog-inducing ozone and fine particles, were found to cause an average 1.1 million premature deaths and may be shaving an estimated 267 billion yuan (US$38 billion) off the Chinese economy each year from early deaths and lost food production (Kao, 2018).

Air pollution has also affected solar energy. Air pollution blocks some of the sun’s rays, reducing their efficiency (Wood, 2019)

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A worker inspects solar panels at a solar farm in Dunhuang

Half of China’s population lack access to water that is safe for drinking and two-thirds of China’s rural population relies on tainted water. Water pollution in China has been described as having “catastrophic consequences for future generations,” according to the World Bank (Gibson, 2018).

Strip mining of rare earths is also contributing to China’s environmental problems. The removal of these rare earth elements from the earth’s crust, using a mix of water and chemicals, has caused extensive water and soil pollution (Standaert, 2019).

Mining of graphite, a mineral used in producing lithium batteries for cell phones and for pencils, is another source of pollution. Particles from graphite plant are visible in the air as a lustrous gray dust. Inhaling these particles can lead to serious health problems like heart attacks and respiratory problems. The dust covers crops, people and can also cover items inside a house. The plants also discharge into the water supply rendering it unusable.

A worker at the Jin Yang graphite factory in Mashan, in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province, in May.

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Wood, J. (2019, August 5). China’s pollution is so bad it’s blocking sunlight from solar panels. Retrieved from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/08/china-air-p…

Kao, E. (2018, October 2). Air pollution is killing 1 million people and costing Chinese economy 267 billion yuan a year, research from CUHK shows. Retrieved from https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/2166542/air-pollution-killing-1-million-people-and-costing-chinese

Gibson, C. (2018, March 10). Water pollution in China is the country’s worst environmental issue. Retrieved from https://borgenproject.org/water-pollution-in-china/

Standaert, M. (2019, July 2). China wrestles with toxic aftermath rare earth mining. Retrieved from https://e360.yale.edu/features/china-wrestles-with-the-toxic-aftermath-of-rare-earth-mining

Stan

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