China’s War on Pollution


This video is sponsored by Skillshare. The first 500 people to use the link in the
description get their first two months free. In 2008, China hosted its first ever Olympic
Games. Over 10,000 athletes, from 200 countries,
competed in 300 summer events. But for China, it was about much more than
athletics, In many ways, this was Beijing’s grand entrance
to the world. As the most-watched televised event in history,
at the time, it was the perfect opportunity to show off
a healthy, happy, prosperous China to an international audience, one that has long been confused about and
often deeply suspicious, of the Middle Kingdom. So, its government spared no expense. The city was given an extreme makeover. The kind you can afford when your economy
relies on pouring concrete on any surface you can find, and then pouring again because
why not?, more labor means more economic growth. 9 Billion dollars was spent improving public
transit, doubling the size of the subway. Ugly powerlines were buried underground, flowers
planted, and twenty new buildings constructed, like the iconic Bird’s Nest, Which held
the Opening Ceremony on August 8th, 2008, at exactly 8:08 PM, a lucky number in China. The 4-hour event cost 100 million dollars. 7,000 per. second. And flying overhead, you would’ve noticed
that, although it was raining elsewhere that night, the sky above the open-roofed stadium
was perfectly clear. Only minutes after the ceremony ended, the
clouds magically reappeared. The event was so important, and China so determined,
that it changed the weather, literally shooting chemicals at the sky with rocket launchers. And yet, even when its image mattered the
most, China still couldn’t control its pollution. The city was covered in its signature, dangerously
thick, grey smog. Air quality was so bad that some athletes
changed events. Others decided not to compete at all. But what looks like a hopeless environmental
disaster, China sees as an amazing economic opportunity. Its now on a quest to clear its air, clean
its energy, and grow its economy, not despite these things, but because of them. There are two ways to look at environmental
impact, depending on whose payroll you’re on. Per capita, China’s CO2 emissions, for example,
are nothing special, About the same as Poland or Mongolia. Nowhere near a rich country like the U.S.,
the United Arab Emirates, or especially, Qatar. Wow. But, in total, China makes up a quarter of
the world’s emissions. With a population of 1.3 billion, it’s problem
is that it’s just so. darn. big. As the world’s largest car market, China
has as many motor vehicles as the U.S. has people, Three hundred twenty-two million. So, not only does it have that fun LA traffic,
but also the kind of pollution that stops planes from landing, the kind of pollution where you can’t see
your fingers, the kind you can vacuum up, condense, and
make a brick out of. But unlike America, where the automobile means
freedom, and freedom, well that’s our thing, The right to commute in a 16 seat SUV by yourself
is probably written in the constitution, China can and does just say “No.” Cities like Beijing, Guangzhou, and Guiyang,
only issue a tiny number of new license plates a year, through a lottery. Although, ”tiny” is kind of an understatement. The chance of winning is approximately 1 in
783, or was, until Beijing lowered the quota from 90,000 to 40, and now your chances are
1 in 2,031. Locals joke they’re more likely to win the
actual lottery. One government official was arrested for accepting
bribes of 30,000 US Dollars for a single plate. Shanghai, on the other hand, auctions them
off to the highest bidder, with an average price of $14,022, nearly twice China’s per
capita GDP, and considerably more than most of the cars they’re attached to. So, good luck buying a car unless you have
very deep pockets, powerful friends, or amazing luck. Even so, there are limitations. In Beijing, the last number of your license
plate determines which days you can drive on. For example, right now, until April 7th, numbers
1 and 6 can’t drive on Monday, 2 and 7 can’t on Tuesday, 3 and 8 on Wednesday, and so on. All are allowed on the weekend. The numbers switch four times a year, and
rule breakers get three points on their license, 12 of which suspends your ability to drive. These restrictions have helped reduce pollution,
but only so much. The Air Quality Index, which measures pollution,
is usually in the range of 50-100 in cities like LA, San Diego, and most of southern China. In the North, it’s often three, four, even
five times that much. Now, it’s easy to see these numbers, think
that China focuses only on economic growth and conclude that its government really doesn’t
care that much about pollution. But that’s not entirely true. For one, healthcare is really expensive. Pollution kills an estimated 1.6 million people
in the country a year. It also has a significant impact on tourism. What makes this issue so unique is that it
can’t be hidden – smog is there for everyone to see, and not in some far, Western province,
but in the capital, where politicians live and work. So, even Chinese-owned state media reports
on the problem. And while it isn’t exactly known as the
protest capital of the world, it has seen a few. If that wasn’t incentive enough, enter electric
cars. Perhaps nowhere on earth is better suited
to lead the EV revolution. Millions of Chinese are entering the middle
class, looking to buy their first car, and have no stigma against electric vehicles. It’s great for local companies, it helps
grow the larger economy, and it’s good for everyone’s lungs. So it’s no surprise that China buys more
EVs than the rest of the world combined. In the U.S., there’s California and everywhere
else. The Golden State buys almost ten times more
EVs than second place New York. In Palo Alto, you turn your head when you
see a car that’s not a Tesla. China is to the world, what California is
to the U.S. It’s making EVs irresistible. Like police cars and ambulances, they’re
exempt from the last-number rule, and have a separate line to apply for a license plate. Many don’t even require a driver’s license
at all, with a top speed of around 40 miles an hour. Smart Cars cost 20-30,000 dollars. These cost about 1. The government has given Tesla permission
to build a factory outside Shanghai, Converted all Shenzhen busses to electric, and doubled its charging infrastructure in
the last year. Of course, cars are only part of the problem. China also burns an insane amount of coal,
one of the worst environmental offenders. Even India pales in comparison. But these numbers are somewhat misleading. There are three common types of coal plants
– subcritical, supercritical and ultra-supercritical. The first being low-temperature and less efficient,
the last being high-temperature and more efficient. Over time, China has been building fewer and
fewer subcritical plants, and more and more efficient ones. By 2020, it’s estimated that every Chinese
coal plant will be more efficient than every coal plant in America. China doesn’t have nearly as much natural
gas. So, instead, it’s largely moving straight
to renewable energy, which it now produces more of than any other country. Like electric cars, its government has an
economic incentive. Compared to fossil fuel, renewable energy
usually creates far more jobs. In fact, coal employs fewer Americans than
fast food chain Arby’s. Already, Beijing’s air pollution has fallen
by 35%. This, according to experts, could save 20
million residents over 3 years of their lives. And even when its weaker economy in 2018 made
car sales fall to a two-decade low, electric and hybrid cars continued to grow. At a time when the U.S. is removing EV tax
credits and environmental protections, it’s more important than ever that China take the
lead. Its electric car revolution is just getting
started. Its anyone’s guess how the economy will
change in the next 20 years, but it’s always safe to invest in your self! Why not learn about the stock market, so you
can invest in clean energy or new battery technology with this class on Skillshare? Or watch Kurzgesagt teach you how to animate
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500 people to use the link in the description.

Maurice Vega

100 Responses

  1. I was in beijing this year in may and holy shit they pushed back the pollution so much, its unbelievable!

  2. I live in Indiana and would absolutely make the switch to electric if charging stations existed around here

  3. and at 4:00 Remember China just dropped all plate regulations if they are attached to electric vehicles Mwahahahahahaaa TESLA FOREVER

  4. I usually did the same whenever I play simcity. Cheap, dirty industry first, then upgrade to environment friendly shit later(after I'm filthy rich).

  5. China's heavy reliance on coal, whether increasingly efficient or not, is still crucial in the equation, because it is still horrible compared to other cleaner sources. So what does it mean for, let's imagine, its entire population to adopt battery-powered cars if the energy produced to fuel them is itself so dirty? The problem remains the same, except the fact that they now have the ability to displace the source of pollution, and maintain it outside urban perimeters (though doing so is probably no easy task either).

  6. Fucking china overpopulated the earth and you can find them everywhere and even owning thier neighboring countries even our seas this china needs to be depopulated asap.

  7. Glad to see SOMEONE take responsibility in the pollution crisis (even if they're socialist)
    I'm looking at you Trump… grunt

  8. its soo good that china is embracing EV, whats even better for the rest of the world is that china will make EV AFFORDABLE so it become the norm… thats the future there

  9. The EV is the only vehicle that runs on coal, which is why China is having a boom on coal power plants. China leads the world in construction of coal fired power plants. Guess you didn’t consider that in your video.

  10. We need, if it is not to late, is to war against money. That thing makes us to be bad to the plane,t and all of the life on it. People use animals to make money, not caring about the animals, at all. Why? The motivation is to make money. Ask and receive, preparing our mind for God's kingdom, is needed.

  11. YOU ARE SUCH A JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EVERYTHING YOU WRITE IS ABSOLUTE BULLSHIT!!!!! You are probably a Chinese Government worker, hired to put out vids to gain American sympathy. Only the truly stupid, ignorant and gullible will like the vid…

  12. China has also embraced the truths about wind and solar: that they will not scale as needed, their intermittency, their cradle to grave environmental and resource costs. Underpinning China's energy development efforts 8s the pursuit of Generation 4, low pressure, high temperature nuclear technology. Not the old solid fuel pressurized water cooled variety of reactor ( although they are still building some PWRs), but a new and modern fleet that will not be subject to the problems and flaws of the 45 year old design found in the worlds 450, or so, commercial reactors now in operation around the world. A nuclear renaissance is currently in progress, and China is leading the way forward to effectively de-coupling energy abundance from negative environmental and human health effects. When they succeed, and they will, China will be an unstoppable economic force, benefitting not only from their own energy abundance to power their growth internally, but exporting their nuclear expertise around the world. Ask yourself this: might it be time to re-examine your superstitious beliefs about nuclear power (promulgated by fossil fuel interests) and instead become scientifically literate about the true scale of humankind's energy demands, and nuclear power's pathway to a decarbonized future. It will require that you think clearly, objectively, and with an open mind – without interference from "what you've heard", but haven't actually investigated. Consider yourself challenged to LEARN.

  13. China so polluted, air pollution, yuck! I wouldn't want to visit it.
    Then the Americans withdrew from the Paris Agreement. CO2 is cooking the planet (heat, extreme weather, flooding, ocean acidifying etc).
    Would be funny to see the human species go extinct as the Earth destroys us, lol.

  14. So much for the idea that renewables kill jobs. They create so many even the chinese are doing it full steam for purely pragmatic reasons
    I guess it helps that they just industrialized a few decades ago so they dont have the established rich companies that bog down progress elsewhere

  15. Give some supplementary information:
    1. China had banned plastic shopping bags in almost 10 years;
    2. Chinese used tens of years to plant anti-desert plants in the northern deserts. The sandstorm occurrence in northern China decreased from 5-8 times a year in 90s to 0 now!
    3. Renewable energy growth is the number one in the world;
    4. Solar module production occupies more than 70% in the world; Chinese PV commercialization promotes the plummets of solar module price to a comparable level with coal;
    5. China proposed to ban the fuel-powered vehicles in the following years!
    6. Chinese government cares about people's lives than any other governments.

    —————————————————————————————————-by a normal Chinese, sponsored by myself, not belong to any party of China

  16. "China is to the World, what California is to the U.S."
    So, as Trump would call it: a shit hole.
    Proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free.

  17. This bullshit video could not be further from the truth.
    I'm shocked how many people believe this crap.
    If you are an intelligent beeing, go Watch ADVChina, some dudes that actually have over 10 years of youtube footage from living in china.

  18. China just started to pollute African countries and Russia with it's heavily poisonous industries

  19. Fix a Fix "The only reason of why your economy is so good is because you can just straight up ignore people rights"

    AHEM 200 YEARS OF BLACK SLAVES AHEM AHEM AHEM

  20. Youtube: an informational video about the world second biggest power.
    Users: must be communist propaganda because CNN said otherwise.

  21. Indeed, China is experiencing a serious pollution problem. It's affecting people's health and the country's development. The manufacturing sector in China emits a lot of polluted air. Now the country is working on controlling the emissions by inspecting and cracking down on manufacturers. https://www.intouch-quality.com/blog/chinas-environmental-crackdown-on-manufacturers-to-continue-in-2019?utm_campaign=YouTube%20Outreach&utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=social&utm_term=China%20pollution

  22. min 05:47 did I hear that polution kills 1.6 MILLION people a YEARRRRRR that's A S T O N I S H I N G

  23. yet you’ve missed one of the most most important factor, shutting down overseas trash recycling business. After being the country recycling trash for eu, Australia, the whole North America, China stopped the importing of foreign trash, which lowered the pollution in a very high percentage.

  24. electric cars are only good for your lungs if you get the energy from solar or nuclear power. Dont get me started on windmills lol those things are not worth the cost of production. And also mining enough lithium for a car battery could possibly be more costly to the environment than the amount of emissions our newer gas vehicles produce in their lifetime.

  25. Well, come to think about it, we're starting to rely too much on Electricity that one day for whatever the reason, we just put ourselves back into the 17s

  26. The thing is china has excellent public transportation while in most cities in the Status if you don’t have a car, you basically cannot do anything

  27. * SLIDES 14 *

      * Why Should You Use Eco Racing? * 🏍🚘🏁🏁🏁

      1⃣ Cleaning the Crust (Spark Plugs, Tanks, Engine Burning Rooms)

      2⃣ Protecting Machines with Nano Technology

      3⃣ Eliminating CO Pollution up to 100%

      4⃣ Extends the life of Oil to 3 x fold

      5⃣ Increase 5-10 Octane (Gasoline) / 2-5CN (Solar)

      6⃣ Add Power and Acceleration

      7⃣ Eliminates Knocking

      8⃣ Save fuel up to 50%

  28. Would it be that hard to add a couple small labels to your charts? A couple tiny annotations add to credibility without sacrificing advantages of attention getting graphics

  29. Good for China. They are realists, and much better than the US, which has a global warming denier, the idiot himself: Donald Trump.

  30. To update this information, China has just renounced to any subsidies to e-vehicles. Now has officially decided to use hydrogen instead of batteries. New hydrogen buses are trolling some cities.

  31. I've watched a few of these and they always have a propoganda-ish feel with all the stats and graphs which are super easy to manuipulate, and we don't know where you're getting your data. This one focuses on cars as being the big problem, when it's China's extremely dirty industrial practices and emissions and, as you mentioned, coal plants. But their strategy is not renewables, they are moving their dirty power plants and factories out into rural areas and even into neighboring countries such as Vietnam. China had a chance to do things do things differently from the rest of the developed world 20 year ago but instead chose to go the easy route and become a huge polluter, and one with no conscience.

  32. Don't forget that China is a country with a population of more than one billion. Anything he does is much harder than other countries.

  33. Sure, they messed up and pollution was bad. But how they reacted is what counts. For the rest of the world, i hope they follow suit. China is leading by example!

  34. Assuming this is all completely true, it's awesome that China is getting their pollution under control. I'm only skeptical because of that trademark Chinese secrecy.

  35. While we are burning and cutting down the Amazon Forest, China actually contributed one fourth of the total green land growth on this planet Earth in 2017.

    There is an app for Chinese citizens, earning points by taking public transit or doing things environmental friendly, with enough points, the company will actually plant a tree and keep it alive for you, man they are literally trying to turn dessert into forests.

    I bet you have heard about the China banned import plastic garbage from other country in 2017, they noticed the importance of protecting the environment and start to make things better. Before that ban, one half of the plastic garbage we created were shipped into China, I do not deny that China reuse those plastic and made some money, but could you imagine how toxic it is for the local environment, no wonder why other third world countries like India, Malaysia and Philippines announced stop import garbage from other countries.
    The list goes on.
    These mind blowing facts might not be found in media, (most medias have bias and only shows what they want you to know.)do some research and you shell find more stories. The point is, with 19% of the entire population on Earth in one country, the pollution problems are serious and hard to solve that is for sure, Chinese are working on it and so should we.

  36. Beijing's air pollution have dropped by 35% and sources claim that it can save 3.3 years of 20 million people's lifetimes.

    Everyone liked that

  37. I joined a cause with a proven solution to end the plastic pollution on a Global Scale, now we can bring Change for a Better World and restore Balance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoQtf9Uiheo

  38. Instead of competing for power nations should be competing on being sustainable and environment friendly

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