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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100 thoughts on “China’s War on Pollution

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. * 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%

  7. 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

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

  18. God I love how people are so quick to shit in America and yet the rest of the world is just as fucked up or even more fucked up

  19. I've been to China and was inside Beijing. I can't say the air quality is bad. What you are shown is probably propaganda from like 1990s.

  20. Please get you facts correct. When this video was posted China’s population was over 1.4 billion. One hundred million may not seem like much bit it is about one third our population in the US.

  21. With Trump staring down China with Hawkeyes, he should be smarter in the environmental aspect 🙄👌🏼Probably just doesn’t care cause he’ll be dead by the time it matters most anyways.

  22. i need to write a script for certain channels to skip 20 seconds into the video and end 20 seconds before to avoid adverts

  23. Do we really think that the Chinese Communist Party will give us accurate pollution figures?
    The city shut down factories that week

  24. Bro how much is the check China's Communist Party sends you every week? Do you actually believe China's gov publications and their state owned and regulated news?

    Every video on china I hear from you basically sounds like a commercial from them. Especially when you don't call the #2 economy in the world a rich company when that is in their benefit.

    I mean playing around Chinas treatment of protests (not theprotest capital of the world) is like saying the middle east is not the peace capital of the world but isreal isn't at war.

  25. 5:20 I have no idea how badly polluted LA and other US cities are, couldn't they give the values for some big European cities for comparison? 🙁

  26. Many buses in Beijing are now pure EV, not even hybrid! They are less noisy and more emission friendly. The only problem is that these EV buses accelerate too fast. They are not as comfortable as the old CNG or LPG buses, especially those double-deckers.

  27. We need war against Fossil Fuel Addiction & Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW): starting with arresting & putting to death anyone who has political power but who obstructs action to get government to build everyone electric trucks & cars & electric charging stations everywhere there are gas station. FUCK political correctness.

  28. PROBLEM IS THAT RESOURCE'S IN BATTERY TECHNOLOGY SUCH AS LITHIUM WILL BE DEPLETED WITHIN 10 YEARS. Australia is light-years ahead in solar power in mainstream society

  29. China's solution to bad air quality: Build factories on the east coast so that its neighbors have to deal with the bad air.

  30. ? people in cars don't riot, and need jobs..keeping them busy for least 8 hours a day and so tired from work to sleep up 8 hours a day leaving 8 hours to have fun or cause trouble a day…the answer is different type fuel that's non polluting. H2o is answer..electrical needs fossil fuels or nuclear..water fusion is the way..least in my sci-fi life.

  31. I think the best thing we could do for our planet would be to put limits on how many kids you could have…

    if there were few enough people we could all drive tanks

  32. The fools! Don't they know that pollution problems and climate change is nothing more than a liberal talking point that every party in the world except the republican party of the US randomly decided to start pushing at the same time?
    It is only the republican party, where to be a media personality or get elected you've got to be a member of a party think tank or institution, which tend get lots of money from the fossil fuel companies, that knows better.

  33. If the basis of any global economic empire is ability to access endless energy –
    then China in two presidential terms will be the worlds biggest economy without a doubt.
    The US blindly clings to outdated fossil fuels and combustion engine transport.
    We literally have no sense of urgency.
    This is embarrassing and it makes me cringe.

  34. China’s Air quality is poor and contains significant air borne solids. This does not correlate to CO2 which is invisible. CO2 follows heat. Not created by it.

  35. The Cars Are Powered The Same Way China is Powered Burning Coal This just moves the pollution To Other Areas Of China So Your Still Left With Pollution They Need To Fix The Energy Problem To Fix This Problem

  36. You say renuwables creates more jobs like it's a good thing. Stop and think for a bit. It means Labour has to be cheep to drive down costs which means it makes sense if you live in a slave state with terrible wages.

  37. What is ths?? An infomercial for China?? Definitely seems to have a pro-China slant trying to forgive all of their pollution problems. Comparisons of smog to California are nowhere close to that poison their citizens are forced to breath. Didn't see any mention either on the horrible water quality which has severely reduced the fresh water options for the 1.3 billion residents. I hope China truly is serious about improving things because the Olympics gave the world a different opinion.

  38. If the Chinese want to build windmills, they build windmills. In the US, windmills can be stopped by local activists. Even the greenest green guy does not want to walk out of his house and see these monstrostieis across the street.

  39. Sure they are. That's why they are doing consistently 1000ppm CO output maxing everyone else short of the Amazon and Siberian fires. China is currently the biggest offender and that won't change for another 50 to 60 years, it would mean they have to give up on their 50 year plan and that won't happen. Everything they do is for show, they are worse than Russia, and US, at least those guys have flexibility and people clean up their shit with enough incentive.

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