Comments on Yanshuang Zhang "China can’t smother growing public demands to clear the air", 4/03/2014, https://theconversation.com/china-cant-smother-growing-public-demands-to-clear-the-air-23811
I have heard of that London used to be the mist capital but don’t really know how bad it was back then. For example, how did it compare with the current situation in Beijing? Are there any data available for some meaningful comparison?
The current pollution in Beijing is likely to be much worse than that in LA, if the differences in the scale of industrial production, as well as urban construction between China now and the US back then are concerned.
While the emissions from cars in China particularly big cities like Beijing are obviously an important source of air pollution, I suspect that it is industrial production and possibly construction that are likely to outweigh the effects of car emissions. That may be particularly the case in comparative sense. Further, car making technology in terms of emissions control probably does not differ much for cars driven in China and those driven in industrialised countries (and I would suspect for that purpose petrol).
It is important to understand the major sources of pollution and the contribution of each major source, so policies are developed based on correct information and most effective in achieving the best outcomes. Unfortunately it appears that even China’s Ministry of the Environment does not yet have a satisfactory answer for that.
It is good that you mentioned an article entitled “China may continue to fog for 50 more years”. There is also a report on the Xinhuanet that the Ministry of Science and Technology states that it does not need 30 years to remedy the pollutions in China that was the time needed to do it from international experience, though no details was given why it would need less time to do so for China. That may be a reply to the argument/claim of fog to last for 50 more years.
I should attach a link to the particular post on the Xinhuanet, even though it is in Chinese: http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2014-03/04/c_126216229.htm
PS: While China has achieved remarkable economic growth since the early 1980s, it has also paid huge prices along the way with intolerable pollutions and increasing income inequality. Pollutions are a national disgrace. Air, water and soil pollutions, unfortunately, will plague China for a long time to come and people’s health will continue to be affected.