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Introduction

The human civilization of the XXI century is on the edge of crucial changes, facing the choice between material welfare and human extinction threat because of consequences of its activity. An examination of the ecological sector of two significant states, China and the USA, traces the necessity of the wise policy in the field of environmental protection.

Pollution in China

Despite great world’s financial success, the rapid industrialization in China has caused negative environmental consequences, such as air, water, and soil pollution.

Air Pollution

According to the report of China’s environmental protection ministry, approximately a third of 113 cities did not correspond to the norms of national air standards in 2009. Moreover, the World Bank published the results of its monitoring of the most polluted cities in the world, where 16 of 20 world’s cities were in China. Finally, only 1 percent of the tremendous Chinese population has an opportunity to enjoy safe air. In fact, “the amount of airborne suspended particulates in northern China are almost 20 times what the World Health Organization considers a safe level”(Hays, 2008).

Water Pollution

Numerous factories dump their industrial wastes into nearby rivers. To illustrate, the pollution of the two illegal chemical factories turned red the drinking water of the Jianhe River in December 2011 (Spector, 2013). Moreover, in March 2013, the Shanghay river, the key source of drinking water for 23 million residents, was poisoned because of a decomposition of above 2,000 dead pigs (Spector, 2013).

Soil Pollution

Soil examinations of Chinese farmlands showed their contamination with toxic compounds, dangerous chemical components, and radioactive materials. According to the report of the environmental ministry, above “10 per cent of farmland on the mainland was polluted, and that about 12 million tonnes of grain was contaminated by heavy metals annually” (Jing, 2013).

Pollution in the USA

Taking the leading position in the world’s industrial and financial sector, the USA has faced detrimental consequences of its success, having advanced China in the pollution amount.

Air Pollution

Air pollution is caused “through smokestacks, tailpipes and agricultural operations” (Lovett & Tear, 2008, p.4). The dangerous elements make a cycle, returning to earth in rain, snow, dry particles, and gases. In the USA, transport means and the industrial sector take the first position in producing pollutions of the environment with sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and hydrocarbon emissions. “Emissions from transportation increased by about 50 percent and those from electricity generation and refineries by nearly 60 percent during the same time period” (Industrial pollution and waste, 2005, p.2). According the pollution researches in 2005, the entire emissions of greenhouse gases in North America increased to 8.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide (Industrial pollution and waste, 2005, p.2). They led to emergence of acid rains and damage of the ground-level ozone. Moreover, carbon dioxide is one of the reasons of climate change (Lovett & Tear, 2008, p.4).   

Nutrient Pollution

The major sources of nutrient pollution are “runoff of fertilizers, animal manure, sewage treatment plant discharges, stormwater runoff, car and power plant emissions, and failing septic tanks” (The facts about nutrient pollution, 2012). According to results of  pollution researches in 2010, approximately 20 percent of the U.S. lakes have dangerous rates of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, nearly 15,000 U.S.water sources possess at least one nutrient-related element, taking into account tha fact that the research did not embrace the entire amount of the U.S. waters (The facts about nutrient pollution, 2012). In2006, the vessels dumped nearly 55.6 million tons of carbon dioxide. Moreover, “ocean-going ships contribute about 1.7% of global black carbon emissions every year (Scott & Sinnamon, 2009, p.6).

Oil Pollution

Transportation or storage oil materials may lead to water and soil oil pollution. For instance, significant oil spills, such as the BP Deepwater Horizon spill and the tar sands spill in Michigan in 2010, appeared to be extremely dangerous for the U.S. environment. To illustrate, in 2010, 4.9 million barrels of oil leaked from the Deepwater Horizon well as a result of accident, having caused ecological disaster (Repanich, 2010). In summer 2010, the pipeline rupture led to the most tremendous ecological disaster in the U.S. history, when above a million gallons of tar sands were dumped into the Kalamazoo River, poisoning people and wildlife (Wallace, 2012).

Conclusions

To sum up, an examination of the ecological sector of two powerful states, China and the USA, traces the necessity of the wise policy in the field of environmental protection. Despite the great world’s financial success, the rapid industrialization in China has caused negative environmental consequences, such as an air, water, and soil pollution. The similar state of affairs can be observed in the USA, where the tendency to the embrace of the leading position in the world’s industrial and financial sector led to disastrous consequences. In fact, the USA has advanced China in the pollution amount, suffering from an additional oil pollution.  According to the researches in the ecological field, the situation in both countries is extreme. Therefore, providing their activities, policymakers and businessmen are to realize the fact that environmental policy in both states requires complete understanding potential risks and hazards. The price of a wrong step is extremely high – human health and life.

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