- Posted March 9, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
What’s your secret spot in Beijing?
Chinese Pollution & Panda Bears
What we would later learn is that it was all smog. Unusually high temperatures, low winds and an ever increasing population that require energy, equals more pollutants in the air. Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Ya’an are all blanketed in a thick layer of irritating smog. The bigger the city the worse it seems.
So where does this smog come from? Here in China it comes from automobiles, coal burning power plants and factories. The majority of which is from coal with a new power station coming on line each week. 1.2+ billion people living in a blossoming economy are all looking for energy and coal is their least expensive option.
This does not bode well for the air quality, nor does it contribute to the protection of vital habitat of multiple endangered species, such as the Giant Panda. The Panda’s main source of food is bamboo, and when you burn coal the emissions are released into the air and deposit back onto bamboo leaves and enter the their food chain. Of which, they can then transfer to their offspring. It’s quite a wicked cycle.
The healthier the pandas are the better their chances are for reproductive success. Cleaner air = healthier pandas = more pandas. We should have a better understanding of how the pandas are being affected by the pollution from our toxicology results within a few months. So stay tuned!