"Trucks Power China’s Economy, at Suffocating Cost"

Posted on December 11, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

“GUANGZHOU, China — Every night, columns of hulking blue and red freight trucks invade China’s major cities with a reverberating roar of engines and dark clouds of diesel exhaust so thick it dims headlights. … Trucks are the mules of this country’s spectacularly expanding economy — ubiquitous and essential, yet highly noxious. Trucks here burn diesel fuel contaminated with more than 130 times the pollution-causing sulfur that the United States allows in most diesel. While car sales in China are now growing even faster than truck sales, trucks are by far the largest source of street-level pollution. Tiny particles of sulfur-laden soot penetrate deep into residents’ lungs, interfering with the absorption of oxygen. Nitrogen oxides from truck exhaust, which build all night because cities limit truck traffic by day, bind each morning with gasoline fumes from China’s growing car fleet to form dense smog that inflames lungs and can cause severe coughing and asthma. The 10 million trucks on Chinese roads, more than a quarter of all vehicles in this country, are a major reason that China accounts for half the world’s annual increase in oil consumption. Sating their thirst helped push the price of oil to nearly $100 a barrel this year, before a recent decline, and has propelled China past the United States as the world’s largest emitter of global-warming gases. Yet cleaning up truck pollution presents complex problems for China’s leaders.” Keith Bradsher reports for the New York Times Dec. 8, 2007 in the seventh installment of a series.
 
Read full via sej.org
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