China’s Industrial Mess Pollutes Mount Fuji

"Mercury Rising" at iconic Mt. Fuji  Source: Kyodo, Japan Times

“Mercury Rising” at iconic Mt. Fuji Source: Kyodo, Japan Times

China’s decisions not to take precautions when burning Mercury, and their denial of its effects on the environment are signs of a reckless disregard to the health and environmental dangers of this type of pollution.

Tensions are high between China and Japan over the pollution occurring at Mount Fuji, due to China’s primary role in the mercury levels rising.  China’s high mercury levels and pollution are damaging Mount Fuji in a very bad way.  The polluted air is affecting this UNESCO world heritage site terribly. Burning coal and high mercury levels are considered to be strong causes for the damage.  The higher-than-expected readings are likely due to Chinese factories burning coal, which releases mercury and arsenic, which, according to Taipei Times, also had elevated readings.

China's mercury burning is causing a great deal of pollution the the beautiful Mount Fuji.  Source: UNEP News Center

China’s mercury burning is causing a great deal of pollution the the beautiful Mount Fuji. Source: UNEP News Center

After industry showed a great amount of growth in development in China, it seems like environmental causes don’t matter to them anymore, as they are earning more money. Since they don’t take any of the necessary precautions to prevent these high levels of pollution, we can say that the environment does not seem to be important to China.

A Japanese research shows that most of the pollution in the air has been coming from china’s direction.  “Whenever readings were high, winds were blowing from the continent [China],” said Osamu Nagafuchi, the lead scientist on the study (Taipei Times).  As China continues recklessly ruining one of the world’s heritages, Japan, along with many other countries, has decided to give them a warning by way of United Nations action.

This issue creates quite a bit of tension between the two important Asian powers, China and Japan. Although Japan appears to be of the right mind set on the situation, it seems as if China has no plans of backing down or taking caution of their pollution.  Local media in China was flooded with angry Chinese citizens’ online comments, while Japanese readers registered their protests as well.

As a solution to this pollution problem, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) designed an agreement to reduce the burning of heavy metals such as mercury to prevent emissions and releases of mercury, which will hopefully reduce its dangerous effects on health and the environment.  According to the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Reporting Services, 109 countries signed the deal, which has been named the “Minimata Convention on Mercury”.  It seems like China needs to make peace with nature, otherwise tensions between other countries and them will continue to rise over the pollution to this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In our opinion, China needs to consider a great change in what they are doing.  Strong precautionary measures need to be taken when dealing with strong pollutants, such as mercury.  This type of pollution not only ruins our world’s natural beauties, like Mount Fuji, but it also affects changes in our earth’s climate, which can contribute to natural disasters.  These disasters can happen anywhere, anytime. Therefore, China needs to make strides in cleaning up their pollution levels, because when disaster strikes, their industrial success is not what is going to save them. Love your world; protect it.



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