In recent years, every autumn into winter in China, there will be a “PM 2.5 Campaign”, with large areas suffering from varying degrees of smog. Over the years, the authorities have been dumping cooking POTS on vehicle exhaust in big cities, burning coal for heating and even on barbecue stalls, and on straw burning in rural areas. But this year, a new PM 2.5 culprit has emerged: cooking and heating in rural areas.
In a paper published in Science Progress, a subsidiary of the US journal Science, a team led by Professor Tao Shu, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and professor of urban and environmental studies at Peking University, argued that hundreds of thousands of people die each year in rural China as a result of PM2.5 pollution caused by cooking and heating.
In 2014, an estimated 1.15 million people in China died prematurely from PM2.5 inhalation, with 770,000, or 67 percent, of those deaths related to solid fuels used by residents for cooking and heating, the paper said.
The paper says that people in rural areas contribute more to PM2.5 pollution than those in urban areas, which also leads to a higher risk of PM2.5 deaths in rural areas. In rural China, biomass (such as wood and crop stalks) is commonly burned for cooking and heating, and PM2.5 caused 370,000 deaths.
News network spread in China, “why don’t you eat meat,” slammed by netizens “full support”, questioned the team with a national research funding, to study the pollution problem of farmers to make a fire to cook heating, think farmers should use clean energy, “who does not know natural gas and other clean energy is a good thing, but in 600 million monthly income of less than one thousand yuan, you let farmers burning natural gas cooking heating, possible?” The critical research view is filled with the arrogance and superiority of the intellectual elite.
Some netizens also directly concluded that “experts fart too much” was to blame for PM2.5.