Although the approaches adopted to manage air pollution in Beijing and the UAE are strikingly different, the rates thereof are getting increasingly high in both states. To manage the problem, it is necessary to address the factors that promote and inhibit the design of the appropriate air pollution management strategies. It is essential that a sustainable approach should be created to resolve the issue successfully. The report at hand describes the research that is aimed at determining the key problems that currently exist in the air pollution field as well as outlining potential strategies for their solution.
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The problem is analyzed from the global perspective; however, a particular emphasis is put on its progress in Beijing and the UAE. The proposed research has a mixed structure and employs both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis. The key data collection tool is a survey that is targeted at determining the main factors of air pollution, finding out the social opinion regarding the quality of air in different cities, and estimating the public awareness of the relevant problem. The survey results have revealed two critical findings.
First and foremost, the major part of respondents evaluates the quality of the local air as “highly polluted”. Secondly, the respondents show low awareness of the air pollution problem. Thus, they know little about the ways of reducing air pollution and do not see any prospects for their own contribution. In addition, they express enthusiasm about contributing to the problem solution. As a result, it is recommended that the air pollution problem is initially addressed through increasing the social awareness. Hence, it is proposed that further studies are carried out in order to outline the strategies for the change implementation.
The issue of air pollution is not new; however, no efficient solution has been located to address the problem yet (Valipour et al., 2014). The phenomenon of air pollution, which is often viewed as the primary cause of the global warming process, has been addressed for quite long, yet very few outcomes have been achieved so far. The situation in the UAE and Beijing, China, can be viewed as prime examples of the inadequate air pollution management strategies.
Although there are a plethora of suggestions concerning the improvement of the air cleanness rates, including both the indoor and the outdoor pollution, the state of affairs has not been improving over the past few years. The lack of effects of the increased awareness rates can be explained by the lack of control over the air pollution rates, UAE and Beijing being the prime examples of the subject matter.
The given paper aims at answering the following question:
What are the most concerning issues in the air pollution management both at the global level and in the UAE and Beijing? What strategy can be used to prevent industrial air pollution?
Air Pollution: Causes
Before detailing the primary causes of air pollution, it is essential to mention the fact that the very phenomenon under analysis exists in two orientations. According to WHO, the subject matter manifests itself as indoor or households, pollution (IAP), and outdoor, or ambient, one (OAP). The location of the air pollution source is predetermined by the type of the air pollutant that causes the problems. For instance, the IAP phenomenon occurs due to the use of solid fuels as the means of cooking. OAP, in its turn, is caused by the factors that are too many to be count, yet industrial pollution and car emissions (CO2) are often viewed as the key sources for good reasons (Chowdhury, Debsarkar, & Chakrabarty, 2015).
Air Pollution: Effects
The phenomenon under analysis is linked directly to the notion of global warming (Shimadera et al., 2014). Specifically, the ice caps melting process, which was launched with the start of the global warming process, triggers an inevitable and quite drastic climate change across the globe. The aftermath of the alteration is going to be beyond devastating; even at present, a range of unique habitats and species are endangered and even extinguished with no chances for the further repopulation.
In addition, air pollution takes its toll on people as well, especially the residents of urban areas. Numerous respiratory issues, including lung diseases, in general, and lung cancer, in particular, are attributed to the factors such as air pollution (Umoh et al., 2014).
Current Air Pollution Rates
At present, the air pollution rate varies across the globe. The pollution rates are largely predetermined not only by environmental policies but also the economic factors such as the number of factories and plants emitting CO2 and the related gases, the usage of cars running on gas as opposed to the hybrid models, etc. An overview of the current air pollution status globally reveals that the problem is especially topical in Asia and South Africa; whereas West Europe, the United States, and Australia have reasonably low air pollution rates on their record (see Appendix A).
Air Pollution in UAE
The recent study carried out by the WHO has not supplied any data concerning the air pollution rates in the target area (Household (indoor) air pollution, 2016). The lack of the data on the issue under analysis can be attributed to the fact that the control tools used to track the air pollution rates have not been fully developed in the UAE area yet. Nevertheless, the reports, on the air-pollution-related problems in the UAE area, indicate that the state has been suffering from the increasing contamination for quite long (Household (indoor) air pollution, 2016).
The supposition concerning the problem being rooted in the lack of control over the pollution rates is mentioned in several sources (Umoh et al., 2014; Shimadera et al., 2014). In addition, when it comes to identifying the problems of the current strategies against pollution in the UAE and, especially, the means of raising awareness among the target tiers of the UAE society about the means of addressing the problem, the corresponding authorities send a wrong message. Instead of representing the phenomenon of air pollution as the contemporary monster that must be dreaded, the local authorities need to make it clear that the subject matter is a serious problem that can be addressed efficiently once simple steps are taken.
In other words, when it comes to identifying the issues that contribute to the further increase in IAP rates in the UAE, one must point out the lack of awareness as the primary cause. The same cannot be said about the OP issues, however. A recent analysis of the problem has revealed that the power plants and the processes involving burning fossil fuels affect the air pollution rates in the designated environment to the greatest degree.
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Air Pollution in Beijing
According to the recent report published by WHO, China, in general, and Beijing, in particular, is by far the most contaminated areas on the globe, with the air pollution rates reaching drastic rates in the specified areas (see Appendix A). The observed phenomenon can be explained by the specifics of the economic development of the state.
Seeing that industry is a part and parcel of the local economy and a crucial factor that defines China’s success in the global market, the number of plants is huge in China. For the same economic reasons, the resources acquired in the course of the local companies’ operations are allocated in the way that does not imply environmentally sensible approaches.
It is quite remarkable, though, that, despite the issues elucidated above, the air quality in Beijing has, in fact, improved significantly over the past year, according to a recent report (Rao, Rajasekhar, & Rao, 2014). Comparing the environmental issues in Beijing to those in UAE, one must admit that the differences are quite striking. Although the rates of economic growth and, therefore, the opportunities for a proper allocation of resources, are much lower in Beijing than they are in the UAE, the air pollution rates have dropped in China as opposed to the UAE.
The observed phenomenon can be viewed as the direct effect of the choice of the air pollution control strategy adopted. In contrast to the UAE, where little or no information is provided on the subject matter, the concerns voiced regarding China, in general, and Beijing, in particular, are quite well known. Therefore, the tools for controlling the issue in question and registering the slightest changes in the current air pollution rates offer much more accurate results in Beijing.
As the evidence provided above has shown, identifying the tools that will help to switch to a different mode of resources consumption, while admittedly adequate, is not enough to create prerequisites for addressing the air pollution issue successfully. Apart from the steps described above, it is essential to design the approach aimed at increasing the mass awareness of the potential threat, convincing people to contribute to the resolution of the problem as opposed to fearing it. As a result, it is expected that the problems related to air pollution will finally be addressed.
In addition, the redesign of the very framework that companies stick to needs to be viewed as an option. There is no need to put a particular emphasis on the fact that the decision to comply with the current standards of environmental safety is a question of ethics rather than the determination to follow regulations. Therefore, it is essential to consider the possibility of creating the environment, within which organizations will be eager to design the approach that will help monitor the air pollution rates. Thus, the tools for reducing the specified indices could be designed in a more elaborate and efficient manner.
While the steps outlined above seem quite legitimate, there is a range of obstacles that are likely to hinder the process of reducing air pollution rates in the outlined areas. The lack of financial resources should be listed at the top of the primary causes of concern list. There is no need to point out that an awareness campaign needs funding.
In addition, it is essential to bring up the fact that questionnaires, when distributed among the members of an organization and aimed at testing the efficacy of the managers’ strategies, tend to bring non-objective results. For obvious reasons, primarily, the fear of being fired, people are likely to be unwilling to share the details concerning the specifics of their companies’ approaches. The possibility of meeting the obstacle above is especially high when addressing an issue as delicate as compliance with the existing principles of environmentally friendly production processes.
Although the problems related to the environment seem to have worn out their welcome as the topics for discussion in the contemporary society and have made way to other issues that are deemed as important nowadays, the need to take care of the subject matter is still quite evident. In terms of the approaches that failed miserably as the tools for keeping the air pollution rates down, new strategies must be designed so that the problem in question should not trigger a rapid increase in the health problems rates, not to mention the number of environmental concerns.
Despite the fact that the study to be carried out might not reinvent the current approach toward managing air pollution rates globally and especially in Beijing and the UAE, it will shed some light on the current approaches adopted in the area and locate the issues that will have to be looked into. Moreover, there is a possibility that the study will serve to be the basis for the further design of a brand-new approach towards the air pollution rates management.
As well as any study incorporating both qualitative and quantitative research methods, the paper under analysis is going to have a range of limitations. As a qualitative study, it will be time-consuming and will inevitably incorporate the researcher’s insights related to the problem, therefore, lacking objectivity. The application of a questionnaire as a primary tool for gathering quantitative data is likely to lead to creating premises for the participants to develop a preconceived attitude toward the issue under discussion.
The study seeks to not only locate the relationships between the key variables, i.e., the causes of air pollution and the strategies aimed at reducing it, but also to evaluate the efficacy thereof and isolate the tools that can be used to create the ultimate approach for improving the current air pollution rates. Therefore, it will be crucial to both consider the qualitative links between the variables identified and quantify the outcomes. Hence, a mixed approach involving the combination of the qualitative and the quantitative method will have to be adopted.
Data Collection Tools
To carry out a qualitative study, it is necessary to consider the existing resources that shed light on the problem of air pollution. In other words, it is recommended that a general research concerning the IAP issues should be conducted. Therefore, the first step is a thorough literature review. Secondly, it will be necessary to carry out the relevant survey in order to identify the key factors that impact air pollution as well as to evaluate the public awareness of the problem.
As soon as the latest data regarding the factors that have been affecting the rates of air pollution, globally, and in the UAE and Beijing, particularly, is identified, a quantitative analysis of their effects will have to be carried out. For these purposes, questionnaires will have to be submitted to 20 employees from different companies in Beijing and the UAE to find out their vision of the problem. It is expected that the steps enumerated above will help locate the dents in the latest methods of improving the air pollution rates, as well as introduce the tools that will incorporate the best sides of the existing management approaches.
In the course of research, 20 managers from the UAE and Beijing will be welcome to participate in the survey. To make the outcomes of the study as objective as possible, it is essential to employ a random sampling technique.
As far as the qualitative study is completed, it will be reasonable to calculate the sample size with the help of the formula that is traditionally adopted in the specified environment. Particularly, the framework suggested by Bartlett, Kortlik, and Higgins (2001) should be viewed as an option. Although this research was conducted comparatively long ago, the credibility of the formula should not be doubted as the premises for its development were substantiated by the authors from a statistically accurate point of view. According to the existing formula, the sample size can be determined by incorporating the data such as the value for the selected alpha level (1.96 in the specified case), the population standard deviation, and the acceptable margin of error that can be estimated (0.21 in the case in point). Bartlett, Kortlik, and Higgins (2001) suggest the following formula:. Given the specifics of the study, the sample size will be equal to . Therefore, to carry out a detailed analysis of the information provided by the participants, it will be necessary to consider four samples.
Data Analysis Tools
Taking into account the fact that the present research design can be defined as mixed, it will be necessary to provide the tools for analysing both types of data. The information acquired in the course of the qualitative research will be analysed with the help of a frequency table. The responds provided for the survey (see App.3) will be analysed through a frequency table in order to identify the most typical answers (see App.4).
As it has been already mentioned above, addressing the issues related to environmentalism, in general, and air pollution, in particular, is a challenging task, primarily due to the scale of the problem and the scope of factors that needs to be addressed. It should be borne in mind that people’s attitude toward the issue needs to be altered so that the strategies against air pollution could be utilised successfully.
The survey questions have been sent to 20 managers of both Beijing and UAE companies. All the questionnaires have been sent via e-mails, and all the participants submitted the surveys in time.
The received responses have been interpreted with the help of a frequency table (see App.4). The analysis has been carried out within the following dimensions: city pollution, pollution factors, solutions practices, and alternative solutions. The most critical findings are described below:
- The analysis has revealed that 18 respondents out of 20 consider their cities to be highly polluted.
- Among the main pollution factors 10 respondents name transport, 5 – industrial pollution, 3 – smoke, 2 – human activity.
- The major part of respondents – 16 – thinks that the authorities do not perform any activity in order to reduce the air pollution. The 4 respondents that think the opposite have difficulty naming the particular actions that the authorities carry out. 12 respondents admit they do nothing to reduce the air pollution. 8 participants say the contrary; their activity mainly resides in using public transport and avoiding smoking. None of the respondents accused their company of polluting air. In the meantime, none of the respondents could define the activity that the company carries out in this framework.
- All the respondents believe they could do more to reduce the air pollution, although only 5 participants indicate particular methods: energy conservation programs, biking instead of driving, and purchasing low-polluting materials.
The data collected through the survey allows drawing a series of critical conclusions. First and foremost, the research has shown that the major part of the participants evaluate the quality of the air in their city as highly polluted. This consensus is rather concerning as it signifies that there is a strong need for effective change.
Secondly, speaking about the impact factors, the research results show that transport and industry are the main causes of the air pollution, according to the public opinion. It means that potential programs targeted at reducing the air pollution should put a particular emphasis on eliminating the harmful effect that these two factors produce.
Moreover, the research has revealed the generally poor activity carried out to reduce the air pollution. The research results show that the respondents do not think that their authorities are enough concerned about implementing the relevant change. Even though they avoid accusing their companies of the lack of activity, they still cannot name the particular measures taken by their organizations.
In addition, the analysis of the research results shows that the general level of air pollution awareness is rather low. Thus, the major part of the respondents can hardly name the particular methods that their authorities and companies employ in their activity aimed at reducing the air pollution. As a result, poor understanding of the alternative solutions might serve to be the core factor that underpins the rapid growth of the air pollution. As long as people know little about this phenomenon, they are unable to offer effective programs to implement the essential change. In the meantime, the enthusiasm and the willingness to contribute to the common activity are relatively high. Thus, a dominant part of the respondents admits that their effort in terms of reducing the air pollution is insufficient.
As a result, it might be concluded that the key reason of the low efficacy of the current anti-pollution activity resides in the poor social awareness of the particular approaches to the problem solution.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The study has shed some light on the problem of air pollution. Hence, it revealed the low level of the social awareness of the air pollution reasons and the methods of its reduction. From this perspective, a series of recommendations can be offered. First and foremost, it is currently essential to make sure that the issue draws as much public attention as possible. Educational seminars and workshops should be organized in order to help people learn more about the air pollution and outline the strategy for the common activity. As a result, it is proposed that further research focuses on the alternative solutions of the low awareness problem. It is necessary to carry out a study that would examine the possible ways of raising the level of public awareness and engaging the society in the common activity.
Secondly, it is critical to work out a well-structured program that would address the two pollution factors that turned out to be determinant in the framework of this research: transport and industry. It is necessary to collect statistical data in order to identify whether these factors are as harmful to the quality of air as the research respondents believe. In case their concerns are objective, it is essential to study the mechanisms of this harmful effect and work out a strategy for its elimination.
In addition, it is critical to carry out further research in order to find out the pollution rates in the cities of the respondents in order to receive a clear idea of what rate they think to be high.
In conclusion, it should be noted that the air pollution problem is highly complex and complicated. Its solution requires a well-structured approach that would consider all the impact factors as well as the social awareness and willingness to participate.
Bartlett, J. E., Kortlik, J. W., Higgins, C. C. (2001). Organizational research: Determining appropriate sample size in survey research. Information Technology, Learning, and Performance Journal, 19(1), 43-50.
Chowdhury, A. K., Debsarkar, A., & Chakrabarty, S. (2015). Seasonal variation of noise-air quality and state of exposure to noise-air pollution at curbside open-air microenvironment of Kolkata City, India. Columbia International Publishing International Journal of Environmental Pollution and Solutions, 3(1), 16-30.
Household (indoor) air pollution. (2016).
Rao, N. V., Rajasekhar, M., & Rao, G. C. (2014). Detrimental effect of air pollution, corrosion on building materials and historical structures. American Journal of Engineering Research (AJER), 3(3), 359-364.
Shimadera, H., Hayami, H., Ohara, T., Morino, Y., Takami, A., & Irei, S. (2014). Numerical simulation of extreme air pollution by fine particulate matter in China in winter 2013. Asian Journal of Atmospheric Environment, 8(1), 25-34.
Valipour, S. S., Mousavi, M., Valipour, R., & Rezaei, E. (2014).Air, water, and soil pollution study in industrial units using environmental flow diagram. Journal of Basic and Applied Scientific Research, 2(12), 12365-12372,
Umoh, V., Peters, E., Erhabor, G., Ekpe, E., & Ibok, A. (2013).Indoor air pollution and respiratory symptoms among fishermen in the Niger delta of Nigeria. African Journal of Respiratory Medicine, 9(1), 17-21.
- Where do you live (city)?
- How would you describe the quality of air in your city?
- What do you think are the main factors of the air pollution in your city?
- Do the authorities make an effort to reduce the air pollution? If yes, what do they do?
- Do you do anything to reduce the air pollution? If yes, what do you do?
- Where do you work (company)?
- Do you think your company pollutes the air?
- Does it do anything to reduce the pollution?
- Do you think you could contribute more to reducing the air pollution?
- What methods would you suggest to reduce the air pollution in your city?
Data Analysis: Frequency Distribution
|Place of Residence||Air Pollution|
|Beijing||1 (5%)||10 (50%)|
|UAE||1 (5%)||8 (40%)|
|Human Activity||2 (10%)|
|Industrial Pollution||5 (25%)|
|Is there enough activity aimed at reducing air pollution on the part of…?||Yes||No|
|authorities||4 (20%)||16 (80%)|
|respondent||8 (40%)||12 (60%)|
|not stated||15 (75%)|
|energy conservation program||3 (15%)|
|low-polluting materials||1 (5%)|