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Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1970; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061970

A Questionnaire Case Study of Chinese Opinions on the Haze Pollution and Economic Growth

1
Central Bucks High School East, Doylestown, PA 18902, USA
2
Central Bucks High School South, Warrington, PA 18976, USA
3
Conestoga High School, Berwyn, PA 19312, USA
4
School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
5
Department of Environmental Engineering, Hebei University of Engineering, Handan 056038, China
6
Department of Chemical Engineering, Villanova University, Villanova, PA 19085, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 May 2018 / Revised: 3 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 June 2018 / Published: 12 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)

Abstract

Haze pollution in China has reshaped daily life for the Chinese and led to serious health issues. At the same time, the Chinese have enjoyed the rapid economic growth that has contributed to this pollution. While questionnaire-based studies have been conducted within certain regions of China to learn the public’s opinions of haze pollution, little work has been done to understand how Chinese citizens value haze treatment in relation to their nation’s economic growth at a nationwide scale. To fill this knowledge gap, this project conducted a nationwide investigation of Chinese opinions on the benefits of economic growth versus the disadvantages of haze pollution, as well as their responses to efforts by the Chinese government to combat haze and to the influence of haze on Chinese daily life and on personal health. The study also sought suggestions for combatting haze. In particular, an anonymous questionnaire consisting of 29 questions was given in the summer and fall of 2017 to 1233 people of different genders, ages, child statuses, educational backgrounds, occupations, living areas (rural, suburban, and urban), and living regions. The statistical Chi squared test was then used to identify the demographic group of respondents supporting the economic slowdown policy or requesting more efforts from the Chinese government to combat haze pollution. A multivariate statistical approach—principal component analysis—was further applied to visualize respondents’ feedback on the impact of haze on their daily life and personal health, as well as the change of environment and economic conditions in the last 10 years. The results show that more than 50% of respondents, especially those with children, those between the ages of 31 to 50, and those living in high-pollution regions, supported the economic slowdown policy. Totally 40.63% of the entire group of respondents believed the government’s efforts to control haze were small or very small. Only 27.84% of respondents held the opposite opinions. In total, 72.91% of respondents believed the environment in China became worse or much worse in the past 10 years; however, most responded positively to the idea of resolving the haze issue within 15 or more years. Haze has caused health issues in and around half of the respondents and has significantly reshaped their outdoor activities. View Full-Text
Keywords: haze pollution; statistical survey; principal component analysis; Chi squared test haze pollution; statistical survey; principal component analysis; Chi squared test
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Qiu, F.; Wang, E.; Fan, M.; Liao, H.; Wang, L.; Huang, Z. A Questionnaire Case Study of Chinese Opinions on the Haze Pollution and Economic Growth. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1970.

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