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Author Topic: Pollution  (Read 65519 times)

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Re: Pollution
« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2014, 03:40:53 pm »
Letter from Beijing: Pollution turns out to be great leveler in China’s capital

January 17

By Stuart Leavenworth

McClatchy Foreign Staff

BEIJING — Even before the sun started to rise Thursday over this megalopolis of 21 million people, I could sense it would be a miserable lung day. The apartment where my wife and I were staying seemed smoky – even though we don’t smoke. Out the window, the lights from nearby skyscrapers were enveloped in a gray cloud.

When the sun rose, it was obvious – Beijing’s “airpocalypse” had returned. I could barely see the 4th Ring Road, the freeway that hums with cars and trucks just 100 yards from our building. Checking an app, I saw that particulate levels in Beijing had soared above 670 micrograms per cubic meter, or about 26 times higher than the World Health Organization considers safe.

China has many challenges, but air pollution is one that, if left unaddressed, will surely trip up its economic growth, kill its people and derail the Communist Party’s policy of “opening up” to the world. Tourism in Beijing has dropped from a year ago, at least partly because of worldwide publicity about smog. A recent study estimated that the average life expectancy in North China had dropped by 5.5 years because of air pollution generated by coal power production.

Last year, Beijing-like bouts of smog spread across the eastern and northern parts of the country, smothering cities such as Shanghai, whose residents thought they were immune. Wealthy Chinese now regularly schedule “lung-cleaning trips,” with Thailand’s Phuket Island and Indonesia’s Bali as top destinations, according to Chinese tourism authorities.

It is not as if China doesn’t recognize the threat. The government says it has pledged to spend $1.7 billion yuan ($281 million) by 2017 to tackle air pollution. Local governments have closed factories, fined polluters and even closed freeways on days when the smog is dangerous or “beyond index.”

The official position is that the problem is caused primarily by weather inversions, auto emissions and coal burning (industrial and residential), and all that is true. Yet as a country where there is little rule of law, China has no comprehensive system of monitoring, permitting and regulating sources of air pollution. Unlike most environmental agencies in the United States, it can’t track a pollution problem back to its source or sources and correct it.             

On Thursday, I noticed the recommendation by the U.S. Embassy in China that people stay indoors and avoid any strenuous activity. But I didn’t have that option, and neither did millions of other working people here. I had interviews lined up on stories, and properties to inspect in our search for a permanent apartment. And so I set forth to the subway, wearing my N-95 face mask for the first time during our first week in Beijing.

By the time I reached the central business district and started exiting the subway, I felt dizzy. I grabbed the handrail to steady myself. I drank some water, felt better and then walked a few blocks to where I was meeting my assistant, Tiantian. By then, my mask was already speckled with soot.

As the day went on, the pollution decreased, but I could feel the effects of the cumulative exposure. My chest felt heavy, my throat was raspy and my nose was runny all afternoon. I walked through Ritan Park, where elegant older women were dancing, some wearing face masks.

I have little doubt that China will eventually clean up its air, and little doubt the government could accelerate the cleanup with a sustained commitment.

Yet China and elements of its state-controlled media still suffer from denial when it comes to air pollution. Last month, during a major smog bout outside of Beijing, a story on the website of China Central Television listed five benefits of the air pollution problem:

1. It unifies the Chinese people. 

2. It makes China more equal. 

3. It raises citizen awareness of the cost of China’s economic development.

4. It makes people funnier. 

5. It makes people more knowledgeable (of things like meteorology and the English word haze).

I feel more equal already.  

Leavenworth became McClatchy’s Beijing bureau chief earlier this month. Email: sleavenworth@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @sleavenworth

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2014/01/17/4759268/letter-from-beijing-pollution.html#storylink=cpy

Agelbert NOTE: The fossil fuelers in China have the same problem they have all over the world; they CANNOT envision a world where GDP growth DOESN'T track fossil fuel burning growth. With that attitude, the only GROWTH industries they are going to get are CANCER treatment and pollution filtering devices.

China's leaders are willfully blinding themselves simply because they BELIEVE in the "glory" of predatory capitalism and KNOW GOD DAMNED GOOD AND WELL that the smog will kill the poor and middle class who can't afford protection FIRST. This is EXTERNALIZING costs on STEROIDS. It is DIVIDING the people, not "unifying" them.

They will learn, as we will, the HARD way. Reality is a **** for these ORWELLIAN circular logic bull**** artists. Fossil fuels are POISON, not prosperity. But the death worshippers at Wall Street are probably salivating at all the profits to be had from the face mask and anti-pollution filtration equipment on the cars and houses of the wealthy! After, all, THEY are the ony ones that COUNT because THE RICH, being such HARD WORKING (i.e. money grabbing) folks, can afford the COMFORT (i.e. survival of the "fittest" -> meanest, cruelest, conscience free bastards) that fossil fuel caused GDP GROWTH (i.e. pollution poisons) REQUIRES.   

January 2015 MKing Corporation outdoor clothing style catalog for the Chinese people that COUNT *

Newest luxury back pack mixes Oxycontin with oxygen for a "spiritual" experience while watching giant traffic jams through your megapixel IR viewer. 

*Raising visor in photo is for demonstration purposes only and  is not recommended outdoors. Raising visor outdoors may result in coverage cancellation of the Executive Golden Parachute Viper Cradle to Grave Comprehensive Total Coverage  Health Insurance Plan. 

MKING APEX PREDATOR CLOTHING LLC All Rights Rapaciously Reserved.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 09:43:12 pm by AGelbert »
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37


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