No one loves a polluted Beijing quite like foreign editors. The first time the smog swept through, two and a half weeks ago, lots of overseas publications were caught off guard and slept on the story, which is why we saw articles about China’s “Airpocalypse” up to five days after the skies had cleared up. Determined to... Read more »
Jon Stewart gave China’s air the comedic treatment last week (and rhymed it with “Nair”), using footage from a week before (and referencing this story about the Hangzhou factory fire). We bring it up now because, first, we hadn’t seen it on the China blogs yet, but more importantly, everyone is talking about pollution again. And if you... Read more »
If you live in northern China, particularly Beijing, you don’t need me to tell you the air’s not looking good today. By all indications, government officials understand this as well — their offices have windows, too. They live under the same miasma, as do their children. And we have to trust that they share our... Read more »
Via a strong recommendation from James Fallows, here's the video to watch if you want to understand pollution in China. Featuring Fons Tuinstra, president of the China Speakers Bureau, and Richard Brubaker of All Roads Lead to China, the 30-minute show touches on the causes of the pollution (the "bowl" of Beijing, cars), the effects (people leaving the country), and possible impetuses for solutions (competition among leaders and government officials to clean things up).
An international school in Beijing has built two “pollution domes” to protect their students during physical activity. A Financial Times article describes these domes as “giant pressurised canopies that can cover sports fields, playgrounds or tennis courts” — specifically, at the International School of Beijing, it covers six tennis courts, a track, a miniature soccer... Read more »
A 20-car rear-end chain collision yesterday morning on the Hang-Pu Highway between Hangzhou and Haining, Zhejiang province resulted in two dead and at least eight injured. The Jiaxing (prefecture-level city in Zhejiang) Fire Brigade said there was a "thick fog" at the time of the accident, and visibility was further hindered by smoke from burning stalks.
Late Sunday night in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, a fire broke out at a furniture factory in Anji county that no one noticed for hours because they couldn’t see it through the “fog.” Xinhua has the report (my translation): Due to a thick fog cover at the time, the initial smoke and open flames actually lasted nearly... Read more »
Actually, there’s not much that’s humorous about these images of atmospheric carnage, but over the course of eons a uniquely human response to the ghastly and macabre has been to expectorate fleshy, puny, anthropoid sounds that in our language can be classified as “laughter.” Laugh away at this.
It’s hard to ignore giant killer smog when it descends on your nation’s capital – and also as Hurricane Sandy proved in Manhattan and Brooklyn, it’s hard for the media to ignore it when it affects many of your nation’s top journalists. It’s not just coverage of killer smog, though, that’s taking over the news,... Read more »
We don't really get how a reading that theoretically should max out at 500 can spit out a number like 755, but look at the above. It got so bad last night that Beijing's official air-quality index conveniently went "out of service" from 10 pm to 10 am this morning. When it came back, it featured this warning:
Those of us who choose to live in one of China’s big cities understand the deal. In exchange for opportunities for personal and professional growth, a front seat on the roller coaster that is China’s development, and all in all a pretty good life, we agree to put up with traffic woes, the occasional big-city... Read more »
I make it a point to not talk about pollution because it’s somewhat of a cliche, especially among expats. Those who live here yet complain about the air — like, blog about it — belong in a set that we can fairly label “whiny.” And vapid. And irksome, too, if we’re being completely honest. But... Read more »