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James Hong

Monday, August 27, 2007

why i didn't move to china

My sister and niece were coloring in a coloring book recently. My sister was coloring the sky blue when my niece yelled "mommy, stop it! the sky isn't blue... it's white!!"

They live in Beijing. The pollution is so bad there, it's fairly rare to see a blue sky. (Last summer while visiting, i saw it 3 times in almost 3 months). Instead,what you usually get is a pollution induced overcast, and sometimes what feels like a dense fog (much thicker than a San Francisco fog).

My niece thinks the sky is supposed to be white by default. That is a problem.

Today, the NY times had a scary frontpage story about how bad it is.. Read it. It's bad, and it's not just China's problem, their pollution reaches us in the States! (of course it is us buying their goods, so we are not faultless in the situation)

Here are a few excerpts:

The level of such particulates is measured in micrograms per cubic meter of air. The European Union stipulates that any reading above 40 micrograms is unsafe. The United States allows 50. In 2006, Beijing’s average PM 10 level was 141, according to the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics.

Much of the particulate pollution over Los Angeles originates in China, according to the Journal of Geophysical Research.


Blogger Simply Me said...


8:41 PM  
Blogger Gen Kanai said...

This was about 8 AM in Beijing on August 21st, 2007.

The "white" sky is indeed smog- note the red sun near the horizon.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

I'm in Shanghai, and have been for the past couple of years. Just as bad here. Scary stuff indeed -- I'm now treating every blue-skied day as a real novelty

10:54 AM  
Blogger Amalia said...

Oy vey. From the mouths of babes, right?

And it's incredible that a fear of losing "some Olympic events" is what finally motivated the Chinese government to come up with an effective, car-related solution.

Can the IOC reprimand Bush next?

12:01 PM  

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