It’s well-known that China’s struggling with some serious air pollution, but perhaps less talked about is the toll being taken on their rivers. According to a recent survey conducted by Chinese media, 96% of respondents felt that not a single river around them was clean enough to swim in. And judging from these photos, anyone who did decide to risk a dive would probably come out looking worse than the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
China has for some time now struggled with smog, and now Chinese premier Li Keqiang has “declared war” against pollution.
Policymakers want to lower emissions of “PM10 and PM2.5, particulate matters in air smaller than 10 and 2.5 micrometers respectively, which are believed to be hazardous to health and major contributors to smog,” according to Xinhua.
Coal-fired furnaces will be shut down and high-emission vehicles will be taken off the road.
While Chinese policymakers try to cut down on pollution, Ma Yongsheng, CEO of Aviation Industry Corporation of China is testing a parafoil smog-clearing drone, according to Darren Wee at South China Morning Post.
China’s smog — which routinely engulfs major cities like Beijing and Shanghai — is notorious, and it’s recently reached “danger levels.” But the the smog in New Delhi, The New York Times reports, is actually worse.
The air in New Delhi “is more laden with dangerous small particles of pollution, more often, than Beijing’s,” Gardiner Harris writes, and “a very bad air day in Beijing is about an average one in New Delhi.”
- Philip Kendall
Jan 20, 2014
As if today being a Monday wasn’t depressing enough, media outlets are reporting that the air quality and visibility in China’s capital city has become so bad that the state has begun televising live footage of sunrises on enormous screens ordinarily used for advertising. That’s right: with the real thing now almost completely hidden behind a thick layer of smog, people are actually watching nature on TV.
Elementary students at Guangming Road Primary School in Shijiazhuang, China have begun practising a unique set of “anti-smog” moves developed for them by their teacher. Said to strengthen and protect their lungs from harmful particles, the daily exercises are being widely criticised by dubious Chinese netizens.
Pollution is a concern for any country–developing or developed–and doubly so for a country that relies heavily on coal for electricity. So, with all the lights, factories and cars zipping around Beijing, it’s hardly surprising that they might have a bit of an air pollution problem.
However, Beijing is taking action to reduce the air pollution–though probably not quite how you might have expected.
- Andrew Miller
Sep 7, 2013
As many of you may be aware, China has had some serious pollution problems in recent years with contamination spreading far and wide, affecting people’s health and everyday lifestyles. With all this negative publicity, it is of no surprise that China’s tourism industry has seen a decline in visitors to the country.
However, the Hong Kong Tourism Board has come up with a rather clever and, shall we say, peculiar scheme that guarantees to get rid of the smog, at least for all the tourists who want to capture a special photo for the occasion. It comes in the form of a picturesque banner of the Hong Kong landscape that is substituted for the real, polluted background. It’s just a case of standing in front of it, saying cheese and you’re done. Granted the picture may look good but it still doesn’t solve the actual problem of pollution.
With the country growing at an unprecedented rate and many still living below the poverty line, it is inevitable that China should struggle to control the quality of the foodstuffs it manufactures. With a reputation for being cheap and of inferior quality, Chinese exports are often unfairly labelled as potentially harmful or unappetising, and many in neighboring countries will snub Chinese-produced consumables found on supermarket shelves purely because of where they come from. But when developed countries rely so much on cheap Chinese labor and exports, one sometimes has to wonder whether this is partly a problem of our own making.
Of course, Japan rarely sees eye-to-eye with China, so it is perhaps unsurprising that it should focus on the negative when it comes to news of this kind. This week in fact, website Madame Riri published an article outlining 10 cases of food products from China that have caused scandal in recent years. After reading their list, though, even we can’t help but feel a little concerned for the wellbeing of the world’s next superpower.
According to the April 2 edition of Chinese daily newspaper the 21st Century Business Herald, in the year 2010 an incredible 1.23 million people lost their lives across China due to air pollution-related illnesses. The number accounts for 15 percent of total deaths recorded in the country for 2010. The information was revealed by a study group at Tsinghua University on March 31.
- Andrew Miller
Mar 19, 2013
A little while back, we reported on the air pollution problem over in China. This week, however, a different form of pollution has come to light. On first sight, you’d be forgiven for mistaking this for a prop from a mutant zombie movie. However what can be seen in the picture above is in fact the tap water of a residential area in Jinan, China. In total, over 500 inhabitants of the area have fallen victim to this most recent ‘pink water’ phenomenon.
Obviously drinking the stuff is out of the question and many residents have been forced, as a temporary measure, to secure rations of bottled water. Just how contaminated this water is remains unclear, but even more intriguing is what caused the phenomenon in the first place. And how harmful could it actually be? Could simply giving the stuff a good, long sniff be hazardous to people’s health?
With its saturated colors, a picture of a lake in China’s Anhui Province looks like a painting that could have been done by the French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir. No Photoshop trickery here though, the above image is an actual photograph of the lake. But how did it get this way?
- Andrew Miller
Feb 12, 2013
Recent reports from Radio France Internationale (RFI)’s Chinese site suggest that China’s pollution problem is raising serious concerns within the country itself. In the push for economic growth, the China is also becoming increasingly aware of what could potentially develop into a serious problem if steps are not taken soon. In this connection, there has been heated debate on the Internet suggesting that Chinese authorities are proposing moving the capital away from Beijing.
Jan 28, 2013
If you can look past the devastating damage it causes to your respiratory system, air pollution in Beijing has become so dense that it actually makes the Chinese capitol look like something from a fantasy or science fiction world.
- Andrew Miller
Jan 23, 2013
In recent years along with many other developing Asian nations, China has been increasing its level of industrial manufacturing as it readies itself for remarkable industrial growth. However, neglecting its environment for the sake of industry has brought with it the problem of dense smog pollution, with microscopic smog particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less having been detected in overwhelming large amounts in China’s air in recent days.
The smog is the same as that found in factory exhausts, car fumes and the like. Measured per cubic meter, at one instance the observed value of pollution in Beijing reached levels 10 times the Chinese government’s recommended safety level. If one were to go by the Wealth Health Organization (WHO)’s recommended value, the figure rises to 40 times greater than normal. When it comes to pollution, it is thought that of the asian nations undergoing remarkable growth, 70% of nations are reaching a critical level. The toxic substances that seep out into the environment cause asthma, pneumonia and even in some cases death.
Of course, those living in highly polluted areas will surely want to know how their air compares, but measuring the levels each time can prove tiresome and expensive. With this in mind, one innovative company called Clean Air Asia has stumbled upon a way determine just how polluted your air is, and has designed an interactive map based on – wait for it – nostil hair.
For days now Beijing has been suffering from a prolonged spell of the worst air pollution in the city’s history, a crisis so bad that it has been dubbed the “airpocalypse”.
The air has been classified as hazardous to human health and has already sent countless people to the hospital for respiratory ailments. The city is blanketed in a thick grey fog that is said to smell of coal and sting the eyes, leading officials to close highways, force the cancellation of flights and outdoor activities, and warn people in affected areas to remain indoors.
According to a researcher at Kyushu University, China’s giant toxic cloud of pollution is now expected to cross over to western Japan sometime later today.
The river you see here has been used by the residents of this part of Wenzhou, China daily for doing the wash. However, on the morning of 9 August they awoke to a puzzling sight.
The river had been dyed a milky white color overnight.
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