Interesting short video from the Guardian showcasing Li Feifan and his recently broadcast documentary about air pollution in Beijing. Audio all in Chinese and also subtitled in Chinese, so good for language practice I think.
floalvarezJanuary 23, 2013, 10:42 AM
I enjoyed this short video particularly it is a collaboration between PROC and Taiwan! Thanks!
Does the pollution occur only in the industrial area?
Do the people use air purifier or something like that indoors like at home, at school, in the workplace etc.?
miskatJanuary 23, 2013, 11:54 AM
In Beijing the pollution covers the whole city and then some.We have two air purifiers at home, planning to buy third. As they are rather expensive I know a lot of people cannot afford them. Luckily both me and my wife work and we can cut some other spendings to make sure that we and especially our small daughter have clean air at least home.Last two days have been again rather bad, only few minutes outside and my throat starts to hurt :-(
Some articles about what is being done about Beijing smog. You can argue about how effective these measures have been. I remember though, that in LA, people whined about the smog, but still lived there. Visitors still showed up to see Hollywood, Santa Monica, the beaches, the mountains, family/friends, attend university, etc. And though people whined about LA traffic, and smog generated by cars, people didn't seem to want to get rid of THEIR car. Of course, costs to pay for tighter emissions that has to be passed down to consumers and business owners are also an issue for everyone.
so which is worse: 1 cigarette, or PM 2.5 index of 500 for a day in Beijing?
I'm glad I heard this mentioned:
A person chooses whether to smoke or not, right? But no one chooses whether to breathe or not! Perhaps it comes down to what world we make for the children we bring into it. Everybody wants to have their cake and eat it, that's the human thing. I suspect it will also be our downfall when push comes to shove.
This for me is all about relative risk, and real world tough choices between alternatives that come with life and cost impacts and unintended consequences no matter what you choose. Hard choices for governments and for individuals, especially when you look at the details, and move beyond slogans. Data helps make informed choices.
In answer to your question, i'm not sure. Beijing seems lucky enough to have its AQI tweeted regularly. Other cities like SF, LA, Tampa(!), have to be looked up and searched.
It turns out that it's harder for a casually interested person like me to find such data.
But what's also fascinating is that any city with a boatload of diesel engined vehicles (Am I looking at you Sydney Australia?) is going to have potentially significant pollution/AQI issues. The metric might be 1 cigarette smoked every 7 days in Beijing, versus 1 cigarette smoked every 14 days in Sydney/London/Orlando/insert your town name here/etc., thanks to diesel engines.
Good article on pollution and smoking. Another upside to that would be that I assume that when the pollution got to it's highest it was only about 1 cigarette's worth, where as on an average day it would be much much lower than that?
I asked two friends if they even noticed an especially polluted day during that time and they said it was mostly sunny and they didn't notice...
bodaweiJanuary 26, 2013, 04:33 PM
People might be interested in the kind of public information on pollution in the west of China. (I am not sure, but I would not be surprised if this information source is typical of most cities.)
A government page lists pollution by twenty one districts in the city of Chengdu. The inner city areas are generally the most polluted; in the outskirts (where most of the factories are) it is less polluted - I wonder if that reflects the volume of motor vehicles in different parts of the city? Updated daily and previous data is accessible too.
Here’s the link: 成都环保局
I sourced this information from http://www.chengduliving.com/chengdu-pollution-tips/
on the Chengdu Living website.
chrisJanuary 27, 2013, 04:34 AM
Shanghai significantly better today - blue skies, sunshine and I can see the other side of the river crystal-clearly, which has not been the case for the last few weeks. According to the US consulate website we're back down to around 100 on the index. Hope it stays this way now.
he2xu4February 08, 2013, 05:06 PM
The video link didn't have a video in it, even after I turned off ad blocking.
Here's the direct YouTube link: