Smog can cut off sunlight to Beijing for days. At the International School of Beijing, parents want routine air quality measurements, and the school has built a $5 million dome to enclose a playground and filter the air. Seth Doane reports.
One of the major prices China is having to pay for their sudden industrial dominance is pollution. Since there is a much bigger priority on economics than there is on environment the big industrial areas of the country are becoming very polluted. I know there are those in the U.S. that will be screaming about this but wasn’t that also true for our own economic development?
In the early 1900s going to almost mid-century our major cities like Pittsburgh, Gary Indiana, and the like were enveloped in giant pollution clouds. When the automobile became dominant that list also included cities like Los Angeles. We, like China now, were choking on our own dirt. So, it can be hard to righteously wag a finger at China for doing the same thing that got us to our prosperity today.
The major difference this time is that China’s pollution will pile on our own to cause what someday could be the tipping point for our planet. Last night I watched an episode from “The Wonders of Life” narrated by Brian Cox who is a physicist and professor of a large British college. The episode was called the “Thin Blue Line” and was about how fragile our atmosphere actually is. It was a very eye-opening show that explained how other planets in our solar system have much different, and much more deadly, environments than ours and that the difference is not that great between them and us. I would highly recommend this series to anyone who wants to learn more about the world we live in. Brian is quite a young man (if you believe 45 year olds are young men) :)
I am one of those who will not condemn China for wanting to prosper as we have. They are simply looking for a better way of life for their people much like, as I previously mentioned, we did a century ago. But that is another post…