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So, about that fake sunrise in Beijing

Yesterday…it’s not quite what you think. Oh, the scene in the photo is quite real (and recent), and the pollution in Beijing is quite bad. It’s just that the Chinese government hasn’t resorted to showing a fake sunrise because its citizens can no longer see a real one. Instead, the display is merely part of a video promoting tourism in Shandong province, and it’s not on the screen for very long.

This isn’t the dystopian vision that Western news outlets reported yesterday. But still, the irony is hard to pass up, no?

(this post was reblogged from laughingsquid)


Video: Can Beijing Clean Up its Air the Same Way New York and London Did?

The video “Fresh Air by 2030” is the latest offering from our partner site China Green, a production of the Center on U.S.-China Relations.

Read the full story here.

(this post was reblogged from asiasociety)

Stats Pr0n of the Day: Bejing is an Airport Smoking Lounge

This chart from Bloomberg News shows Bejing’s average concentrations of PM2.5, or fine particulate matter that can cause airway inflammation and leave residents at a higher risk for lung and heart disease. As you can see here, on January 12th, the PM2.5 count reached a peak of 886, which is 532% of the daily average found in 16 U.S. airport smoking lounges. In 2012, Greenpeace estimated that exposure to PM2.5 in China led to more than 8,500 premature deaths in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xi’an. Hat tip to BoingBoing.


Stats Pr0n of the Day: Bejing is an Airport Smoking Lounge
(this post was reblogged from thedailywhat)

A bright video screen shows images of blue sky on Tiananmen Square during a time of dangerous levels of air pollution, on January 23, 2013 in Beijing. (Feng Li/Getty Images)

Beijing’s air pollution level has gone literally off the charts. You can see for yourself how bad things are in this video.



A Interactive Visualization of China’s Air Pollution

When a ranking Chinese government official slammed the U.S. embassy and consulates in China earlier this month for measuring local air pollution data, calling it “violating diplomatic conventions,” Chinese web users snapped back. “Can’t you see the bad pollution yourself?” asked one typical comment.

China’s censors have tremendous power in print, online, and even in public spaces such as Tiananmen Square. But when it comes to air pollution, even the Chinese government can’t obscure the facts. People see and breathe it every day.

Read more.

(this post was reblogged from theatlantic)