Chinese villagers are successfully selling bags of fresh air to people in the city


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Next Shark:

Business-minded locals in the mountainous part of Guandong province in China are making money off the region’s natural fresh air.

Lianshan Zhuang and Yao autonomous county residents, have set up stalls atop its mountain and began selling air in plastic bags to city dwellers escaping the smog.

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According to NetEase (via Shanghaiist), the price of the fresh air ranges from 10 yuan ($1.50) for a small bag and up to 30 yuan ($4.50) for a larger bag.

Lianshan county, reportedly the greenest area in northern Guandong, is a favorite getaway spot for city folk who want to escape from urban pollution.

Marketing a bag of air is not that difficult for these crafty entrepreneurs as many customers find the idea of taking home fresh mountain air quite reasonable.

Air pollution has become a major issue in China especially in its highly industrialized cities and continuously poses a threat to the public health of its people.

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Families packing up and leaving Hong Kong over pollution life expectancy fears

A banner showing an idyllic harbour view belies the true picture behind. The air-pollution index on that day, August 22 last year, was at "very high", with the city blanketed in haze. Photos; Sam Tsang; May Tse; K.Y. Cheng; David Wong; AFP; Will Hayward/courtesy of the Haywood family; courtesy of the Brinner family

With children the most at risk from Hong Kong’s air pollution, some families have reluctantly packed up and left behind friends and comfortable lifestyles. Angharad Hampshire looks at the dangers and what is being done to address them.

South China Morning Post:

This year, Sasha Haldane and her husband, Will Hayward, took one of the biggest decisions of their lives. They decided that, for the sake of their two children, they would leave Hong Kong.

Haldane grew up in the city and, apart from a brief spell in Australia and New Zealand, had lived and worked here all her life. Max, 10, and Alyssa, six, were both born and raised in Hong Kong. Their parents had good jobs and the children were settled happily in schools. One factor alone compelled them to leave.

Will became very concerned about the air pollution as he is an ultra-marathoner,” says Haldane. “He was really noticing the air quality when he was running, and I was noticing that you could no longer see across the harbour most days in winter. What was meant to be the best time of year, October/November, was now the worst.”

Hayward worked as head of the psychology department at the University of Hong Kong. Concerned about the deteriorating air quality, he sought out Professor Anthony Hedley, an expert on air pollution at HKU’s School of Public Health. He discussed the problem with Hedley and set about reading a long list of scientific papers on the effects of pollution.

As a result of those papers, we realized that if we did not leave, we were going to reduce our children’s life expectancy. What we understood was that, whilst it was bad for younger children living in this air quality, the most impact was going to come when they were teenagers, when the greatest expansion of their lung growth was occurring. The pollution could affect that expansion so that when they were much older, in later life, they would be less able to recover from respiratory illnesses and more likely to die earlier.”

So, with heavy hearts, the family looked for places with cleaner air in which to live.

When a job came up in Auckland, New Zealand, Will was happy to move,” Haldane says, from her new home. “He is from New Zealand and has family here. Auckland has very good air quality for the size of the population. But there were no other factors. We both had very good jobs, great friends and a wonderful lifestyle. In January, we moved.”

Hong Kong has long prided itself on its high life-expectancy figures. However, those living to a ripe old age now grew up with much cleaner air.

Lai Hak-kan is a research assistant professor at HKU’s School of Public Health. He studies the impact of pollution on health and has no doubt that children growing up in Hong Kong now should expect shortened lives.

Our studies find that 10mg of particulate matter will cause two years of life expectancy lost. In Hong Kong, we are looking at 45mg to 50mg of such matter. Theoretically, this means 10 years of life lost.”

The World Health Organization recently reported that one in eight deaths globally is linked to air pollution, making it “the world’s single largest environmental health risk“. Out of the seven million deaths attributed to pollution in 2012, six million occurred in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific – the region containing Greater China.

One of the biggest predictors of life expectancy is lung function. Our lungs take in clean, oxygenated air and distribute it to our tissues to enable them to function. When we breathe in dirty air, our respiratory system – including its major organs, the lungs – becomes damaged and cannot operate properly.

There are a number of negative health impacts for air pollutants but most of the findings from medical literature indicate that the main impacts are on cardiovascular health and also on respiratory diseases,” says Lai. “Some studies also indicate that longer-term exposure can be linked to cancer development.”

The impact is worse in children than in adults.

One of the basic principles we know when we are handling health problems in children is that they have small organs which are growing day by day. So, all those cardiovascular, respiratory and lung functions need to be developed into maturity in health to prepare them for the demands of the future. If, however, they are exposed to things which are harmful, the effect is much more significant than if these systems are already fully developed. The implications are much higher and have a lifelong consequence. We have growing evidence that long-term respiratory and cardiovascular problems are strongly related to early exposure to environmental pollutants. The lungs and heart are immature in particular before primary school.”


Hong Kong’s once fragrant harbor is thick with a fug of cargo-ship emissions, traffic fumes and output from coal-powered power stations and factories in Guangdong province. The city’s topography of mountains and high-rise buildings causes a canyoning effect, which prevents toxic air from dispersing. All this contributes to the smog that Haldane had noticed folding its way round the city, billowing through the harbour and hanging between buildings.

This smog consists of many substances. First is sulphur dioxide (SO2), an odorless gas that is caused by the combustion of fossil fuels in power plants, industrial boilers and vehicles on land and at sea. SO2 damages the respiratory system and aggravates respiratory disease, for example bronchitis. It causes wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing. It can also cause cardiovascular disease in people with sensitive respiratory systems, including asthmatics, the elderly and children.

Second, nitrogen oxides (NOX) and nitrogen dioxide, which are formed through combustion at a high temperature in power plants and vehicle engines, at land and at sea. Nitrogen dioxide is a smelly brown gas that irritates the lungs and lowers the body’s resistance to respiratory infections such as the flu. People with respiratory problems (for example, asthmatics) are more susceptible to the effects of NOX. In young children, these gases impair lung development and chronic exposure leads to structural changes in the lungs.

Third, ozone, which is formed by the reaction of nitrogen dioxide in ultraviolet light and makes a photochemical smog. Ozone irritates mucous membranes in the nose, throat and airways. Because it’s “consumed” by the gaseous pollutants found by roadsides, ozone is often more prevalent at higher levels in outlying areas, such as the New Territories, where people may feel there is less pollution. It causes coughs, chest pain, throat pain and eye irritation, decreases lung function and inflames the respiratory system.

Those are the main gases. Then come some non-gaseous nasties – fine particles called respirable suspended particulates (RSPs). They are made of matter that is suspended in the air but is not a gas – so liquids, solids or a mixture of the two. Measured by their size, RSPs are divided into two categories: PM10 and PM2.5. The PM10 particles measure 10 micrometers or less across and PM2.5 particles measure 2.5 micrometers or less. These miniscule particles are produced by combustion – particularly in diesel vehicles and power plants – construction, incineration and, in nature, the sea. Often, the particulate matter is small bits of unburnt or partially burnt carbon attached to elements such as silicon, aluminum, sodium, calcium, manganese, iron, barium, mercury and lead.

Lead is particularly dangerous to young children as it damages the nervous system, red blood cells and kidneys and can cause brain damage. Many RSPs are carcinogenic.

The problem with RSPs is both their size and the chemicals they contain. PM2.5 particles are so small that our noses can’t filter them out. They get breathed straight into the lungs, where they deposit on the lining and have no way out. RSPs cause a wide range of problems, such as blocked airways, coughs, decreased lung function, aggravated asthma and the development of diseases such as bronchitis. In people with existing heart and lung disease, they can cause premature death from the likes of lung cancer.

Dr Lee So-lun is honorary clinical associate professor at HKU’s Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. She explains why children are so much more vulnerable to these pollutants.

Firstly, it’s biological, meaning that the build-up of their body is different. All the organs are still growing and maturing during childhood. Any insult to growing organs causes a long-term impact, unlike in adults, who have mature systems. Plus, their body system cannot remove toxins as well as adults. Then we have to look at the lungs because that is where the air pollutants are going. Lungs are maturing in childhood and we know that toxins on growing lungs are harmful. Our immune system is also immature in childhood. So, if you have a toxin that interacts with a genetic predisposition, it can cause things like allergies and asthma.

“There are also physiological differences,” Lee continues. “The lung wall in a baby is proportionally much larger than an adult’s. This means far more pollution circulates through the system. Babies and small children also have tiny airways, so anything that aggravates them will have a far greater impact. Also, children are much more prone to mouth breathing, which stops their noses filtering dirty air. Children are usually much more active than adults, so they tend to run around breathing in much more polluted air.”

Scientific studies show that mothers living in polluted areas are at greater risk of having babies with low birth weights and congenital malformation. Animal studies have linked attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and hyperactivity to early exposure to air pollution.

Rebekah and Stirling Brinner, an IT manager, lived in Hong Kong for five years. Both of their children, Zoe, now five, and Tabby, two, were born in Hong Kong. They struggled with Zoe’s reaction to the pollution.

Zoe was born with eczema,” says Rebekah Brinner, a former nurse. “But conditions in Hong Kong exacerbated it. As your skin is your largest barrier to infection, she got minor illnesses more often than her peers, and she had trouble sleeping due to constant intractable itch. The worst came in the form of repeated skin infections. Her whole body was covered in painful, itchy, oozing sores. She was absolutely miserable and was hospitalised with a major infection at one point, not to mention the frequent trips to private and public doctors for outpatient treatment.”

The Brinners ruled out other possible causes such as soaps and allergies. Their cure came whenever they left Hong Kong on holiday. Almost immediately, Zoe’s infections and skin flares subsided. As soon as they returned to the city, her skin flared up again.

I know that it’s hard to pinpoint the specific cause of eczema, as it’s at least partially genetic and, if you have it, it never actually goes away, but it can be managed and you can reduce triggers. Every doctor we’ve discussed it with has agreed that the pollution was a likely factor, especially considering that we ruled out the other likely triggers.

“We had to leave because our daughter had a very low quality of life. She couldn’t be allowed out of my sight otherwise she would scratch until she bled, which could and often would lead to another infection, not to mention potential for scarring and need for more strong medications. Stirling and I discussed it and decided we needed to get her out of the toxic environment as soon as possible, and he was lucky enough to quickly find a job.

They left Hong Kong in May last year.

We now live in a suburb of Philadelphia, in the United States. We’ve been here nearly 11 months and she hasn’t had a single infection or flare. We’ve significantly reduced both the potency and frequency of topical steroids and she has gained independence because she can be allowed to do things on her own. She sleeps better and has gone from the third percentile on the Child Development Centre growth chart up to the 25th percentile.”

The Brinners miss Hong Kong culture and friends but are certain they made the right choice.

Zoe asks frequently when we are moving back but she is thriving here. We’ve had some rough days, but then she’ll say that her skin doesn’t hurt anymore. So far, the future looks bright, our daughters are excelling. Ultimately, Hong Kong seems unable to do much about the pollution as so much of it comes from the mainland. Sad, as we really grew to love the city.”

Forty-seven per cent of Hong Kong’s pollution comes from the Pearl River Delta. The rest is made up of the city’s own roadside, marine and power-station emissions.

Global studies show that the highest impact on children’s health is from roadside pollution. Living, walking or going to school next to a busy road is much more likely to harm children than ambient air pollution from the mainland.

Arthur Lau Pui-sang is adjunct associate professor in the Division of Environment at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. In collaboration with Chinese University, he is running a citywide study of the health effects of pollution in primary schools. The study looks at 3,000 students aged nine and 10 in 30 primary schools to find out how the air quality is affecting them now and consider their long-term pulmonary development. The study will follow up with these children in two years and then, funding permitting, a further two years later.

Lau’s initial findings show that the distance from a road is a major factor in child health. A safe distance is defined as 200 metres. The direction the windows face and general wind direction also dictate how much pollution enters a school environment. As does the proximity of school buses, which often have polluting engines left idling.

The season is important, too. In summer, when the windows are shut and the air-conditioning is on, the air inside a classroom is much cleaner. In winter, when windows are more likely to be open, classroom air quality is dependent on outdoor air quality.

The reality in Hong Kong is that there are lots of schools next to busy streets,” says Lau.

The WHO has drawn up a gold standard of air-quality objectives (AQO) to provide a guideline about safe levels of pollution. As one would expect, Hong Kong falls far short of the WHO’s objectives. As a result, the government has set up some interim objectives of its own. The city uses the WHO’s guidelines for nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide but has adopted the lowest interim target levels suggested by the organization for SO2, ozone and PM2.5 particles, with a slightly better target for PM10 particles.

Air is measured in 12 general stations and three roadside stations throughout Hong Kong. This information is compiled into the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI), which is available online and via an app so the public can view levels of pollution and decide how best to protect their families on bad days.

The system looks at levels of the four major pollutants and works out in real time what the percentage risk to health is. It then categorizes the risk on a scale of one to 10.

At times and in places when/where a reading is high (7+), the government’s advice is that children reduce the amount of time they spend – and especially exert themselves – outside. Once it hits very high (8+), children are advised to reduce outdoor time to a minimum, and when it’s serious (10+), to stay inside. In effect, that is the government’s advice – go outside less or stay indoors.

Under the previous air-pollution index, which was replaced by AQHI at the end of last year, 6 per cent of days were considered dangerous to health in Hong Kong. Under the new system, 30 per cent of days are considered dangerous. If the index conformed to WHO standards, about 90 per cent of days would be deemed dangerous.

Wong Tze-wai is a research professor at Chinese University’s School of Public Health and Primary Care. He led the project to develop the AQHI system and is a specialist in community medicine who has conducted research on air pollution and health for more than 20 years.

For a warning system to work,” says Wong, “you need to avoid the phenomenon called ‘information fatigue’. If we issue a warning to the public every time the air-pollutant concentration [for example, PM2.5] is above the WHO 24-hour guideline [25 micrograms per cubic metre], we end up overwarning, because on most days, Hong Kong’s level of PM2.5 is around 30 or so. If we overwarn, the public will not respond.

“Moreover, it would not be desirable to advise the schools to cancel the PE class every time any one air pollutant exceeds the WHO guidelines, for that would mean no PE classes on 90 per cent of days in a year.”

So, if the only available solution to bad air days is to stay indoors, how much cleaner is indoor air?

In general, indoor air quality is better than outdoor air quality, provided there is no indoor source of air pollution, for example cigarette smoking, incense burning, gas cooking, furniture – especially new – that emits harmful volatile organic chemicals such as formaldehyde,” says Wong.

Lee warns parents not to become complacent just because a child doesn’t show any immediate symptoms.

“We are looking at this from a population level. Just because your own child doesn’t seem to be affected does not mean it’s not a big issue. It is a serious medical concern and something we have to deal with because of the long-term effects.

The weather, outdoor environment and indoor environment all affect us,” says Lee. “Outdoors there’s humidity and pollen, for example. Indoors, house dust mites and passive smoking. There are so many variables in the environment. While one element of the environment is high at any given time, others are low and that is why people can react differently.”

Undersecretary for the Environment Christine Loh

Undersecretary for the Environment Christine Loh Kung-wai, an environmentalist and herself a mother, is committed to reducing the city’s pollution and, since she began her tenure, Hong Kong has introduced measures to tackle the problem. Loh recognises that both a local and a regional approach are needed and has been working with the governments here and in Guangdong to facilitate change.

By 2019, Hong Kong will have phased out its most polluting older diesel vehicles and buses. A subsidy scheme is in place to assist owners of taxis and light buses to replace worn-out catalytic converters by the end of this year. Funding is also available for franchised bus companies to clean up their existing fleet. At sea, domestic and river vessels refuelling in Hong Kong had to switch to very low sulphur diesel by April 1 and regulations are being drafted to compel ocean-going vessels to switch to low sulphur fuel while berthing in the city’s waters from next year. That would make Hong Kong the first port outside the US and European Union that legislates for a fuel switch at berth.

By 2017, Guangdong is aiming to reduce PM2.5 levels by 15 per cent. Furthermore, Hong Kong and Guangdong have already successfully completed one round of pollutant reductions.

In 2012, we agreed on a second round of targets for 2015 and 2020,” says Loh.

Her goal is to meet the city’s current air-quality objectives by 2020. She acknowledges that these objectives don’t meet the WHO’s standards but explains that interim goals are necessary as there is no point setting standards that simply cannot be met. She promises the objectives will be reviewed – and tightened if possible – every five years.

Probably more than anyone else, I know how much we are doing in Hong Kong and in Guangdong. We must implement our plans well and then we must do more still,” says Loh. “Five years ago, I was the CEO of a non-profit think tank where we did surveys to assess the level of concern in Hong Kong about air quality. Today, there is no question in government that air pollution isn’t a top priority. The chief executive has already made this clear.”

The situation has actually improved a bit in the past decade,” says Dr Alfred Tam Yat-cheung, a pediatrician in private practice and a member of the Advisory Council on the Environment. “The general stations have recorded decreasing levels of pollutants except for O3 while the roadside stations have recorded increasing levels of NOX and RSP. So although the general situation has improved, the roadside situation has not.

“I think it is safe to bring up children here as long as you avoid the roads,” he says. “The general situation is better than many cities in the mainland and it [is getting] better slowly.

Too slowly for people such as Haldane, though. Unlike most parents in Hong Kong who fear for the well-being of their children, she could leave the city without too much trouble, but she’d prefer to return. That will not happen, she says, until the government adopts the WHO’s AQO.

I realize that Hong Kong is hampered in terms of the pollution from China but the government could crack down more on the pollution from incoming ships and the traffic, and should have done so years ago instead of listening to special interest sectors.

“I was not happy to leave. I am a Hong Kong girl. I have my entire life there. I love Hong Kong. It is my home. Right now, I am really homesick. But I had to make the decision for my children. I had to give them the best chance for a long life.”


Beijing smog a work hazard for Mariah Carey and soccer stars

China pollution
A masked man walks by the National Stadium in Beijing amid heavy smog.

L.A. Times: 

The first “airpocalypse” of fall hit Beijing this week, but local residents are not the only ones being forced to deal with the smothering smog blanketing the Chinese capital. World-class cyclists and soccer stars from Argentina and Brazil, as well as American pop diva Mariah Carey, are also contending with the city’s choking air.

Beijing’s air quality index has stayed above 300, categorized as “hazardous” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, since Wednesday. The local government raised its air pollution alert to orange, the second-highest level, advising people of all ages to avoid outdoor activities and suspending sports classes at schools.

The heavy pollution arrived just in time for the five-day Tour of Beijing, but organizers did not cancel the cycling event, which started in the nearby city of Zhangjiakou, which had lower levels of smog. The world’s top professional cyclists, including Alejandro Valverde, who finished fourth at Tour de France this year, kicked off the event Friday morning. The race ends with a 73-mile ride through the heart of Beijing on Tuesday.

Carey, meanwhile, was set to perform outdoors in Beijing’s Workers Stadium on Friday evening, and international soccer stars including Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Brazil’s Neymar were scheduled to attend. Messi and Neymar arrived in the city this week with their national teams to prepare for a highly anticipated game Saturday evening.

Three months ago, a dream matchup in the World Cup final between Argentina and Brazil was spoiled by Neymar’s injury in the quarterfinals, which led to Brazil’s disastrous 7-1 defeat in the semifinals to Germany. The Beijing game promises a faceoff between two of the world’s most beloved soccer stars, but the city’s hazardous air might diminish the experience for players and fans.

The game between Argentina and Brazil, billed as “the South American Superclasico,” is set to kick off at 8 p.m. Saturday in Beijing’s “Bird’s Nest” National Stadium, which hosted soccer games during the 2008 Olympics. To prepare for Saturday evening’s game, stars from both teams, including Messi and Neymar, attended practices on soccer fields in the open air Thursday, when the AQI reached as high as 499, one point shy of the maximum value of 500 for most serious air pollution.

During the practice, Messi frequently used his hands to cover his mouth and nose, and had to stop to rest many times with his hands around his waist or knees, Chinese press reported. He was pulled out of the practice early.

Weather forecasters have said rain and wind should arrive Saturday night, blowing some of the smog out of Beijing. Still, Chinese soccer fans have started to worry that their favorite players will not give their full effort under such conditions.

The soccer stars are using their lives to take the challenge of playing a soccer game in the smog. No matter how much money they make, it might not be enough for their medical bills afterward,” one commentator wrote after a story in Chinese press about Thursday’s practice.

But the Argentine national team’s new manager, Gerardo Martino, who took over the team after the World Cup, downplayed the air quality’s role in a game between the greatest rivals in international soccer.

Argentina against Brazil is the most important derby between national teams. It doesn’t matter where the match is held, it’s always important for the history between us and now also for the players,” Martino told reporters Thursday.

Brazil’s team doctor, though, has apparently recommended that aside from practices, the athletes stay indoors and avoid outside air as much as possible.

One of the pieces of advice that those responsible for pollution control give is that people should stay indoors and this is what we have done,” Rodrigo Lasmar, Brazil’s team doctor, was quoted as saying by the Estado de São Paulo newspaper.

“Our athletes stay inside the hotel and only go out for training. Out of every 24 hours, they spend 22 inside the hotel.”

For the Chinese soccer fans who have been waiting for the game between Argentina and Brazil for months, many are also concerned that the smog might spoil their viewing experience.

What if I can’t tell Messi from Neymar at Saturday night’s game?” Sun Puxue wrote in a post on Chinese social media website Weibo.

After the goal keeper kicks the ball with a long pass, all the players on the field may start wondering where the ball went,” another user from Beijing joked.

Artist Profile: Cai Guo Giang- The Ninth Wave



Cai Guo Giang is opening a show through The Power Station of Art in Shanghai, titled The Ninth Wave from August 8th to October 26th. A monumental and impactful installation of a fishing boat from the artist’s hometown of Quanzhou carrying 99 fabricated animals down the Huangpu River.

Tigers, pandas, camels and apes cover the tiers of the worn ship, appearing weathered and dreary as hunched figures in fatigue. Guo Qiang took visual inspiration from Russian painter Ivan Aivazovsky’s 1850 painting, which illustrates survivors of a terrible shipwreck, hanging on for dear life with overt expressions of weary souls who battled the woes of nature and its unforgiveable forces, blatantly communicating human helplessness in the wake of mother earth’s blows.

Thematically expressing Earth’s current environmental crisis, Cai Guo Qiang strongly references this and more…

Last year, high levels of smong in the air in China led to the horrific incident of 16,000 dead pigs found floating down the Huangpu River, proving that ecological concerns in the region, as well as globally, have reached a critical level. With a focus on human interaction with nature, Guo-giang’s exhibit explores the challenges posed by the environment, and references a symbol found in traditional Chinese aesthetics and philosophy: mankind’s longing to return to a more primitive setting and restore faith in a spiritual homeland’.

Photos by JJY photo, courtesy of cai studio


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Face masks on Peking University statues protest Beijing smog


Statues in Peking University wear masks for heavy smog

Images of statues of some Chinese intellectuals in Peking University wearing masks have been wildly circulated online. This idea was figured out by some students from Peking University, as a “silent” protest against heavy smog.

From Sina Weibo:

@头条新闻: Beijing Heavy Smog; Peking University Statues “Wear” Face Masks — Since February 20, the national meteorological center has for six days straight issued smog alert, and Beijing has already spent many days in the grey smog. With continuous smog in the “rain” season, pedestrians on the road are about to be overwhelmed with sorrow. With such pollution, even the statues an sculptures in Peking University “cannot take it anymore”, one after another donning face masks. Pictures:


From QQ & NetEase :

Beijing Severe Smog; Face Masks Put on Statues Throughout Peking University

[February] 24, Beijing, the fourth day of heavy smog besieging [the city], it is no longer news that pedestrians and even pet dogs are wearing face masks. To their surprise, on the Peking University campus, people discovered statues of Cai Yuanpei, Li Dazhao, Miguel de Cervantes and other scholars of the past with masks also put on them.

Beijing severe smog, face masks placed on statues and busts in Peking University.

Statues in Peking University wear masks for heavy smog

 Li Dazhao’s statue.

Statues in Peking University wear masks for heavy smog

Cai Yuanpei’s statue.

Statues in Peking University wear masks for heavy smog

Cervantes’s statue.

Statues in Peking University wear masks for heavy smog

Statue of distinguished Chinese contemporary economist Chen Daisun.

Check out this link:

Face masks on Peking University statues protest Beijing smog


39 Things Only People Who Live In Hong Kong Will Understand


1. You know this sight all too well:

You know this sight all too well:

2. You know that the weather forecast might as well just be these two pictures:

You know that the weather forecast might as well just be these two pictures:

3. Or this:

Or this:

4. But you know there’s only one true way to know if summer is coming:

But you know there's only one true way to know if summer is coming:

5. You know that you can never prepare properly in the summer:


You know that you can never prepare properly in the summer:

6. Or in the winter:

Or in the winter:

7. Or in the afternoon:

Or in the afternoon:

8. Or just walking down the street:

Or just walking down the street:

9. You know where the second Hobbit film REALLY got its title:

You know where the second Hobbit film REALLY got its title:

10. And where to find heaven on Earth:

And where to find heaven on Earth:

Especially with some bubble tea.

11. You know this feeling all too well:

You know this feeling all too well:

12. This too:

This too:

13. Or this:

Or this:

14. You know the MTR taught you how to dance:

You know the MTR taught you how to dance:

15. And how to love:

And how to love:

16. You know this all too well:

You know this all too well:

17. And have been in this situation one too many times:

And have been in this situation one too many times:

18. And this situation too:

And this situation too:

19. But hopefully not this:

But hopefully not this:

20. You know the best seats to sit on the MTR:

You know the best seats to sit on the MTR:

21. And where the best Facebook posts come from:

And where the best Facebook posts come from:

22. You definitely have a strong opinion of mainlanders:

You definitely have a strong opinion of mainlanders:

23. You know what it feels like to travel in a race car:

You know what it feels like to travel in a race car:

24. Or what it’s like to climb Mount Everest:

Or what it's like to climb Mount Everest:

25. But hopefully not what it’s like to swim in the harbor:

But hopefully not what it's like to swim in the harbor:

26. You know what it’s like to be stranded:

You know what it's like to be stranded:

27. And what it’s like to be ripped off in a cab:

And what it's like to be ripped off in a cab:

28. Or to ride around in a fridge:

Or to ride around in a fridge:

29. You’re used to seeing something like this:

You're used to seeing something like this:

30. And taking pictures like this:

And taking pictures like this:

31. And you know how to create beautiful music with this:

And you know how to create beautiful music with this:

32. You know how most social gatherings go:

You know how most social gatherings go:

33. And that red means “run”:

And that red means "run":

34. You know there’s no better ice cream:

You know there's no better ice cream:

35. And no better noodles:

And no better noodles:

36. And no better toast:

And no better toast:

37. You know there’s no better feeling:

You know there's no better feeling:

38. And no better duck:

And no better duck:

39. But what you really should know is this:

But what you really should know is this:

Check out this link:

Think Beijing’s famous smog Is bad? Delhi’s is worse

RocketNews 24/Business Insider:

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 DelhiThe 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.”

The death rate due to chronic respiratory diseases is higher in India than anywhere else in the world.

It was big news when a measure of the concentration of fine particulate matter — the very dangerous air pollution that is absorbed into your lungs — climbed over 500 in Beijing. But Delhi had already reached those “danger levels” on eight separate days this year, Harris writes.

Here’s what smoggy Delhi looks like on the ground:

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A New Delhi sunset. “The air was so full of smog particles,” the photographer wrote, “that the sun often disappeared completely into the fog.”

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Here the morning smog is so thick you can barely make out the famous Jama Masjid in the distance.

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Delhi’s smog viewed from above.

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India’s presidential palace, Rashtrapati Bhavan, engulfed in smog.

delhi 5Thick smog hangs over Delhi’s polluted river Yamun

Check out this link:

Think Beijing’s famous smog Is bad? Delhi’s is worse


Chinese Kids Fighting Smog with Martial Arts

Chinese Kids Fighting Smog with Martial Arts

At an elementary school in Shijiazhuang, China, students have been practicing a series of “anti-smogmartial arts exercises. Kick smog‘s ass, kids!

The children are doing wushu exercises. But according to website iFeng, the school instituted the “anti-smog” moves to help protect the students against pollution.

Chinese Kids Fighting Smog with Martial Arts

Chinese Kids Fighting Smog with Martial Arts

Chinese Kids Fighting Smog with Martial Arts

Shijiazhuang residents need all the help against smog they can get. The city has been called the “most polluted” in China. Still, as Kotaku‘s Eric Jou points out, these “anti-smog” martial arts are being widely mocked online in China.

Check out this link:

Chinese Kids Fighting Smog with Martial Arts


Haunting Pictures Of The Chinese City Shut Down For Emergency “Smog Day”

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Thick smog virtually shut down a Chinese city of 11 million this week, with schools and the airport both being closed.

Harbin, the capital of the Heilongjiang province, is said to have visibility of less than half a football field.

According to Reuters, “An index measuring PM2.5, or particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5), reached a reading of 1,000 in some parts of Harbin.”

Check out this link:

Haunting Pictures Of The Chinese City Shut Down For Emergency “Smog Day”

enhanced-buzz-16197-1382366285-38 enhanced-buzz-16232-1382366314-34 enhanced-buzz-1784-1382366326-29 Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 1.07.00 PM


Hong Kong: Fake skyline to combat its smog problem


In order to beat the smog problem that Hong Kong is facing, they have created a fake skyline that is available for photo opportunities.

It is terrible when on vacation you aren’t able to take a decent picture because of bad weather. Unfortunately, the smog problem is so rampant in Hong Kong tourists aren’t able to get any cityscape in their photographs. In order to beat this problem, the government has installed massive backdrops that have the skyline on them.

These backdrops are positioned right on the water. This is a popular destination for photos because of the architecture in the back and the water in the front. The fact that Hong Kong has had to rely on a fake skyline in order to ensure there can be photos of their stunning cities, alludes to the massive impact metropolises have had on the environment.

Check out this link:

Hong Kong: Fake skyline to combat its smog problem