China's Smog Is 'Nuclear Winter' Bad

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by tulianr, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    Just how lousy is Beijing's air these days? Chinese President Xi Jinping found it necessary to demonstrate his support for the people by ... walking around and breathing yesterday. That's it. "Breathing the same air, sharing the same fate," read the headline on the state's official news agency website, reports the Australian.

    Heroically, Xi didn't even wear a mask. But a Chinese crop scientist says the smog is approaching levels "somewhat similar to a nuclear winter" and warned that it could have devastating consequences for the nation's food supply, reports the Guardian.

    As an experiment, the scientist planted two batches of chili and tomato seeds, one in a lab under artificial light and the other in a suburban Beijing greenhouse. The lab seeds sprouted in 20 days, while the others took more than 60, and "they will be lucky to live at all," she says. Poor light, poor photosynthesis.

    Beijing is currently enduring a particularly bad stretch in which "the air is off-the-charts bad," writes Hannah Beech in Time; she lives in Beijing with her family and had to send her two young boys off to school in masks last week. She notes that public sentiment seems to be reaching a breaking point—a citizen in Shijiazhuang has filed what is believed to be the first suit against the government tied to the bad air.

    China's Smog Is 'Nuclear Winter' Bad - Crop scientist says the nation's food supply is at risk
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  2. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Send more high sulphur coal; petroleum, and big 8 cylinder gas guzzling prestige need to nuke'm, just encourage them to pollute themselves to death.
  3. natshare

    natshare Monkey+++

    You reap what you to speak! China wanted to grow quickly into an economic super power, and took the easy road. While 1st world countries recognize the problems of excessive crap in the atmosphere, we have China and India, the two most populous countries in the world (over 1 BILLION people, EACH!), who continue to burn coal and oil, and take no steps to control what's going out their smokestacks, and into the atmosphere.

    Thus, why people like me say, "Why should I bother going green, when there's 6 times as many people in China and India (as there are in the USA), pouring way more pollutants into the air, every day, than I would in a lifetime??"
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  4. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member


    A friend who is in China right now bringing up some routers and fiber links sent this picture with the caption "This is not fog"

    With the Asian brown cloud that can be seen from space and the Chinese goverment admitting large cancer pockets you wonder how long they can last.
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  5. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    London and Beijing: A Polluted Tale of Two Cities

    By Heidi Strebel and Jean-Pierre Lehmann, November 12, 2013
    Beijing, January 2013 on a day with "off index" air pollution. (Credit: Hung Chung Chih -

    The term “airpocalypse” has been widely and fittingly applied to Beijing. Images of barely visible skylines, masked citizens and uncannily quiet streets, where pollution levels surge beyond dangerous to “off index,” have shown the pervasiveness and virulence of the problem.

    In many respects, the tale of Beijing is a variation on industrialization themes that go back to the origins of the industrial revolution. A “green” industrial revolution has never occurred anywhere on Earth.

    Though comparisons can be tricky, Beijing is roughly to the 21st century what London was to the 19th — the capital of the world’s fastest rising industrial power of its time.

    But death by outdoor air pollution in the UK was not solely a plague of industrializing Victorian England or Charles Dickens’ London. Suffocating smog, or “peasoupers” as they were often called, gripped London and claimed lives until at least the 1950s.

    The Great Smog of 1952 is believed to have caused as many as 4,500 deaths in one week at its peak and around 12,000 in the following months. .... In 19th-century London, coal was the main source of smog. It was burned in large quantities to heat homes and other buildings. By the mid-20th century, other noxious emissions from industry and vehicles were added to the mix.

    Today, China consumes close to half the world’s coal, which is still the main source of energy for the country.

    In and around Beijing, a large population and high concentration of industry – combined with the hilly topography surrounding the city – push the levels up to and beyond “dangerous” at certain times of the year.

    At the turn of the 21st century, the World Bank estimated disease and death from air pollution in China represented annual losses of 2-3% of GDP.

    According to the more recent Global Burden of Disease 2010 report, published by a consortium that includes Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Tokyo and the World Health Organization, outdoor air pollution was a major contributor to around 1.2 million premature deaths in 2010 in China.

    While face masks may be affordable, quality air purifiers, which can cost up to $3,000 in Beijing, are too expensive for many people.

    Elite local and international schools are investing in new infrastructure to provide students with covered sporting facilities, including high-quality air purifying systems. For example, the International School of Beijing invested $5.7 million in large indoor sports facilities.

    The final defense against the smog is to leave. Just as wealthy Londoners escaped the choking peasoupers by going to their homes in the countryside, more and more wealthy Chinese and expatriates simply leave Beijing. People with low incomes, however, do not have that choice — they stay and choke.

    In 1858, a sitting in the House of Commons in London had to be canceled as MPs could not abide the stench of dying fish emanating from the River Thames. One hundred years later – fifty years ago – the River Thames itself that was declared biologically dead, no longer able to support any life.

    Due to notable efforts in recent decades, the Thames has come back to life. Today, it supports 125 fish species and 400 types of invertebrate. They in turn contribute to biodiversity by providing food for a wide variety of bird species.

    The tale of polluted London has been a very long one, spanning well over a century. Beijing cannot take that long; it would be a catastrophe for China and indeed for the whole planet.

    London and Beijing: A Polluted Tale of Two Cities - The Globalist
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  6. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    If the SMOG, doubled, or even Tripled, the Death Rate in China or India, it wouldn't come close to even leveling the Population Growth in those countries.... This is just easier for the .GOV to use, and LESS Expensive, than Bullets.....
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  7. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Welcome to capitalism there China !
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  8. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    The down side is the West coast of the U.S. is going to absorb some of that pollution.

    China Pollution Is Blanketing America's West Coast - Business Insider
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  9. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Agreed....pollution knows no boundaries when it obeys the laws of physics and the vagaries of meteorology. The best that can be done is to, inter alia, eliminate the sources of pollution, reduce the amount of polluting being done by using more efficient technology and lesser polluting materials, contain the pollution using safer and cleaner technology, and discouraging pollution by penalising those who pollute. Perhaps exporting some liberal, tree hugging, earth mothered environmental activists to help the Chinese, might just offset the pollution created by the capitalist managers for mammon, who have outsourced their production, and the pollution that it creates to places like China and India. Part of the attraction of sending production to China is not only the cheap labour costs, but that the expensive and wearisome environmental control regulatory requirements that must be complied with in the USA are less bothersome for manufacturing in China.

    It occurs to me, that in outsourcing production and it's consequential pollution to Asia by American and other first world corporations, there is a kind of perversely poetic justice in sharing the love that comes with that economic relationship back to the American West Coast, in the form of collateral pollution. It all seems so unfair.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
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  10. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    The hidden time bomb is the surface and ground water contamination.


    This is a pile of circuit boards next to a river where circuit boards were first treated with acid to remove metals (the acids flowing into the river) and burned openly. Massive amounts of dumping of imported computer waste takes place along the riverways. Guiyu, China. December 2001
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  11. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Agreed, we would be a 1,00 miles down the economic road if we had kept all them manufacturing jobs at home and refused to buy third world knock offs... but sadly that has not been the case and as you said Chelly, we are suffering the poetic justice of our choices....
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  12. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

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  13. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    March 1, 2014: A couple takes gas mask wedding photos in the smoggy weather of Beijing on Feb. 25. Decked out in their wedding finery, bride Zhang Xinyu & groom Bai Beibei posed for a series of photographs around Guomao Bridge. Cold weather finally caused the toxic blanket of smog to lift just days later.
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