Smog Problems in China

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Mar 1, 2015 03:40
Today, Chai Jing made a public speech about the serious smog problem in China. The video clip was widely forwarded and commented online by millions of people. Smog has, once again, become the focus of the public attention. Madame Chai had a baby last year. When she was conceiving the baby, the fetus was diagnosed with a tumor, which might be caused by severe pollutions. After that, she paid more attention to environmental problems, resigned as a reporter from CCTV, and started her non-profit career to raise the public awareness of environmental protection.

In many big Chinese cities (especially in northern China), buildings hide in smog in most days of the year. Pedestrians mask their mouths trying to keep out the fetid vapors. Children choke in their classrooms and dare not go out to have fun in the playground. An increasing number of white-collars start to download applications on their smartphones to keep track of air quality -- quite an “airpocalypse” scene.

Among many pollutions, the atmospheric one seems to be the most perceivable -- people have to breathe every day. Ironically, this is the last one widely known because people had assumed it was simply a fog until several years ago, Mr. Gary Locke, the former US ambassador to China, insisted that the embassy report the PM2.5 index to the public .

Various kinds of pollutions have become ubiquitous in China, in the wake of the country’s rapid economic growth over the past 30 years. The government tends to gush over its economic achievements, but disregarding the ensuing monstrous pollutions that have imposed bad impacts on people’s health. The bureaucrats encourage local officials to favor output over cleaner water or purer air. They sometimes even try to cover up the facts; for example, they hadn’t intended to report on smog pollutions before it was widely known.

The vast majority of people feel pessimistic about the future of environmental protection in China. It has been reported that the life expectancy of citizens in some parts of the nation has been reduced by about 5 years due to the airborne pollutions, so a multitude of radical netizens scorned that the government was perhaps scheming to decimate the aging population whom it will probably not afford to pension in the foreseeable future.

Although I am not that cynical, I am also sort of pessimistic that, in the long run, fireflies and butterflies would only flutter in my lingering childhood memories.

Chai’s speech at: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XOTAxMzQ1NzY0.html?ev=1&from=y1.1-2.10001-0.1-1
It is like a TED speech, very wonderful. Although she speaks a little bit fast, her language is really refined.
今天,柴静一个关于中国雾霾天气的演讲开始在网上流行起来,数以百万计的网友转发和点评这个演讲的视频。雾霾再一次成为公众焦点问题。柴静去年生了一个女孩。在她怀着个女孩的时候,胎儿被诊断有一个肿瘤,有可能是环境污染所致。此后,她开始关心环境问题,辞去了央视的主持人职务,开始组织她的非盈利机构,来提高社会的环保意识。

在中国的很多大城市,尤其是北方城市,一年大多数日子里,建筑物总是看不清的,行人们带着口罩想挡住难闻的气体,孩子们在教室内呛着气,不敢出门去操场上玩耍。越来越多的年轻人在手机上下载软件来获得空气质量信息。整个世界呈现出一幅世界末日的景象。

在众多的污染中,空气污染貌似是最容易感受到的,因为人们每天都要呼吸。但具有讽刺意味的是,这是最后被公众所知的。在前美国驻华大使骆家辉坚持让大使馆播报PM2.5空气污染指数之前,人们还以为是雾。

紧跟着过去30年快速经济发展的,是各种各样的污染。政府总是津津乐道于经济成就,而对随之而来的环境污染问题视而不见。政府部门对经济产出的重视大于环境。他们有时候甚至还会遮遮掩掩,比如,他们之前根本不打算向社会公布雾霾问题。

绝大多数人对中国环境保护的未来保持有消极态度。据报道,中国部分地区的人均寿命因为空气污染缩短了5年,所以相当多的偏激网民嘲笑政府,说政府也许在设法消灭一部分老年人口,因为以后养老金不够了,可能养不起这么多人了。

我虽然没有那么偏激,但也有点悲观,估计萤火虫和蝴蝶只存在于儿时记忆里了。