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China Smog: Millions Start New Year Shrouded By Health Alerts and Travel Chaos (theguardian.com) 77

Millions in China rang in the New Year shrouded in a thick blanket of toxic smog, causing road closures and flight cancellations as 24 cities issued alerts that will last through much of the week. From a report on The Guardian: On the first day of 2017 in Beijing, concentrations of tiny particles that penetrate deep into the lungs climbed as high as 24 times levels recommended by the World Health Organization. More than 100 flights were cancelled and all intercity buses were halted at the capital's airport. In the neighbouring port city of Tianjin, more than 300 flights were cancelled while the weather forecast warned thick smog will persist until 5 January. All of the city's highways were also shut as low visibility made driving hazardous, effectively trapping residents.
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China Smog: Millions Start New Year Shrouded By Health Alerts and Travel Chaos

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  • it's actually worse.
    • They didn't admit it. If you follow the links in TFA, you can see that the pollution figures come from measurements taken at the US Embassy in Beijing.

    • Presumably the embassy is located in a nicer area of town, a little greener, a little less crowded, a little further from the worst air pollution sources.

      Any Sinophiles here to comment on our Peking real estate?
  • hey editors??!?!!! (Score:2, Informative)

    by ganjadude ( 952775 )
    learn to proofread!!!!

    more than 300 flights were cancelled while the weather forecast warned thick smog will persist until 5 January. All of the city's highways were also shut as low visibility made driving hazardous, effectively trapping residents. In the neighbouring port city of Tianjin, more than 300 flights were cancelled while the weather forecast warned thick smog will persist until 5 January. All of the city's highways were also shut as low visibility made driving hazardous, effectively trapping residents.

    im getting way to drunk playing the slashdot summary fuck up drinking game

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 02, 2017 @06:19PM (#53594219)

    Coal-fired.

    • by Kludge ( 13653 ) on Monday January 02, 2017 @06:56PM (#53594377)

      That nasty EPA has us all breathing clean air. Bastards! We could be more like China. Bring back the smog and acid rain!

    • Coal-fired.

      On a per-capita basis, America burns more coal than China.

      America gets about 39% of its electricity from coal, while China gets about 75% from coal. But Americans use more than twice as much electricity per-capita.

      • by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Monday January 02, 2017 @08:58PM (#53594853)

        Irrelevant, the planet doesn't care about per-capita. China produces 3.5 times the carbon emissions of the USA. That's the only stat that matters.

        • China produces 3.5 times the carbon emissions of the USA. That's the only stat that matters.

          No, that stat doesn't matter at all. Political boundaries don't matter to CO2. If China split up so that each province was independent, would you consider carbon emissions "solved" because each is emitting less that the previous union?

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by hambone142 ( 2551854 )

          Tell me.

          What causes China to produce so much pollution?

          Answer: The U.S. desire for cheap labor.

          If we bring those jobs back to the U.S., the products will be produced with less pollution (and higher cost) because the U.S. has more-stringent pollution standards.

          • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

            What causes China to produce so much pollution?

            Answer: The U.S. desire for cheap labor.

            WRONG - It takes a supply and demand to make a market. China's willingness to supply cheap labor and low cost manufacturing by dispensing with many pollution controls we would require here in the US, is as much what causes China to produce so much pollution as our demand for products.

            The Chinese, at least the illegitimate PRC (the ROC is the legitimate government of China IMHO) isn't stupid. They know exactly what they are doing and the consequences of their actions.

    • not possible, only 16% of our energy comes from coal and the number can't be lifted much in the a two term presidency

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Is that what the voters in West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Ohio thought?

        • thinking and reality are often two different things

          "clean coal" can't compete with natural gas. There are some useful things that could be done with coal that are cleaner than petroleum but gas beats those too

  • Sounds like a really great market [bloomberg.com] for vehicles that don't have internal combustion engines, unless the electricity is generated by burning coal. [greenpeace.org]
  • Compared to 2001... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jbwolfe ( 241413 ) on Monday January 02, 2017 @06:39PM (#53594311) Homepage
    when I first flew regularly to Beijing, the pollution seems to be of a different nature, but worse. Back then most were heating their homes with bricks of coal. After a day out in town, I would come back to my hotel and blow my nose. The tissue was filled with coal soot! Now the particulates are finer (more hazardous?) and no soot in snot. I feel the effects more sharply now though, but maybe that's just my age...
  • No EPA (Score:5, Funny)

    by Macdude ( 23507 ) on Monday January 02, 2017 @06:40PM (#53594313)

    It's a good thing China doesn't have an EPA, think of how much worse the situation would be in there was a government agency meddling in the lives of the Chinese people.

    [/political sarcasm]

    • Re:No EPA (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Monday January 02, 2017 @08:05PM (#53594645)

      It's a good thing China doesn't have an EPA...

      Except they do! it's called the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People's Republic of China (MEP) [wikipedia.org] and the concerns of the environment come second the economic concerns. A steel plant may be in blatant violation of environmental law but shutting it down until it's in compliance with the law or even slowing down it's output to make the proper repairs/changes is considered to be unacceptable. China actually has decent environmental protections but the problem is that they are not enforced because the Chinese government is being run like a business. In short, China is cranking capitalism up to 11.

      • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

        . China actually has decent environmental protections but the problem is that they are not enforced

        protections that are not enforced are NOT PROTECTIONS. They are laws designed to make people the government does not like, for example someone running a competitor to a state owned business subject to enforcement while the state run operation is not. Its about picking winners and losers and more generally cronyism, not environmentalism.

        Poorly/Selectively/Arbitrarily enforced laws are the worst kinds of laws. They are among the greatest threats to liberty, democracy, and fairness, granted that isn't much

  • are long term. The air pollution coupled with the cigarette smoking will mean that many middle aged and senior Chinese will not have a healthy long life.

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