The air quality in China is getting so poor that citizens can be seen outside walking around wearing surgical masks to prevent them from having to breathe the poisonous air. The city of Beijing, along with several other major cities in China, is covered by a dense layer of fog. A fog so thick there is no sunlight on most days and the tops of buildings become invisible. The fog reached a peak level two weeks ago and caused the government to order all cars be taken off the roads. The fog has also been responsible for countless numbers of children being sent to the hospital and the cancellation of many flights in and out of China. One environmentalist took it upon himself to go out and hand out canisters filled with non-carcinogenic smog free air for people to breathe in. The idea may seem a little on the eccentric side to some of us, but air quality in China has deteriorated to such a point that even the most eccentric ideas start to make sense.
January was by far the worst month so far for the air quality in China, the smog was so dense that it could be seen from space and living in Beijing last month was described as being similar to living in a smoking lounge. Its even become a normal practice in Beijing to send your kids to school wearing gas masks. A normal air quality rating anywhere from 0-50 is considered “healthy” air to be breathing, Beijing’s rating in January was 500 and even got as high as 700.
A Clean Air initiative needs to be put in place in China as soon as possible. The conditions are worsening each month and soon the damage could be irreversible. China is not the first city to have modern technologies take over and pollute the environment. London and Los Angeles are both historically known to have once had poor air quality but took the necessary steps to cleaning up the air. A process like this takes time, and the air will not go back to normal over night. China needs to have restrictions put in place and clean up their air for their people and for the Earth.
If China cannot act responisbliy enough on their own and do whats best for their country and for the planet, a bigger power like possibly the UN needs to step in and take control. The citizens of china are starting to speak up and tell the governemnt that they are tired of breathing toxic, smog filled, stinky air. Let’s just hope that for the sake of the planet, and for the lives of the Chinese citizens that the Chinese government takes charge on this issue immediately.