17 January 2013

Chinese Air Pollution Pegs-the-Needle as Suffocating Citizens Left Gasping for Air

Measurement 'literally beyond index'

Despite glowing words of praise from admirers in the neo-commie Obama Administration, by any measure -social security, health care, unemployment benefits, whatever- the booming China of today hasn't got much to do with socialism.

Indeed, government handouts are far more prevalent in the US, and modern Chinese 'communist' leadership -who run a tight ship and enjoy a budget surplus- have
come right out and said that American entitlement culture (with Obama as it's primary cheerleader) is precisely what's destroying us.

So tell me who's the capitalists now: the Chinese may live under an oppressive dictatorship, but they learned not to restrain or hinder the economic driver that is free market capitalism. It's often a corrupt, crony capitalism there -rivaling even the kleptocratic Obama regime(!)- but unlike in the US today, Beijing appears to be making sure the job-creators are creating as many of them as possible.

What hasn't changed from the days of Mao is the DICTATORSHIP part, which goes-hand-in-hand with a complete and utter disdain for the value of human life. This chilling calculation effects many decisions throughout the country, and can be seen in China's 2000+ mining deaths per year
-as compared to 21 in the US- or the reckless growth of Chinese cities largely still heated and powered by low-grade 
coal (they produce/consume half the world's output). Now packed with immigrants drawn to urban employment, China's roads and freeways are bumper-to-bumper with new drivers in cars, alongside oil-buring two-stroke motorcycles- and it's really getting out of control.

The Soviets trashed the environment obscenely in a desperate, failed 40-year effort to keep up with the west economically, so add the same communist we-do-as-we-please attitude to China's massive population and powerful economic momentum and you have a place -like Beijing- where there's simply no air to breathe anymore, period:
Doug Ross:

NASA's Earth Observatory this week released startling before-and-after photos of northeastern China, where residents in Beijing and other cities have been suffering from suffocating levels of smog and air pollution. 

The satellite images, embedded below, were taken from the same position in space, 11 days apart; the top photo was captured on January 14th, the bottom on January 3rd.
Perhaps most terrifying, though, is the fact that NASA's images weren't even taken at the height of China's smog crisis.

When the January 14th photo was captured, Beijing's air quality index (AQI) stood at 341 — well above the 300 AQI threshold at which air is considered to be hazardous to all humans, but far below the city's high point. Conditions reached a nadir, in fact, on January 12th, when the AQI in Beijing reached a staggering 775.

According to independent air quality monitors at the US Embassy, PM2.5 particle pollution readings in Beijing over the weekend were literally "beyond index."

Alas, shares in a major Chinese breathing mask manufacturer have been soaring on the Beijing exchange- while as typical in any dictatorship, it's the common man who's paying the (heavy) price. But the Beijing government refused to release pollution figures until just recently, as they were loathe to admit they even had a problem (another bad, old communist habit, doncha know):

  • With visibility down to 100 yards, Beijing officials recently ordered factories closed and all government cars (most of the big ones) off the road.
  • The WHO considers an acceptable level of airborne particulates to be 25 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3). Last weekend, readings in Beijing reached 993 μg/m3. 
  • The head of cardiology at Peking University People’s Hospital said "The number of people coming into our emergency room suffering heart attacks has roughly doubled since Friday."
  • 16 out of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in the Peoples Republic of China
  • Solution? China this week asked foreign embassies there to 'stop reporting on the pollution problem'

But WE AMERICANS need to punish job-creators with cap-n-trade nonsense, drive cars named 'Volt' or 'Leaf', and
install poisonous curly-cue lightbulbs at $50 a pop...? 

Just so China can cut every corner imaginable and run economic circles around us?