Tuesday, December 10, 2013

just another day in paradise...

In case you haven't heard, we've been having a bit of a smog issue here in Shanghai. In fact, it's been a record-breaking week!

As of Friday, we were off the pollution measuring scale. As a frame of reference, typically, most US cities are in the 10-20 range on the PM2.5 scale. see below "Beyond index" Great!

*super smart ad placecment. air filters on your air quality app.

To bring it a little closer to home. Here's our view, pre-smog.



Here's our smoggy view

I wasn't exactly going to comment on the smog, but then the China news channel released a report outlining the "5 Surprising Benefits of Smog." The Shanghaiist & TeaLeafNation have translated it to English and provided their own commentary for your reading pleasure. Below:

  1. It unifies Chinese people. Complaining about smog has brought Chinese citizens together. The haze “is everywhere,” the article continues, from “every big city” to “small cities, towns, and villages.”
  2. It makes China more equal. Never mind that wealth inequality remains deep and pervasive in China; everyone has to breathe the same filthy air, right? “Of course,” the article admits, the rich can retreat to their luxury cars or use other means to avoid the worst pollution. “But that is after all a minority,” and even they “have a hard time” avoiding the smog completely.
  3. It raises citizen awareness. Here it gets a bit earnest. The article insists that “with the whole world playing up the Chinese miracle,” the pollution “reminds us that China’s status as ‘the world’s factory’ is not without a price.”
  4. Chinese people are funnier when they are contending with deadly smog. The article lists a number of popular smog-related wisecracks. The best example from a meager crop: “We’re never farther away than when we hold hands on the street — and I can’t see you.”
  5. The haze makes Chinese people more knowledgeable. The article concludes that “through the arguments and the jokes” surrounding China’s pollution, “our knowledge of meteorology, geography, physics, chemistry, and history has progressed.” Also, students of English have added terms like “haze” and “smog” to their lexicon. [...]

 Even with all these benefits. We're keeping our masks on!

Don't worry, yesterday we were already back down to only a hazardous 351...

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