Archive for January 12th, 2012


Air in Beijing, China, Simply Takes One’s Breath Away

posted by Sarah N Worthy IATTWJ Member @ 11:35 AM
January 12, 2012

 News out of Australia, the United States and China report on the horrible smog now choking 19 million people in Beijing, China.  Technicians working in the U.S. Embassy there report yesterday that smog measurements were so high, “it was off the scale.”  The bad air caused 155 flights to be delayed or cancelled.

 Moreover, reports add that concentrations of Beijing’s air had small, very dangerous particles that could not be inhaled.  Such smog goes far beyond U.S. index measurements.  But, claiming that clouded air comes from fog, not smog, the Beijing Environmental Bureau insists that its air quality is “good.”

 The telegraph.com.au in Sydney, Australia, adds that Beijing’s sky is “often a murky color, something between grey and brown.”  This is becoming normal in this capital city that is crammed with cars and a huge growing population, where most citizens express anger as they choke on the city’s pollution.
 
 One person showed this outrage on an anonymous twitter-like site:  “It’s a consequence of a government only paying attention to short-term benefits, and the people are the innocent victims.”  Also, in response to the smog, over 20,000 Beijing residents have purchased respiratory masks on line.

 Driving visibility is horrible, if not impossible, at certain times.  Particles blocking breathing––including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and larger substances––pose great health risk, as they can get into the lungs and blood stream.

 Environmental organizations around the world cite Beijing’s huge energy consumption––fueled by industrial coal burnings and five million cars––as causing one of the world’s most polluted areas.  Even the state-run media in Beijing admits that in 2010 the city burned some 27 million tons of coal.

 Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald reports Beijing’s air to be twice the level considered “hazardous”:  “Tuesday’s reading on its air quality index, which rates anything over 150 as unhealthy, over 200 as very unhealthy and over 300 as hazardous, breached the upper limit of 500, at which it stops giving figures.”

 One can only think of the current political climate in the United States, where we thought we had won hard-fought battles for clean, relatively unpolluted air.  Yet some politicians talk about closing the Environmental Protection Agency, and lifting restrictions on the rights of industries to fill the air with such pollutants as they see fit.  Hopefully, what is happening in Beijing presents a valuable lesson to Americans who still want to breathe clean air.

 One also thinks of Bible prophecies when Israel, enslaved in Babylon, complained:  “The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of The LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under His shadow we shall live among the heathen” (Lamentations 4: 20).  It is indeed difficult to breathe in heathen lands.

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