Friday, December 21, 2007

Hazy, foggy days

It's been hazy, cloudy, dreary, foggy -- just plain blah -- for more than a week. It's almost hard to breathe. It's been foggy the past two days due to the warmer temperatures, according to local weather reports. Right now, it's probably a combination of fog and haze (a combination of dust and smog) in the air. It makes me miss the blue skies and relatively polution free air of the U.S.!

On a more serious note, the New York Times currently has an excellent, eye opening series called "Choking on Growth" - complete with video, interactive graphs, and more - on the pollution crisis in China. Before moving here, I was a taken a back to read that the air here has twice as many polluants that L.A. (I'm still able to run outside here, which is good. I think.)

The Shanghai haze seems like nothing compared to the toxic fumes millions of people take in daily throughout the country. With the emphaisis on economic growth, there's not telling if these dangerous practices will end anytime soon. A local environmental activist was jailed for calling attention to a deteriorating lake near his home (Part III of the series). It's upsetting and heartbreaking to read about people's working and living conditions here. Hopefully, news stories like this can help bring about some real change.

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