China has a serious pollution problem. It’s been a recurring issue, and this week, perhaps the worst yet, smog has enveloped major cities across the country. Calls for a Chinese clean air policy have intensified. It doesn’t matter where you sit on environmental matters and/or climate change, in the same way that we can now generally conclude cigarette smoke is bad for lungs, so too can we conclude that intense pollution carries serious and potentially catastrophic consequences.
We’ve published our view on China. The country’s demographics will prove to be the great obstacle to superpower status. But if something drastic isn’t done, China’s tainted air may make the ill effects of the One Child Policy the least of the country’s worries.
The great smog debate has found a forum in the Reddit-verse, with users this week posting pollution masks after a week of alleged wear. This one from user Samsterdam claims to show the grime of one week’s wear in Shanghai, the country’s most populous city.
And another user, lostbutdriven, posts what the user describes as a photo of his father wearing his pollution mask in Beijing.
Inaction will jeopardize China’s longtime standing as the factory for the world. Which for the long term, may be a welcome or at least necessary turn of events.