The pollution in China is always a topic of conversation, be it their efforts to clean it up during the 2008 Summer Olympics or their general effects on global climate change (which don’t exist, please look elsewhere).
It’s how the smog is currently affecting day to day life within the country that is making headlines this time around, with thick fog blacking out government surveillance efforts while being blamed for serious health effects among citizens.
On the government side, several teams of scientists have been charged with finding a way to cut through the government defined “fog” in an effort to stabilize national security efforts. With police unable to use a top notch security system that watches every street and corner in major cities, Beijing officials fear that terrorists may take advantage.
See, it’s true — the farther you travel the more things stay the same.
According to the South China Morning Post, experts are saying the technology to cut through the fog has yet to be invented.
“Existing technology, such as infrared imaging, can help cameras see through fog or smoke at a certain level, but the smog on the mainland these days is a different story. The particles are so many and so solid, they block light almost as effectively as a brick wall.”
Options being tossed around include radar, electromagnetic waves and microwaves. However, being able to see what is going on under the dense cloud of poison enveloping the country might not be the biggest problem.
An eight-year-old girl became China’s youngest cancer patient and the pollution is being singled out as the main culprit.
Doctors are claiming that the girl had been exposed to deadly particles and harmful dust for a long period of time, noting that childhood cases of lung cancer are rare. The American Cancer Society notes that the average age at the time of diagnosis is 70.
The report of the eight-year-old girl’s diagnosis comes after choking smog enveloped the northeastern city of Harbin two weeks ago, bringing flights and ground transport to a standstill and forcing schools to shut for several days, with visibility in some areas reduced to less than 50 metres.
At the height of the smog, the city’s levels of PM2.5 — the smallest, most dangerous type of airborne particle — reached 1,000 micrograms per cubic metre, 40 times the World Health Organization’s recommended standard.
According to an AFP report, the number of lung cancer deaths has multiplied four times in the past 30 years. So just imagine sucking down four cases of Pall Mall cigarettes a day or spending one month in Detroit.
That’s China’s pollution problem in a nutshell. And what this mean for you, fine reader? Beach front property in Arizona? A chance to corner the olive market in Maine? I don’t know about you, but I’m going to go change all my light bulbs. Just doing my part.