Friday, August 23, 2013

More Pollution in Shenzhen and Hong Kong

After first arriving in Shanghai several weeks ago, I noticed that the pollution levels were often worse than Beijing. But towards the end of my stay, there were several days with excellent air quality.

When I arrived in Shenzhen in southern China a few days ago, I doubted the thick haze I saw was simply fog and knew my brief respite from China's air pollution was over. Today I read about neighboring Hong Kong's especially bad recent pollution (via Michael Standaert):
Hong Kong’s air pollution index reached “very high” levels today as a tropical storm that passed through Taiwan trapped pollutants and blanketed the city in haze, triggering a government health warning ...

“Because of the typhoon, we don’t have any wind, the air now is like static, pollutants accumulate and they can’t get out,” Kwong Sum-yin, chief executive officer at Clean Air Network, a non-profit advocacy group, said by phone today. “Central is pretty bad, exactly because we have so many skyscrapers.”

The former British colony, which will raise its air quality standards, has never met its targets since they were adopted 26 years ago, according to a government audit in November. Hong Kong relies on the wind to help sweep away choking emissions from Chinese factories and vehicles.
In other words, things aren't as good when the wind doesn't send your problems elsewhere.

I will soon write again about pollution in China, so I will refrain from commenting further. For now, I will simply recommend checking out a NetEase slide show of photos by Alex Hofford. They are of mainland Chinese tourists taking photographs in Hong Kong and speak for themselves. See them here (via Shanghaiist and Beijing Cream).

No comments:

Post a Comment