Not So Chic: A Post from Beijing

After battling the pollution during a day prancing around Gulou Dajie, I thought it may be wise to post two things today. One, the iPhone app that lets you track the pollution index in Beijing (Today’s reading? 189 or ‘Unhealthy’ and a big red bar reminding you of this) and two, some photos. While when I first stepped off the plane at the old Beijing airport in 1996 the air was redolent of burnt coal, now the scent is a noxious mixture of coal, gas, and other pollutants (as evidenced by the ‘carbon monoxide’ graph below).

Here’s that useful website for world travelers:

While I cannot claim, as an American, to have the lowest carbon footprint, the current economic growth and development in China is utterly unsustainable (and we, consumption-happy Americans, are equally to blame). As if you needed further evidence, check these photos below…

Just another gorgeous Beijing sunset...

A map of carbon dioxide pollution worldwide - RED is the highest concentration

Satellite photos of Eastern China

Here’s to hoping for the next economic/capitalistic boom: green/sustainable energy!


About Kaitlin Solimine

Kaitlin Solimine was raised in New Hampshire but has considered China a second home for the past two decades. She is the author of the award-winning forthcoming novel Empire of Glass and co-founder of Hippo Reads, a media start-up connecting academic insights with real world issues. She lives in Singapore.
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One Response to Not So Chic: A Post from Beijing

  1. Rebecca says:

    Wow, that’s awful. I’ve heard about the high-levels of pollution, particularly during the last Olypmics held there. But that photo of Bejing you have says it all. -Rebecca

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