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The World's 10 Dirtiest Cities 286

Posted by samzenpus
from the none-more-dirty dept.
neever writes "You may already know about the pollution plight of Linfen, China. But how about the heavy metals Pittsburghers breathe in on a daily basis? Or the incomparable smog Milanesi put up with? PopSci has culled an eye-opening selection of some of the world's most problematic cities. From the painfully high cancer rates in Sumgayit, Azerbaijan to the acid rain destroying La Oroya, Peru, writer Jason Daley walks readers through the lowest of the low; and explains why, despite it all, there's still hope for these places."
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The World's 10 Dirtiest Cities

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  • Bad air... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BWJones (18351) * on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @11:57PM (#23944977) Homepage Journal

    I don't know which cities are listed as the Popsci servers seem to be down, but a couple of weeks ago flying out of Los Angeles, the pollution seemed pretty bad as can be seen in this picture [utah.edu] of the afternoon sun over the San Gabriel Mountains.

    From some of my other travels throughout the world, I am guessing that L.A. is not even close to how dirty some cities can get particularly in Russia. If the air is worse than it is in L.A., then it should really, really make you worry.

    • Re:Bad air... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2008 @12:20AM (#23945117)

      I have a friend from China that was excited to be able to find the sun. First spotting in 10 years. I realize there are a lot of high buildings in China, so you wouldn't necessarily notice it unless you were looking, but that still surprised me quite a bit.

      It's come a long way, but you can smell the air, sometimes quite strongly.

      • by nospam007 (722110) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @06:52AM (#23946735)

        >It's come a long way, but you can smell the air, sometimes quite strongly.

        Don't trust air you can't see.

      • Re:Bad air... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by timeOday (582209) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @09:24AM (#23947921)

        I have a friend from China that was excited to be able to find the sun. First spotting in 10 years.
        Living in New Mexico, I find that mind-blowing. I am worried that, with all our concern about doing little things like switching to fluorescent lighting, there is little to no recognition of the root problem - human overpopulation. It's not just the pollution, I love wild natural places and they are all filling up with people and farmland. Our reliance on illegal immigration to support our economy shows that we are not ready to give up ponzi-scheme economics. Yet the Chinese, of all people, can hardly be criticized, since they're the ones taking draconian measures to level off. I don't want to get to that point. Disclaimer: I'm a hypocrite with 4 kids.
        • Re:Bad air... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by N3WBI3 (595976) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @11:22AM (#23949751) Homepage
          Human over population is *not* the root problem, wastefulness is! Europe is far more densely populated than the US yet it has cleaner air and water why? because they give a crap. We waste food, waste energy, waste water, etc. Thats the problem.. Give me 2 six-person households who are diligent about not wasting things and who dont need 1K sq ft each over *1* family with one kid, two SUV's a McMansion, and who have no cares about conservation..
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by instarx (615765)

            Not only did you not RTFA, you evidently did not even R the F summary. That's Milan as in Italy listed as one of the world's worst polluted cities. And you're telling me that the people of Azerbaijan are building too many McMansions!? The vast majority of pollution is caused by industry (and particularly by uncontrolled industry), not wasteful citizens. And anyway, I do not agree that the air and water in Europe is better than in the US. Italy and Greece have real problems with air pollution eating awa

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by gnick (1211984)

          I'm in New Mexico too and I love all of the wild areas we have here - National forests, etc. But you hit the nail on the head with overpopulation being the root problem of all of this mess. My question is what logic dictates that I get tax deductions (+$600 bonus this year) for having kids which consume more public funding than if I had none.

          I haven't read it (and can't even share a title - sorry), but I understand that there's a Heinlein book in which each child you have increases your tax obligation exp

      • Re:Bad air... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Kozz (7764) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @09:56AM (#23948375)

        I don't think it's so much about the high buildings as it is simply the air quality itself. I was in Shanghai less than a year ago, and while waiting for my flight to start boarding, I watched another take off. It seemed barely a mile away when it became completely obscured by the brown-yellow haze of smog.

        When I found myself in Minneapolis about 16 hours later, it was amazing and refreshing that I could watch that plane fly away until it was so small as to be unrecognizable.

        • by gnuman99 (746007) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @01:10PM (#23951413)

          And what do people complain about in these shit places? The environment? No! They complain about lack of money, about laws and other worthless shit.

          Back few months ago, Bombay,India wanted to mandate *some* regulations that would require those shitty rickshaws to stop using kerosine mix crap for fuel. Never passed because of lobbying from the rickshaw drivers. I guess they don't give a shit if they die at 30 from lung cancer, but they do care if they have to pay *anything* to make their own environment cleaner.

          This situation is the the everywhere. Kind of makes you think how shortsighted we think.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by lokedhs (672255)
            Tell me about it... I go to Bombay on a regular basis, and the one thing that really gets to me there is the bad air.

            The food you can get there is fantastic though. :-)

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Gorshkov (932507)

            I guess they don't give a shit if they die at 30 from lung cancer, but they do care if they have to pay *anything* to make their own environment cleaner.

            It's hard for most people to worry about what's going to happen to themselves when they're 30 when they're too busy working their butts off to try to feed the family supper that night.

            This situation is the the everywhere. Kind of makes you think how shortsighted we think.

            Farsight is a luxury only for those who are not fighting for survival on a daily basi

    • Re:Bad air... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Bandman (86149) <bandman AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday June 26, 2008 @12:24AM (#23945135) Homepage

      I was staying outside of LA in a high rise hotel a few years ago, and you could see the buildings of LA on the horizon, and they looked like they were covered by a slightly yellow dome of smog. It was very discernible, and seemed to have a solid line differentiating it from the clear air above.

      • Re:Bad air... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @12:41AM (#23945269) Homepage Journal
        "I was staying outside of LA in a high rise hotel a few years ago, and you could see the buildings of LA on the horizon, and they looked like they were covered by a slightly yellow dome of smog. It was very discernible, and seemed to have a solid line differentiating it from the clear air above."

        Hmm....speaking of LA.

        :-)

        I gotta figure that New Orleans, LA is in that list...Lordy, people here have no idea what a trash can is, they just throw shit in the streets. I guess a lot of it comes from getting used to having street sweepers follow behind you like after Mardi Gras parades...or the way the Quarter gets 'magically ' cleaned up every day.

        And, as far as pollution goes...well, that little strip from NOLA westward isn't called 'cancer alley' for nothing. Part of the price I guess of supplying about 1/3 of the energy (oil and gas) needs of the rest of the nation. But, hell....we may not live long, but, we live it up while we're here.

        :-)

        • by j01123 (1147715) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @01:48AM (#23945593)

          I gotta figure that New Orleans, LA is in that list...Lordy, people here have no idea what a trash can is, they just throw shit in the streets.
          No kidding. I was there a couple years ago and I swear it looked like a hurricane had been through there.
        • Re:Bad air... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by ShannaraFan (533326) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @08:16AM (#23947175)

          No offense, but New Orleans is disgusting. I was there 7 years ago, stayed at some fancy hotel in the French Quarter (don't remember the name, company paid for it). Everywhere you walk, your shoes make that sticky sound like velcro, every alley you walk past smells like piss. Honestly reminded me of some cheap bars from my college days. I don't want to know what was making the sidewalks sticky, I was just glad to leave there. Nasty, gross place.

          • Re:Bad air... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @08:54AM (#23947581) Homepage Journal
            "No offense, but New Orleans is disgusting. I was there 7 years ago, stayed at some fancy hotel in the French Quarter (don't remember the name, company paid for it). Everywhere you walk, your shoes make that sticky sound like velcro, every alley you walk past smells like piss. Honestly reminded me of some cheap bars from my college days. I don't want to know what was making the sidewalks sticky, I was just glad to leave there. Nasty, gross place."

            Yeah...I'll admit it used to get kinda bad. That has changed since the storm tho. They have hired a new company to manage garbage and cleaning the Quarter. They even have a special formula they spray on the streets and trash areas every morning....that is pretty nice smelling.

            I forget their name, but they really do do a good job now, and that smell of spilled drinks, puke, garbage is no longer there like it used to be at times in the past.

            Frankly I was amazed how nice it was down there last time I went down there.

      • Re:Bad air... (Score:5, Informative)

        by camperslo (704715) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @12:42AM (#23945275)

        I was staying outside of LA in a high rise hotel a few years ago, and you could see the buildings of LA on the horizon, and they looked like they were covered by a slightly yellow dome of smog. It was very discernible, and seemed to have a solid line differentiating it from the clear air above.

        The boundary you saw between the smog and clean air above is from an inversion layer [wikipedia.org]

        • That's interesting. Here in L.A., when there are strong winds, the smog disappears and you can see the mountains. It's really beautiful. A few days later the haze is as thick as it was before. I always wondered where the fog disappears to. So I guess it rises out of view when it's windy, and falls back into place later? That seems strange.
        • Re:Bad air... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Omestes (471991) <omestes@gmail.DEBIANcom minus distro> on Thursday June 26, 2008 @05:23AM (#23946441) Homepage Journal

          Phoenix gets this too in the winter. The cold air caps the warm (nasty) air underneath. But then again both Phoenix and LA are build in valleys. In winter nights here the sky turns a nice red color (the same color as northern "snow sky"), from all the light pollution bouncing off the smog layer. Though Phoenix has some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world, thanks to the brown cloud, and the huge amounts of desert dust in the air.

          LA, of course, is much worse. But then again, I try to avoid that place like the plague. It takes 8 hours just to pass through town.

          Dersert+Valley= an idiotic place to build a city, generally.

          From what I here from my friends who spend time in the megalopolis' of China, though, LA and Phoenix has NOTHING on them. Pictures of Beijing and Shanghai that I've seen, are absolutely VILE. Not only is it high-rises to the horizon, but the sky is this awesome color of brown that only LA can dream of. It is almost opaque.

        • Re:Bad air... (Score:5, Informative)

          by value_added (719364) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @05:38AM (#23946513)

          The boundary you saw between the smog and clean air above is from an inversion layer.

          No, it's called the West Side. That small sliver of land that runs along the coast of the Pacific Ocean where the rich, the famous, and the wanna be rich and famous live and enjoy cool ocean breezes and the California experience, while the rest of us grind out our existence in what's left, a semi-arid, hot, dirty and treeless environment where, during the days, cars swarm like locusts, but at night, disappear, leaving those endless miles of pavement open for the crack whores and gang kids to conduct their business or make that late night trip to their local 7-11. If it wasn't for the streetlights, twinkling like jewels in the night sky for everyone fortunate to live above us, you'd think no one lived here at all.

        • The boundary you saw between the smog and clean air above is from an inversion layer [wikipedia.org]

          One of the last times I flew into LAX, I recall my surprise as the plane hit a bump as we descended from the clear air into the brown air. It took me a moment to recall the temperature inversion and that the change in density probably caused the bump. Even in LA the air can't get so nasty it has lumps in it. Corrosive and toxic, yes, but lumps, no.

      • by Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @12:51AM (#23945323)

        >you could see the buildings of LA on the horizon

        So it was a clear day then?

      • LA has gotten better (Score:3, Informative)

        by SL Baur (19540)

        That's the low inversion layer and no matter how little smog there is in LA, it will always look worse.

        I lived in metro LA for almost two decades and the situation was improving over that whole period.

        Tokyo, Kobe and Beijing to name three cities I either lived in or visited since have far, far worse problems. Beijing is the most polluted city I've ever had the misfortune of visiting.

      • by Chrisq (894406)
        You see a lot from a distance. I live in the Pennine foothills, above the Leeds/Bradford conurbation [wikipedia.org]. In still weather you can see a brown/yellowish layer over the area. If you drive down into it you don't see anything, though there does seem to be a slight metallic smell.
    • You are correct. Specifically, the San Fernando Valley [wikipedia.org], which is the spawning ground of porn stars and valley girls. Your comment makes perfect sense because that would be the last part of L.A. that you see before you hit the San Gabriel Mountains.
    • Where is the pollution?

      The picture of the mountains and the "mist"?

      Ever lived near mountains? I sure do in Switzerland. That "mist" might just be mist or it might be pollution. But by looking at it from the sky you can't tell one way or the other...

      It's like when people see clouds from smoke stacks and say, "oh look how much they pollute..." It might just be steam.

    • by twistedcubic (577194) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @04:21AM (#23946221)
      Nice pictures! I also found this quote interesting:

      A lovely gin and tonic to start the flight off and the option to stretch ones legs out and work on the MacBook Air in-between looking out the window to take pictures makes every flight much more pleasant.

      Is this how people usually turn out when they buy a Mac? :)
    • Re:Bad air... (Score:4, Informative)

      by whackco (599646) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @12:31PM (#23950797) Journal
      I don't suspect you understand the atmospheric conditions surrounding Los Angeles.

      What you are seeing is what locals refer to as 'June Gloom' or 'Marine Layer' - what the rest of the world likes to refer to as common fog.

      As for the actual air quality - having lived here for the last 5 years, I can attest that it isn't bad - compared to when I visited in the 90's, or worse, 80's. If you look around the roads of LA you will notice that almost all vehicles are late model - due to the strick emission standards the state has placed.

      The only time I have ever seen actual 'smog' is driving into the core city, from the 101 freeway, on a day at about 105 degrees, stuck in massive traffic. Then you see a very slight 'cloud'
  • come on (Score:5, Funny)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@NoSPAm.gmail.com> on Thursday June 26, 2008 @12:00AM (#23945005) Homepage
    Air pollution is a liberal myth that is propagated simply to prevent the glorious libertarian utopia that results from the pure beauty of unrestricted capitalism.
    • Re:come on (Score:5, Funny)

      by LarsWestergren (9033) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @02:03AM (#23945639) Homepage Journal

      Yeah I know! Penn and Teller totally debunked the existence of air pollution on "Bullshit!". People are SO naive.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Won't someone think of the companies!? Won't someone PLEASE think of the companies!?! *sobs hysterically*

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by leoboiko (462141)

      I'm a libertarian capitalist. However, I think libertarianism breaks when it comes to protecting the environment. The way I see it, there are at least three reasons for it being so:

      1. Economics theory pressuposes rational agents. People often aren't rational; they do stuff that will get them into lots of trouble later, just to get some profits right now. They also do stupid shit like owning cars only because other people also do it ("status symbol").
      2. Further, the theory pressuposes abstract immortal age
  • Dirtiest (Score:5, Funny)

    by mqduck (232646) <mqduck AT mqduck DOT net> on Thursday June 26, 2008 @12:01AM (#23945009)

    While reading the title of this article, my interest peaked just before I realized that by "dirtiest", it was actually talking about dirt.

  • by Caboosian (1096069) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @12:04AM (#23945031)

    It may not be a city, but New Jersey deserves at least an honorable mention.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Take him to Detroit!

  • digg (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2008 @12:15AM (#23945081)

    /. seems to be turning into digg with all these 'worlds #' topics...

  • by Forvak (980121) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @12:17AM (#23945099)
    Ay! I've just signed myself up for four years of university in Pittsburgh. Anyone know a good method of limiting heavy metal exposure in such an environment.... Wait... Why would I want that?.. I'll be IRON MAN!
    • by snowraver1 (1052510) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @01:21AM (#23945487)
      Forbes rated it (Pittsburgh) in the top ten cleanest cities:

      http://www.forbes.com/2007/04/16/worlds-cleanest-cities-biz-logistics-cx_rm_0416cleanest_slide_16.html?thisSpeed=30000 [forbes.com]
      I hope this link works for you guys :/
    • by TimedArt (937097) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @01:46AM (#23945589)
      ---quote---
      Ay! I've just signed myself up for four years of university in Pittsburgh. Anyone know a good method of limiting heavy metal exposure in such an environment.... Wait... Why would I want that?.. I'll be IRON MAN!
      ---end quote---

      Pittsburgh is a very different city than many Americans picture. There's only a small part of the city that actually has the pollution levels cited in the study. Steel and coke works have given way to robotics and medical research. Disclosure: I am finishing a graduate degree at Pitt right now. I may be biased, but I do hope a new study is done that covers the city as a whole.
    • At Pitt... (Score:3, Funny)

      by maz2331 (1104901)

      Your greatest heavy metal risk is an object around 100 - 250 grains moving at roughly Mach 1.1.

      To avoid exposure, Kevlar is reccomended. To avoid repeat exposure, first puchase a return mechanism, minimum size 9mm, but preferentially .45" in diameter. Second, obtain permission from the Allegheny County Sheriff to posesss such mechanism in any place desired. Third, have such mechanism available.

      Seriously - Pitt is in the middle of Oakland, and right next to "Da Hood" (The Hill District). Lived there, been

  • by shanen (462549) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @12:24AM (#23945137) Homepage Journal

    Server is already /.ed?

    Anyway, I live in one of the minor million-plus cities of Japan near Tokyo, and I just want to note that you can have a high-tech, high-quality lifestyle without destroying your environment. Whenever I hear a story like this, I think about running into quail the morning, almost literally. They are sometimes foraging within a few feet of the gate, and they figure people are basically harmless to about 3 meters. There's a little river two stations up, and it's heavily populated with half-meter carp. I walked about half a kilometer along it the other day, and there were almost always fish visible, and sometimes scores of fish. It's a matter of priorities, I think--but I was annoyed a couple of years ago when they cut down a pretty large bamboo grove and built a bunch of houses there...

    Not sure of all of the reasons, but I feel like good mass transit is a big chunk of it. Heavy recycling probably helps, though they recently increased the garbage collection taxes quite a bit.

    • by servognome (738846) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @12:52AM (#23945325)

      Anyway, I live in one of the minor million-plus cities of Japan near Tokyo, and I just want to note that you can have a high-tech, high-quality lifestyle without destroying your environment.
      The thing is the worst places typically aren't high-tech, high-quality life. They are industrial enough to attract large population concentrations, but not developed enough to have resources for mass transit, sanitation, and other health improvements.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by LM741N (258038)

      Carp are normally vegetarian but seem to also congregate around sewage discharge into streams and rivers. So they are not necessarily a sign of a healthy environment. But I think in Japan they are popular fish, while in the US they are considered foreign invasive species. In PA you could legally shoot them with a bow and arrow.

    • by ross.w (87751)
      Carp are no evidence of anything. I've seen them living in pretty poor water that most other fish can't tolerate.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by OutLawSuit (1107987)
      Geography also plays a large role. If a city is surrounded by mountains like Los Angeles or Mexico City, there's no way for the smog to escape.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jrumney (197329)
      Japan was the first country to hit dangerous levels of air pollution in the 1960's, and has had to find ways to deal with it without sacrificing industrial output. Other countries with cities in the list are still at the point where they have not yet accepted that they have a major problem, and should be looking at what countries like Japan and some European countries have done since the 1980s to clean things up. That said, flying into Kansai International Airport a couple of years back, the smog over the O
  • Guess they weren't used to actually being popular...
  • Sepultura FTW! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Siener (139990) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @01:05AM (#23945409) Homepage

    Actually they only get second place on this list (Cubatao, Brazil).

    From the lyrics of their 1993 song Biotech is Godzilla:

    Like Cubatao
    "World's most polluted town"
    Air-melts your face
    Deformed children all around
  • The list please (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ranger (1783)
    Just give me the damn list. I don't want to click through every goddamn picture so I can watch your stupid ads. If you think I'm being insensitive, then why do the people who present the info put a different name and picture on separate web pages so you can see a new ad every time you click on a link.

    And the other thing, since most of the slashdotters are in North America unless they live in or near a hazardous city, they don't give a rat's ass. There are plenty of dirty communities here and they are disp
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Milan, Italy
      Norilsk, Russia
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
      Mexico City, Mexico
      Dakar, Senegal
      Sumgayit, Azerbaijan
      Linfen, China
      La Oroya, Peru
      Cubatao Valley, Brazil
      Kabwe, Zambia

  • Pollution (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pipingguy (566974) *
    And this is why we must reduce CO2 emissions, like, RIGHT NOW, before it destroys the planet. Man-made CO2 pollution is the worst evil threat the planet has ever faced and the only way to deal with it is to Kyoto so that polluters can buy credits and send money (somewhere) in order to continue to pollute. The fact that the two largest emerging world economies on the planet are exempt/opted-out from Kyoto is irrelevant. Quick, before the bubble bursts and we all die!
    • by p0tat03 (985078)

      Actually... if you read the list, CO2 by itself is not the *biggest* immediate problem we have. Sure, it contributes to global warming, but the huge health problems present in all of the listed cities are caused by *particulates* in the air, like heavy metals, soot, etc etc. These are far more dangerous to the immediate health of the people than CO2. The upside is that the two are somewhat linked.

    • So a non-sequitur post filled with strawman arguments is gut-bustingly funny these days? I must have missed the announcement.

      So, are you dismissing environmental threats altogether, or are you trying to say that global warming distracts us from real environmental issues such as the ones depicted in the article, or what are you driving at?

  • by llirik (1074623) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @02:53AM (#23945835)
    It would be nice to find a list of all major cities ranked by their pollution level. I would be curious to see NYC vs London vs Paris vs Tokyo vs Beijing.
    • I haven't been able to find an international index of air quality (I don't have my statistic search engines bookmarked at work, sorry), but AirNow [airnow.gov] has a list of individual international indices.

      I'm not even sure there is an single international index, due to the different standards and technological possibilities. Okay, if we're just talking fine particulates, ozone, CO2, NOX, and SOX (no, not Sarbanes-Oxley) in major western cities, then you could find something. But I wouldn't place any money on the monit

    • by lantastik (877247)

      I have been to all of those cities and of those listed from best to worst (not necessarily air quality, just my overall impression of cleanliness), IMHO:
      Tokyo
      Paris
      London
      Beijing (I didn't get out much while I was here)
      NYC (I don't think my impression of NYC would have been as bad if there wasn't a sanitation worker strike when I was there last, it was nothing short of disgusting)

      Singapore is still tops, you can eat off of the sidewalks there. Sydney is also a very nice city which is seemingly very clean.

    • by permaculture (567540) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @06:42AM (#23946707) Homepage Journal

      Not a comprehensive list, but it does include some of the cities you mentioned.

      http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/12/15/news/pollute.php [iht.com]

      "The dirtiest of the major cities, ranked by micrograms of particles of pollution dust per cubic meter, was Beijing, at 142. By comparison, Paris averages around 22 micrograms, London 24 and New York 27. The WHO guideline is 20."

  • by sith (15384) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @03:42AM (#23946033)

    The first time I visited Beijing, I was frankly shocked that life can exist in this environment. I'm in Beijing again right now, and have just gotten used to the idea that you need to budget some time each morning to hack up gunk from your lungs. I'm less than 1 kilometer from the forbidden city at the moment, but can't see it. I know it's there, because a rainstorm earlier this week cleared the air enough to see that far.

    Great city once you get past the air though...

  • by jaaron (551839) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @03:45AM (#23946057) Homepage
    Check out Guangzhou [flickr.com], China. I've been there several times and never seen a clear day there. Though I hear Xian is worse.
  • by istartedi (132515) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @03:58AM (#23946111) Journal

    Recent fires in California have turned the Sun that subtle orange color, and left the air with a noticeable stench of smoke. On a local Bay Area network TV station, they interviewed a woman who had just flown back from China. She said that these conditions were ALMOST as bad. Almost??? That blew my mind. Imagine living with smoke worse than this ALL YEAR LONG.

  • I lived just outside of Manila in Quezon City for a couple of years and every night, the inside of my nose would be coated in black pollution. Forget about wearing white clothes. They turn gray when you mix the horrendous amount of pollution with the large amount of sweating you will be doing in the heat.

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @07:54AM (#23946983) Journal
    these will all be chinese/tibetan cities. Sadly, China has no real pollution controls on anything. They have a trillion US$, but do not want to purchase any of our's or EU's controls for their coal plants. Likewise, from the pix, their mining techniques are far worse than has been deployed. Their tailings are leaving a lot of waste to run into their streams. The sad thing is that they can see what other nations did, and have the ability to buy better equipment and processes, but insist instead that they be given the tech.
  • Some additional info (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tweenk (1274968) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @08:01AM (#23947017)

    1. In Norilsk the soil around the city is so polluted that it's economically feasible to mine it for nickel.
    2. There is an alternative list with more information and better research from the Blacksmith Institute: The World's Worst Polluted Places [blacksmithinstitute.org]. (However, it contains Europe's biggest de facto nature reserve as one of the most polluted places in the world (Chernobyl exclusion zone))

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday June 26, 2008 @09:59AM (#23948421)
    And I had already promised the wife and kids that we could go to Norilsk this year. Damn!

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