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China Earth News

NASA Releases Orbital Photos of Beijing's Air Pollution 143

Posted by Soulskill
from the lungfuls-of-death dept.
skade88 writes "This story should remind us all that air pollution controls are not just about addressing global warming. They also help us have cleaner air and fewer health problems resulting from smog and haze. Starting earlier this month, Beijing, China started having worse than normal air pollution issues. On January 14, 2013 the U.S. embassy's air pollution sensors in Beijing found the density of the most dangerous small air particles, PM 2.5, at 291 micrograms per cubic meter of air. The World Health Organization's guidelines for air pollution state that PM 2.5 above 25 micrograms per cubic meter of air is dangerous to a person's health. To put the problem into perspective, NASA has released two orbital photos of Beijing showing before-and-during images of the air pollution. The photo from January 4 shows parts of Beijing still visible from space. The photo from January 14 shows nothing but a huge, thick cloud of haze with no buildings visible."
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NASA Releases Orbital Photos of Beijing's Air Pollution

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  • multi-sensory (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lazyFatCyclist (2779453) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @08:23PM (#42598383)
    on days like these, you can see it, smell it and... taste it.
  • by brkello (642429) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @08:24PM (#42598399)

    So you should tell us what bliss feels like.

    The EPA has actually made huge strides in the U.S. To the point that big cities which used to have smog constantly and you could see the air are now clear.

    There is always room to approve...but if you think we are anywhere near China...you aren't really paying attention.

  • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @08:34PM (#42598471)
    Perhaps Americans should consider improving their own woeful environmental standards before throwing stones at other countries, as good as it may make them feel.

    Aaaannndddd there it is.

    I propose a new 'law', similar to Godwin and others.

    Any discussion pointing out a countries problems will include, within the first 20 comments, a reference to how the USA is worse with regard to that particular problem.
    We could call it the 'Dumbfuck Law'.
  • by fafaforza (248976) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @08:49PM (#42598581)

    I also like how representatives of other countries point to the issues the US had decades ago, in regards to manufacturing standards, health, labor laws, etc. Sure, there were growing pains, but should you not learn from them? The US was after all at the forefront of industrialization. Should you not vaccinate people, but instead wait until your own scientists learn about invisible bacterial, or about penicillin, or about carbon emissions?

    That whole argument is very weak to me.

  • by beamin (23709) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @08:52PM (#42598615)

    US environmental conditions are much better, especially since we decided to offshore our toxic manufacturing needs to China.

  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:53PM (#42599823)

    You really need to learn about what exactly bankruptcy entails.

    Iceland went bankrupt a couple of years ago. The effects make a good case study.

  • ironic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by csumpi (2258986) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:56PM (#42599837)
    We send manufacturing over there because it's cheaper. A major reason why it's cheaper is the lack of regulations. No need for smoke filters, no worries about dumping waste in waters. Then we take pictures and post it on the internet. And we feel good about our yard and complain about theirs.
  • by saihung (19097) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @05:22AM (#42601207)

    That is exceedingly sloppy thinking. Pollution is a problem of combined effects from multiple sources. Your claim that the USA, or Europe, or Japan reducing their respective pollution outputs "won't make a difference" isn't just an overstatement, it is false. EVERY bit makes a difference. The same logic you just used justifies every kind of petty offense in the world.

    Collective problems require incremental solutions. Just because you cannot personally observe the effects of every increment doesn't mean it's irrelevant.

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