Blue-sky thinking may need new Olympian vision

Blue-sky thinking may need new Olympian vision

Summer of 2008 remembered fondly for victory over air pollution, report Wu Wencong, Cui Jia and Tang Yue.

It’s now four and a half years since Beijing hosted the Olympic Games, and the event is frequently recalled with affection.

But the nostalgia is not centered on the fine displays of athleticism or the exciting opening ceremony. Instead, the smog and haze that have enveloped the capital in recent weeks have left people hankering for the blue skies and clean air that accompanied China’s sojourn in the sporting spotlight.

Du Shaozhong, deputy head of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau in 2008, inevitably thinks of those days with great pride.

But he said the fresh air in 2008 was a special circumstance and the result of temporary anti-pollution measures, rather than something the city’s residents can expect all year round, at least for now. Read more on The China Daily  Wu Wencong, Cui Jia and Tang Yue, Thursay 24 January 2013)

China’s air pollution results from unchecked government: former official

Record-breaking ‘airpocalypse’ caused by unsupervised political power, says former senior environmental administrator Read more on The Guardian (Jonathan Kaiman in Beijing

China lets media report on air pollution crisis

The Chinese state news media on Monday published aggressive reports on what they described as the sickening and dangerous air pollution in Beijing and other parts of northern China, indicating that popular anger over air quality had reached a level where Communist Party propaganda officials felt that they had to allow the officially sanctioned press to address the growing concerns of ordinary citizens. Read more on The New York Times (Edward Wong in Beijing,  January 14, 2013)

China clean-air bid faces resistance

China’s government is facing stiff resistance from sprawling state-owned corporations and local interests in its bid to combat air pollution, in an early test for the nation’s new leaders following some of the worst air-quality days in recent memory. A consequence of decades of breakneck growth, China’s deep environmental problems are now seen as a potential obstacle to strong economic development, with concerns ranging from air pollution and water use to increasing consumption of fossil fuels.Read more on The Wall Street Journal  (Brian Spegele and Wayne Ma Bei in Beijing ,January 22, 2013)

Heavy fog envelops Nanchang, E China

Heavy fog envelops Nanchang, capital of east China’s Jiangxi Province, Jan. 14, 2013. Nanchang’s air has been heavily polluted for five days in a row, according to local meteorological authorities. (Xinhua/Zhou Mi). See the pictures

In pictures: Beijing pollution

Pictures from BBC News Asia, 13 January 2013. See the pictures

Video: Coal becomes the culprit as China’s cities choke

January 23, 2013 from LinkAsia via CCTV News
A cold winter has forced China to burn billions of tons of coal, joining vehicle exhaust as the major contributors to the catastrophic smog hitting cities. CCTV News speaks with Yang Fuqiang of the Natural Resources Defense Council, who says that in order to combat air pollution, China must move away from using coal.

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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