Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What Crony Polluters Have Done to China

In bed with government officials, crony polluters spew smog into the air and filth in the bottled water , resulting in this.

Christina Larson writes for Bloomberg:
As I prepare for an upcoming trip to Beijing, both expat and Chinese friends have been sending me suggestions of the best gas mask to buy. An item considered rare or unnecessary as of late 2012 is now highly recommended for outdoor commutes during Beijing’s smoggiest days. But which mask should I use?

One friend, who works for an environmental nonprofit in Beijing, advised: “I have a Sportsta mask made by Respro, a U.K. company, which has a replaceable filter, which you can replace every 2 to 3 months with regular use. However, size-wise, it’s not great for women, especially women who have smaller faces.” To function optimally, he added, “It should be a snug fit.” Ideally, I should locate a store in the U.S. that sells them, but as fallback, such high-end foreign-made gas masks are now selling briskly on Taobao.com, China’s leading e-retailer.

In addition to buying face masks, people in China who can afford them are also picking up indoor air filters. Most office workers spend 80 percent of their time indoors, but Beijing’s poorly insulated buildings can’t fully keep the smog outside. Meanwhile, in the wake of a recent scandal over China’s failure to properly regulate bottled water, I’ve also been advised to purchase equipment for filtering water at home or in hotel rooms.
Remarkably, after writing the above, Larson continues to buy into the myth of the government created infrastructure super-growth. She writes:
For all China’s success in building some kinds of modern infrastructure—airports and highways, for instance—a string of recent public-health lapses has given rise to a grim, do-it-yourself approach to pollution control and personal safety.

The "modern infrastructure" is  a myth. All of it is poorly constructed, government bureaucratic creations. And a good chunk of it is barely used.

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