Monday, July 30, 2007

Naturally Cleaning the Air

For the last few days it's been hot and humid here, which is unusual for Beijing, known for its hot dry summers.

But everyday it's been muggy and hazy. And yesterday was so hot that I thought it would surely rain last night.

However, the temperature cooled just enough to prevent any precipitation from forming.

A visiting friend thought she needed to get her eyes checked because she couldn't see clearly outside. "It's not you," I replied. "It's the pollution."

This morning China Radio International said the forecast was "foggy" with heavy rain in the afternoon.

While it might have looked foggy, the city was covered in a deep haze rather than mist.

And finally late this afternoon the sky grew dark and rumbling thunder and flashes of light flew across the sky signaling rain. And it rained hard for a few minutes.

It's evening and there's still intermittent lightning, thunder and rain.

I hope it continues all night so that tomorrow morning the sky will be so clear my friend will wonder if her eyes are too sharp.


ks said...

for years china either has neglected or ignorant about the issue of pollution. she is now reaping havoc and paying the price for it. but all is not lost. china is making every effort to restore the enviornment. last year when i travelled from xingang to beijing, for two hours on the highway i saw planters on railings of both sides while i workers watering the palnts, a scene we never see in the west. also green young tress are sprouting all over. it is hoped with intense restoration in the next decade or two the problem of pollution will be behind us.

Jason said...

You know what is sad? There is a HUGE dust cloud that moves over the pacific ocean and ends up on the west coast of the U.S. Up to 30% of the contaminants in California air can be directly linked back to China.

So long as China continues to grow, its demand for fossil fuels will too and polution will not go away regardless of how many trees they plant along the highway.

IheartNY said...

finally, china is getting smart. they're actually planting trees NORTH of Beijing, in Inner Mongolia, where the dust originates from. And it's not just pollution, all that sand represents soil erosion that leads to land that is later not harvestable...