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  1. #1
    Over 9000! Snowraven's Avatar
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    Beijing's pollution, seen from space

    pictures in article
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/...d-after-photos

    "NPR's Louisa Lim reported from Beijing that the smog "has affected more than 30 cities in China, leading even the official mouthpiece, the People's Daily, to ask plaintively: 'How can we get out of this suffocating siege of pollution?' " As Louisa added:

    "China is choking on its own breakneck development, with thousands of new cars taking to the road every day. This year, the pollution has been exacerbated by weather patterns, combined with an unusually cold spell."

    " 'In the winter, we have to burn more coal to get heating,' says Zhou Rong of Greenpeace. She says around 50 percent of Beijing's air pollution is historically due to coal-fired power stations. 'Another reason is the weather pattern makes the whole atmosphere very, very stable, and so all the air pollution accumulates down to the ground, so we are getting higher and higher air pollution.' "

    But what does it look like from space?

    NASA's Earth Observatory released a pair of satellite images today that show Beijing and the surrounding areas on Monday and 11 days earlier, on Jan. 3.

    NASA explains what seen on Monday's image:

    "The brightest areas tend to be clouds or fog, which have a tinge of gray or yellow from the air pollution. Other cloud-free areas have a pall of gray and brown smog that mostly blots out the cities below. In areas where the ground is visible, some of the landscape is covered with lingering snow from storms in recent weeks."

    At the time the image was captured, NASA reports, the air quality index in Beijing was 341. Levels above 300 are considered "Hazardous."

  2. #2
    Moderator Kasierith's Avatar
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    Mao Zedong used to go swimming through the heavily polluted rivers of South China. Pollution is a problem they've had for quite some time now.
    “…the whole trouble lies here. In words, words. Each one of us has within him a whole world of things, each man of us his own special world. And how can we ever come to an understanding if I put in the words I utter the sense and value of things as I see them; while you who listen to me must inevitably translate them according to the conception of things each one of you has within himself. We think we understand each other, but we never really do.”
    XKCD is always relevant. Always.

  3. #3
    Titan Kangodo's Avatar
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    According to an air monitoring station located at the U.S. Embassy there, particulate pollution was literally off the charts — with readings well into the 700s on a 0-500 scale.
    Scoring 700 on a 0-500 scale like a boss :P

    On a serious note: That's quite bad, but what can they do?

  4. #4
    That's fucking gross.

  5. #5
    Scarab Lord Satan's Avatar
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    Pros and Cons of Industrialization.
    pro-gun liberal

  6. #6
    Scarab Lord JfmC's Avatar
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    Well, lets hope the world learns from this.
    Quote Originally Posted by derpkitteh View Post
    I'm proud to be xenophobic.
    Quote Originally Posted by qu1rex View Post
    Leaving the EU would not in any way pose a negative impact on the UK's economy or means/ability to trade with countries within the EU.

  7. #7
    The Insane Catta's Avatar
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    That looks unhealthy...

  8. #8
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    London went through this too, and came out the other side eventually.
    Well 1, 2, 3, take my hand and come with me
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  9. #9
    Fluffy Kitten
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kangodo View Post
    On a serious note: That's quite bad, but what can they do?
    People like to bash the entire phrase "clean coal," but our coal plants are more modernized and cleaner than those in China. I remember reading a story once that did a comparison between the two countries' coal plants when clean coal was a big catch phrase.

    The problem with China is that I really think they don't don't give a crap. I'm no environmentalist, but at least a degree of restraint would be beneficial.
    Last edited by Dakia; 2013-01-17 at 01:38 PM.

  10. #10
    Looks like they're reaping what they've sown.

    Cool pic.

  11. #11
    Warchief
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kangodo View Post
    Scoring 700 on a 0-500 scale like a boss :P
    Damn overachievers, always breaking the curve.

  12. #12
    Those pics are like the first episode of Terra Nova.

  13. #13
    Mechagnome bungeebungee's Avatar
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    " 'In the winter, we have to burn more coal to get heating,' says Zhou Rong of Greenpeace. She says around 50 percent of Beijing's air pollution is historically due to coal-fired power stations. 'Another reason is the weather pattern makes the whole atmosphere very, very stable, and so all the air pollution accumulates down to the ground, so we are getting higher and higher air pollution.' "
    Beijing is largely surrounded by hills. Certain wind patterns cause them to act like a large bowl and the pollution keeps stacking up. The quote is accurate as far as it goes, but it ignores the amount of coal that is burned privately. Many people still burn cylinders of pressed coal powder (roughly the size of a coffee can and pierced by an arrangement of seven holes to allow even burning) for everything from cooking to heating. All of that, spread across millions of households, is vented directly into the air. The coal plants are also probably a bit different than you might imagine, we're talking boiler plants for apartments more than power plants. These are small scale operations that don't have scrubbers comparable to those on power plants. Aside from coal, an oft ignored problem is that Beijing loves BBQ. In any area around apartment complexes (usually built in groups), you will find dozens of places selling skewered stuff -- lamb, chicken wings, and other less recognizable offerings -- all grilled over troughs of charcoal (real, carbonized wood, not pressed briquettes). As tasty is the stuff may be, and as much as it offers a wonderful excuse to sit outside and drink beer in good weather, the population density in Beijing is such that it generates a good deal of smoke.

    An ordinary winter can be bad, but we had early snow and the air has been horrible beyond the usual.

  14. #14
    Grunt
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    Gee, that looks pretty bad.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator Darsithis's Avatar
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    That was kind of sickening to look at.



  16. #16
    They just need to build bigger buildings to get above it like in Fifth Element.

  17. #17
    Merely a Setback Rukentuts's Avatar
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    If you think that's gross, check out the river in downtown Shanghai. It's brown, sludgy, and filled with God knows what kind of runoff.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybran View Post
    Both of those links don't provide any evidence. They make unsubstantiated statements

  18. #18


    Reminds me of this video.

  19. #19
    Bloodsail Admiral Libram's Avatar
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    I wonder what the air smells like there? I have a senesitive nose that can sniff out a lot of things like a blood hound.
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  20. #20
    Scarab Lord
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    Pollution and environmental devastation is a liberal plot to tax us to death. Besides, the pollution created in China will NEVER affect our air and water quality here right? Right?

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