There have been previous WSJ articles discussing China's ignorance of it's own pollution. Provincial governments from the poorer, inland provinces have turned a blind eye to horrific pollution in exchange for profitable industries. Just as they did with Mao, the local and provincial governments lie to the national government about what's going on so everything looks better than it is.
The Independent had an article recently on the environmental catastrophe that is China's use of coal. As an aside, the US use of coal is highly regulated and far cleaner than China's.
The trucks rattling away from the collieries in China's Shanxi province are on a tight schedule. There are lumps of coal lying on the grass verges beside the roads. Pollution from the coking plants chokes the air while in some places the whole landscape looks like it's been coated with fine coal dust. Datong is one of these places.Here's a short article from National Geographic that says China is being blown away. Literally.
The city is one of the three most polluted in China - the other two, Linfen and Yangquan, are in Shanxi province as well - and when you tell people in China you are going to Datong, it often provokes a strange reaction. They point at the sky and say "hei yu", or "black rain". Some of Shanxi looks like the surface of the moon.
China has mounted various efforts to halt the increasing desertification, which is caused by overuse of the land for farming and grazing. Nonetheless, as much as 900 square miles (2,300 square kilometers) of farmland in northern China—an area more than twice the size of Hong Kong—is blown away by the wind each year, according to a Chinese scientist quoted in a New York Times article last year.The UN, that model of honesty and decorum, recently published a study concluding that mankind had screwed Mother Gaia and we were all going to roast in our own CO2. What happens when we find out that the worst polluters turn out to be places like China instead of the US?
I wonder what our Missionary to the Frozen Wastelands has to say?