China starts televising the sunset on giant TV screens because Beijing is so clouded in smog

54
117

The smog has become so thick in Beijing that the city’s natural light-starved masses have begun flocking to huge digital commercial television screens across the city to observe virtual sunrises. The futuristic screens installed in the Chinese capital usually advertize tourist destinations, but as the season’s first wave of extremely dangerous smog hit – residents donned air masks and left their homes to watch the only place where the sun would hail over the horizon that morning.

Commuters across Beijing found themselves cloaked in a thick, gray haze on Thursday as air pollution monitors issued a severe air warning and ordered the elderly and school children to stay indoors until the quality improved.

Virtual sunlight: The LED screen shows the rising sun in Tiananmen Square which is shrouded with heavy smog on January 16, 2014 in Beijing, China. Beijing Municipal Government issued a yellow smog alert this morning

The air took on an acrid odor, and many of the city’s commuters wore industrial strength face masks as they hurried to work.

‘I couldn’t see the tall buildings across the street this morning,’ said a traffic coordinator at a busy Beijing intersection who gave only his surname, Zhang. ‘The smog has gotten worse in the last two to three years. I often cough, and my nose is always irritated. But what can you do? I drink more water to help my body discharge the toxins.’ 

The city’s air quality is often poor, especially in winter when stagnant weather patterns combine with an increase in coal-burning to exacerbate other forms of pollution and create periods of heavy smog for days at a time.

But the readings early Thursday for particles of PM2.5 pollution marked the first ones of the season above 500 micrograms per cubic meter.

Public announcement: The LED screen shows the slogan 'protecting atmospheric environment is everyone's responsibility' on the Tiananmen Square which is shrouded with heavy smog on January 16, 2014 in Beijing, China

Public announcement: The LED screen shows the slogan ‘protecting atmospheric environment is everyone’s responsibility’ on the Tiananmen Square which is shrouded with heavy smog on January 16, 2014 in Beijing, China

The density of PM2.5 was about 350 to 500 micrograms Thursday midmorning, though the air started to clear in the afternoon. It had reached as high as 671 at 4 a.m. at a monitoring post at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

That is about 26 times as high as the 25 micrograms considered safe by the World Health Organization, and was the highest reading since January 2013.

Serious air pollution plagues most major Chinese cities, where environmental protection has been long sacrificed for the sake of economic development.

Coal burning and car emissions are major sources of pollution. In recent years, China has beefed up regulations and pledged financial resources to fight pollution.

In the far northeastern city of Harbin, some monitoring sites reported PM 2.5 rates of up to 1,000 micrograms in October, when the winter heating season kicked off. In December, dirty air gripped the coastal city of Shanghai and its neighboring provinces for days, with the density of PM 2.5 exceeding 600.

Beijing authorities said the haze on Thursday had reduced the visibility to several hundred meters (yards) and that the severe pollution was likely to continue through Friday.

Beijing’s mayor pledged on Thursday to cut coal use by 2.6 million tonnes and set aside 15 billion yuan ($2.4 billion) to improve air quality this year as part of the city’s ‘all-out effort’ to tackle air pollution, state news agency Xinhua said.

A tourist takes photos during a heavily polluted day on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. Beijing's skyscrapers receded into a dense gray smog Thursday as the capital saw the season's first wave of extremely dangerous pollution

A tourist takes photos during a heavily polluted day on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. Beijing’s skyscrapers receded into a dense gray smog Thursday as the capital saw the season’s first wave of extremely dangerous pollution

The announcement by Wang Anshun came as the capital was blanketed in its worst smog in months. An index measuring PM2.5 particles, especially bad for health, reached 500 in much of the capital in the early hours.

A level above 300 is considered hazardous, while the World Health Organization recommends a daily level of no more than 20.

Coal-burning boilers inside Beijing’s fifth ring road – covering the built-up area of the city – will be eliminated and measures taken against coal burning in the capital’s periphery, Xinhua quoted Wang as saying.

The city also aims to ban all heavily polluting vehicles this year, cut new car registrations and promote new energy vehicles, Wang said.

Beijing reported 58 days of serious pollution last year, or one every six to seven days on average, Xinhua quoted Zhang Dawei, director of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center, as saying.

Tourists in masks use mobile phone cameras to snap shots of themselves during a heavily polluted day on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China

Tourists in masks use mobile phone cameras to snap shots of themselves during a heavily polluted day on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China

Separately, Xinhua said China had shut down 8,347 heavily polluting companies last year in northern Hebei province, which has the worst air in the country, as the government moves to tackle a problem that has been a source of discontent.

Local authorities will block new projects and punish officials in regions where pollution is severe due to lax enforcement, Xinhua cited Yang Zhiming, deputy director of the Hebei provincial bureau of environmental protection, as saying.

High pollution levels have sparked widespread public anger and officials concerned about social unrest have responded by implementing tougher policies.

Hebei, the country’s biggest steel producer, is home to as many as seven of its 10 most polluted cities, Xinhua said, citing statistics published monthly by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Pollution in Hebei often spreads to neighboring Beijing and Tianjin.

Some small high-polluting plants are being relocated to remote areas to avoid oversight, Xinhua quoted Yang as saying. He said the government would ‘beef up the industrial crackdown’.

China has drawn up dozens of laws and guidelines to improve the environment but has struggled to enforce them in the face of powerful enterprises.

On Wednesday, China’s commercial capital, Shanghai, introduced emergency measures, allowing it to shut schools and order cars off the road in case of severe smog.

Hebei plans to slash crude steel output by 15 million tonnes in 2014 and cut coal consumption by the same amount as part of anti-pollution measures.

 

Cause: Reports stated that local governments in China may soon face stiffer fines and administrative punishment if found guilty of failing to implement pollution prevention measures

Cause: Reports stated that local governments in China may soon face stiffer fines and administrative punishment if found guilty of failing to implement pollution prevention measures

 

Article Source [DailyMail]

Comments

comments

SHARE
Previous articleAmazing 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger Photos Found
Next articleA White Dwarf just exploded, Now Closest Supernova in 25 Years!

Tommy Seilheimer has over 15 years’ client Digital Marketing experience in helping small business, corporations and countless others use the web to drive online visibility and generate leads that have resulted in new business online.

Tommy’s expertise falls in Web Design, Web Development, Search Engine Optimization, Pay per Click Advertising and Online Marketing Campaigns, Social Media Marketing Strategy and Online PR for B2B professional services companies. Currently, he manages all SEO and Digital Marketing Strategy for a leading construction company in the Chicagoland area as well as his marketing firm DEFCON13 Media.

54 COMMENTS

  1. Did the tanks run him over? All I remember is him getting in front of the tanks. I never seen what happened in the end.

  2. Please can anyone tell me where I can find a copy of this poem online?

  3. I remember hearing about an interview done with college students in china and they asked them about tianaman square and they didnt know what it was because the government censored so much. Does anyone have any idea what this is?

  4. Does any one know where I can download a video of the Unknown rebel in Window Media Player format?
    Please don’t say the CNN one. I need it in Windows Media not Quicktime.

  5. I have two free days in Beijing, one is a Wednesday and the other is a Sunday. I want to dedicate one to see Tiananmen Square and the surrounding area, and the other to see the Summer Palace. I’m concerned about the crowds on Sunday. Which place do you think would be wisest to go to on Sunday, and which place should I leave for Wednesday?
    I’m not asking whether I should go to these places or not. I have already decided to go to both places, one on Tuesday and one on Sunday. I’m asking what day I should choose for each place.
    Oops, not Tuesday, Wednesday. Still, my point stands. Please read the question before you reply.

  6. Okay who built it or designed it or something? I’m doing a report on the place but I could never find out who built it. So please help? And has anyone ever been there? If so, is it pretty?

  7. I have to do a talk on this but all the reports I’ve read…well i don’t really understand them.Just wondering can you tell me what happened?
    what where they protesting about?
    any other information, or your views would be greatly appreciated,
    thank you
    x

  8. I have to do a talk on this but all the reports I’ve read…well i don’t really understand them.Just wondering can you tell me what happened?
    what where they protesting about?
    any other information, or your views would be greatly appreciated,
    thank you
    x

  9. I’m going to Beijing for vacation in about a week, and I was wondering if tourists are allowed to take photos of Tienanmen Square. I’m not talking about filming protesters or anything like that, just pictures to remember my trip by. Some people I know who have been there are giving me mixed answers to my question.

  10. Has anyone got experiences on flight/tours from Sydney, Aus to China (Beijing/Shanghai) that have been good? I’m thinking of a Dec trip. What are must see/buy things?

  11. Did the tanks run him over? All I remember is him getting in front of the tanks. I never seen what happened in the end.

  12. i know it was in 1989 but on what date did the 27th field army enter beijing

  13. I’m going to be traveling to Beijing this summer for two weeks, I have pretty bad asthma I guess you could say and I’m wondering what exactly I should do to help my asthma out.. I know the pollution there is pretty bad~ Thanks for the suggestions。。

  14. what is the Tiananmen Square?
    and why is the chinese gov trying to hide it from us or the chinese people or whatever?
    can you please explain to me the story behind that?

    pls n thank you.
    it would be highly appreciated (:

  15. It’s the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre tomorrow. Will there be any vigils or meetings in New York City tomorrow?

  16. Was there a car bombing?
    It is my understanding that the term “Tiananmen Square” is blocked by the Great Firewall. So, how is the PRC Media handling the news on this one?
    @Liu – Your response makes a whole lot more SENSE to me than the other bogus answers. Makes me wonder how long it will be before somebody crashes an Air China plane into the Forbidden City…

  17. Hi! I was wondering

    a) What were the students asking for or demanding from their government at the Tiananmen Square protest in 1989?

    b) How did the Communist government respond? Several examples?

    Thanks!

  18. How comfortable could I live in Beijing or Harbin off of $1500usd a month? What kind of condition would that be for a single person.

  19. Can anybody help me to look for the topic of “Tienanmen incident?” or
    “The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989”
    I’m in China for studying. I heard about the significant riot in china that proved Chinese government was guilty for Human’s right and massacre.
    As china has banned for searching all information about “Tienanmen incident”(which happened on April 4th,1989 in Tienanmen square),So, Anybody who cared about Human’s right and innocent student in this official massacre, and who want to help me to study on this topic, just use your computer to search for Tienanmen incident or The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 and send these information to winallthings@yahoo.com via text or picture.(You can copy what the website or wiki said or send photos to me )thanks!!

  20. I don’t really understand what im reading on wikipedia etc. Can someone just summarize it for me?

  21. – cause of event
    -life during the event, what country was it most affected
    -Significance/ connection to cold war
    -connection to today?

  22. I don’t really understand what im reading on wikipedia etc. Can someone just summarize it for me?

  23. I would like to know which fashion stores do you recommend to buy nice and cool female clothes in Shanghai and Beijing.
    Include names and addresses please >.<

  24. Does any one know where I can download a video of the Unknown rebel in Window Media Player format?
    Please don’t say the CNN one. I need it in Windows Media not Quicktime.

  25. Any one know best brazilian wax in beijing ? i need safe cleaning and best one,give me a hand plz 🙂

  26. What are some things I can include in a project of tiananmen square?

    My teacher gave us no guidlines and im gonna make a poster, but i don’t know what to put on it!

    What are some questions i can answer in it to give information?
    What are some things i should include that are veryimportant?

    *I haven’t started research on it so I have no info on it yet and im not asking for it, i just dont know what to look for..

  27. Can anybody help me to look for the topic of “Tienanmen incident?” or
    “The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989”
    I’m in China for studying. I heard about the significant riot in china that proved Chinese government was guilty for Human’s right and massacre.
    As china has banned for searching all information about “Tienanmen incident”(which happened on April 4th,1989 in Tienanmen square),So, Anybody who cared about Human’s right and innocent student in this official massacre, and who want to help me to study on this topic, just use your computer to search for Tienanmen incident or The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 and send these information to winallthings@yahoo.com via text or picture.(You can copy what the website or wiki said or send photos to me )thanks!!

  28. On June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square Beijing truth
    I need information on this
    Thank you for your help

  29. I remember hearing about an interview done with college students in china and they asked them about tianaman square and they didnt know what it was because the government censored so much. Does anyone have any idea what this is?

  30. I’m going to Beijing for vacation in about a week, and I was wondering if tourists are allowed to take photos of Tienanmen Square. I’m not talking about filming protesters or anything like that, just pictures to remember my trip by. Some people I know who have been there are giving me mixed answers to my question.

  31. Tell the story of the student up rising and massacre in Beijing of the Spring of 1989.

  32. I understand why it happened but my question is, how on earth could it have been allowed. I mean, thousands of troops just come in and open fire on protesters. Protesters! Please and thank you:)

  33. I’m just curious, what effects did The Massacre of 1989 have on the rest of the world as well as China itself?

    Thanks.

  34. Tell me all you know, I have to write a huge paper on it and am having trouble putting the information together.

  35. So, far i know Tiananmen square is one of the most powerful square in the world. I need more information about it. Can you give a detail of this place?

  36. Does any one know where I can download a video of the Unknown rebel in Window Media Player format?
    Please don’t say the CNN one. I need it in Windows Media not Quicktime.

  37. Can anybody help me to look for the topic of “Tienanmen incident?” or
    “The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989”
    I’m in China for studying. I heard about the significant riot in china that proved Chinese government was guilty for Human’s right and massacre.
    As china has banned for searching all information about “Tienanmen incident”(which happened on April 4th,1989 in Tienanmen square),So, Anybody who cared about Human’s right and innocent student in this official massacre, and who want to help me to study on this topic, just use your computer to search for Tienanmen incident or The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 and send these information to winallthings@yahoo.com via text or picture.(You can copy what the website or wiki said or send photos to me )thanks!!

  38. I will arrive first time in Beijing and need to go to the Holiday Inn Beijing. Is there a great airport about Beijing Capital International Airport?

  39. Hi!

    My boyfriend and i live in Malta and before we settle down together we would like to travel. So we decided that one Feb 2015 (as soon as we finish school), we will go to Thailand first, we are going to visit Phuket and Chaing Mai for sure, but would like to visit Bangkok or Beijing. Since we will be in Thailand, the flights are cheaper to Bangkok but i would like to visit China, it would be a great experience. What are your experiences and suggestions? Thanks!

  40. Next week I will be back in Beijing. It will be my second time there.

    I am looking to do some hiking in the mountains around Beijing. I have been to the Fragrant Hills. I am looking for something a little more challenging or interesting.

    Any suggestions or hiking clubs or tours that I could join.

  41. Hi! I’m from the U.S, and I am going to go to an internship in Beijing next year.

    How much is a U.S dollar worth, compared to the currency in Beijing?

    How much is the cost of renting a place to stay?

    I have a Verizon phone will it work there for texting and calling?

    Does Beijing have wifi spots at cafe’s and such?

    I am blond, with fair skin, and green eyes… so I guess that means I will stand out. What are some good ways, or resources to learning the culture? I don’t want to pretend I am Chinese I would just like to be smart.

    Is a bike the cheapest and best way of transportation?

    What are the winters like there?

    Sorry for all the questions, and thank you in advance if you help answer them for me.

    🙂

  42. I’m just curious, what effects did The Massacre of 1989 have on the rest of the world as well as China itself?

    Thanks.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here