China’s Toxic Sky Erases In One Day All Of NZ’s Climate Change Efforts For A Whole Year?




In the world politics, it doesn’t pay to lead with your jaw, especially when you’re a tiny nation in the Pacific.

Opponents of the Kyoto Protocol have stated that New Zealand’s contribution to “reducing Global Warming” wouldn’t even go to one day of pollution in China, and therefore it was at best a token gesture.

Not to our collective checkbooks, of course.  And the effects of that dumb decision is still echoing through our economy just this week with the Fonterra milk chemical scare caused by a fertiliser farmers use to… wait for it… try to reduce greenhouse emissions.

It is therefore good to keep some perspective as to what on earth we’re doing to ourselves economically as a meaningless international token gesture, when people in Bejing can’t even breathe?  

The BBC reports:

All week in Beijing, in offices and homes, in lifts and shops, restaurants, taxis and buses, one topic has dominated conversation – Beijing’s foul air.

The descriptions of the grey smog that’s hung over the city get more and more extreme: “Airmageddon”, the “Airpocalypse”.

Walking out into Beijing’s streets is like plunging into a swirling soup. The pollution swathes the city, wreathing everything in grey.

To get a sense of it, take a look at this slideshow of before and after pictures that give a sense of what China’s toxic sky is really like.

A combination of coal emissions, dirty diesel and industrial gases, the smog has smothered everything for days. On Thursday, levels still hovered around the “very unhealthy” mark.

Just to get a sense as to how bad this pollution is, check this out:

As the official Xinhua news agency reported, more flights were delayed at Tianjin close to Beijing. Visibility in Shandong province south of Beijing was just 50m (164ft).

On Thursday, too, there were reported to be more than 100 cars in crashes in Beijing. The roads were icy and slippery, but poor visibility cannot have helped.

Visibility of 50 meters?  That’s equivalent to a pretty dense fog.

On Tuesday, 103 factories were ordered to shut down, and a third of government cars ordered off the roads to combat what was already being described as the worst January smog since 1954.

But even state-controlled media now say Beijing’s tough measures were ignored by city officials themselves.

This is going to get worse before it gets better.  New Zealand should look for pragmatic ways to improve our performance, but let’s not for one moment pretend our actions will have any measurable effect on a global scale.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.