Smoke + Fog

It was another day of firsts, including my first straight caffee mocha, my first sweet bun (or manto, steamed buns), and a visit to the first KFC in China.

It was also a day of true smog, thick fog plus the smoky grayness that had been growing since the last rain. A true rain clears the sky. The moist air we got from last night to this noon just made things miserable.

For instance, in this photo of Tianamen Square taken lengthwise:


Central Beijing, 2007

The far end is almost completely obscured. Compare that to the embarrasingly idyllic shots from last year:


Central Beijing, 2006

The air today was worse than anything I experienced last year, whether in Beijing or Tianjin. I’m exhausted from the lack of oxygen. My boycott of National Review and further photos will have to wait for a bit, I fear.

2 thoughts on “Smoke + Fog”

  1. I haven’t read the book, though I get the point about China. I do not know if the hellish air is that unusual for early industrializing states, though. I think back to what I have heard about the terrible smell of Victorian London and even the 20th century’s killer fogs.

    Certainly, southern China seems to offer more hope. Guangdong province [1], which has a longer history with the west, was never in the rust belt, and is a center of light manufacturing is quite clean.

    Thanks for the link!

    PS: I’m most familiar with Striber from the good words that Art Bell had to say about him. Art is an acquired taste, but I ended up liking him a lot. I would love to hear him do a Mysterious Universe-style [2] podcast.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2007/05/18/canton-a-tdaxp-travelogue.html
    [2] http://www.mysteriousuniverse.org/

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