Now Stop Complaining!

And get involved to stop the pollution.

Guest writer, MAC, has newfound empathy for the people of smog-ridden China as haze permeates his neck of the woods.

For all of you, myself included, that have ever whinged, moaned, complained or made any other form of disparaging comment about the driving habits and/or chaotic road organisation in your neck of the woods, please be quiet and sit down. The picture above is just a typical day at an intersection in the Chinese city of Xi’an, the capital city of Shaanxi province, which is constantly plagued by these serpentine traffic jams.

Chinese authorities are facing mounting pressure from their comrade citizens to regulate pollution and industrial emissions, and look for greener forms of energy production. Recent reports aired on the major news channels indicates that the API has climbed to over 500 in the North of the country with just about every province now having unhealthy air to breathe.

In some areas, the air quality is so bad it is like living next to a forest fire and studies are now showing that the life expectancy of those living in the worst areas, like Beijing and Harbin, have a lower life expectancy by more than five years than those in the relatively healthier south of the country (Read also It’s Smog Season In China, Therefore It’s Time To Stop The Cows Farting And The Chinese From Eating Meat!).
For years the central government denied the existence of a problem, possibly from fear of derailing the economic miracle that they were presiding over, but with studies now indicating that as many as 1.2 million premature deaths may be attributed to the runaway pollution in the country and, of course, the long reaching impact of breathing dangerous air, the Chinese government is now getting serious about solving the problem, even at the expense of some economic growth.

For those of us living in South East Asia, we have a similar problem although its cause is very different. During the dry season for us, we have the burning season during which farmers and owners of the massive palm oil and rubber producing estates burn off old trees and unwanted vegetation. Along with the bush fires, one of which was burning near the KL International Airport last weekend, it means that when we go outside, we really are living next to a forest fire.

The picture above is from my office window at midday where normally I have a clear view of the lush green mountains that form the Titiwangsa range, the “spine” of peninsular Malaysia. Visibility is just above one kilometre.

Can we please stop the burning?! Can we please stop buying products from companies that are harming our environment?!


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