China's Growing Pollution Problem and Social Mood

Mish has a great post up called China's Bill for Cleaning Air Pollution Mounts; State TV Promotes Benefits of Smog. My own take: the number of cars surged in recent years thanks to government subsidies. By some numbers the air is getting cleaner, but my view is that the air became much dirtier in 2013. Another issue is social mood: Chinese are in a negative mood and smog is increasingly a point of anger.

From one linked article in Mish's post
an expert from China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection just claimed that the smog is there to stay for ten to twenty years. Amid the gloomy outlook, however, there’s some silver-lining—CCTV, China’s national broadcaster, has identified five benefits of the smog: first, it has made people more united, because smog is a common enemy everywhere in China. Second, it has made people more equal, because both the rich and the poor have to inhale the same polluted air. Third, it has made the Chinese more clear-headed as to the price that the nation has to pay for becoming the “world’s factory.” Fourth, it has made the Chinese more humorous. Sarcasm abounds when it comes to the topic of smog, and “that sense of humor is the source of strength for defeating the smog.” Fifth, it has made the Chinese more knowledgeable, as people become educated on concepts like PM 2.5, important historical events like the London Great Smog of 1952, and even English words like “haze” and “smog.”
Of course this attempt at spin failed miserably as it only made the public even more unified in their anger.

Chinese reaction here: “5 Surprising Benefits of Smog” Jokes CCTV, Chinese Reactions

The smog has made historic contributions to realizing the revival of the Chinese nation and the Chinese Dream! lxhguzhang_org


The smog has made this reporter brain damaged.


Among the five major benefits, making Chinese people more equal is indeed true. No matter how much money you have, no matter how much power you have, no matter whether you live in a villa or in a basement, the smog is always there, where you can’t avoid breathing it!


Being continuously poisoned/bewitched by CCTV is much more severe than smog.


That CCTV could think up these five points sure wasn’t easy.


Can I say that I want health?


I totally don’t have this kind of feeling! Maintaining national unity should not rely on SARS, earthquakes, bird flu and smog. To realize real unity must rely on developing the economy and create a harmonious, open, pluralistic but cohesive concept of culture/civilization ~ angrya_organgrya_organgrya_org


I felt it was quite well said. See, the air quality is better today ~ Only by having hope will the nature treat you well. Only by having faith can we not be flustered. Of course, I also hope the government will introduce more environmentally friendly policies, and also hope that everyone can use a calm state of mind to fight for the opportunity of fresh air. This is the so-called “everything can be settled through discussion” ~ I also believe that the future will be better and better. hearta_org


Except they did not think of what should be done for accountability and governance.


Who will really do their part for [improving] air pollution? Such as quitting smoking and driving their private cars as little as possible? Ultimately, we still have to wait for the country to force losses linked to citizens’ self-interests can true it attract the true attention and concern of everyone.


To have this kind of media (official media), I too felt an unexpected gain gain/benefit. crycry


Turns out Chongqing people being united, equal, humorous, and knowledgeable all the time was because they are in smog every winter.

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