We have been discussing for years how China has allowed pollution contaminate the soil, water, and air of its country to a shocking degree. That is no more apparent (literally) than the air in Beijing (here and here and here and here). Now the city is being called “unliveable.” That is nothing new except this is Beijing’s own mayor, Wang Anshun.
Wang told a group this month that “[a]t the present time, however, Beijing is not a liveable city.”
Wang knows something about runaway pollution. He is a former official in the state-controlled petroleum sector. Tourism has decreased in recent years as people read about the harmful levels of air pollution, food contamination scandals, and other environmental issues. On a recent ranking of the most popular tourist destinations, Beijing now ranks just before Sofia, Bulgaria and 34th out of 100 top cities.
I have written about how Beijing seems to defy imagination on the levels of pollution every time I visit. The city has 21.5 million residents and is growing at a rate of more than 350,000 a year.
However, China is acting to reduce the problem of pollution. It has moved to block the App giving access to the widely used pollution readings from the U.S. Embassy. Those readings are reliable and accurate, which is precisely why the Chinese government has moved to shutdown access.