Sunday, 22 November 2009


In my last blog post one of the commentors posted a link on pollution in China. I encourage you to look at that link and then to remember that it was not that long ago that we were doing exactly the same thing. In fact its because we've pushed these foul industries "away" where we can't see them that we forget what is the real cost of disposable things and our lifestyle.

Now I'm not a professional journalist, I'm just a more or less an ordinary fella in that respect. So with that in mind, in 2005 we went to visit China from South Korea (where we were studying) for a holiday. We went to Beijing, traveled to a place called Ping Yao. This is actually a fascinating historical villiage which in spring and summer is a popular tourist location in China, it also happens to be centered around an interesting UNESCO listed medieval walled city.

What I didn't mention on my above linked tourist trip snapshots of Ping Yao was the devastation to the environment which became quite clear to us on the way out of Beijing and all along the way. I would like to show some images of what we saw ... just without even going out of our way to document things as the Journalist has done in the link at the top of the page.


Along the side of the railway line was a small river, which was clearly so horribly polluted by this mine, for kilometers and kilometers!


Its hard to actually see much because of the dense smog that always filled the air. In fact the air quality is so bad there my wife was getting skin irritations in a few days and we had to cut short our trip because she was so distressed by the environment (she comes from Scandinavia where it is much cleaner).

Even in Ping Yao it became quickly clear that there just was not the proper facility for the population density there ...


Because it was winter the air was thick from the smoke of every house burning coal ... coal which happens to be high in sulfur.


of course the demands for catering to tourism increase the energy needs of the place too

pingYao roofs

Just while I'm on the subject, we went for a walk along the Great Wall ... a wonderful place


but its not for the faint of heart as its really steep ... no kidding


with often no hand rails and falling apart in many places


not for your typical tourist but well worth it for the adventurous.

1 comment:

Noons said...

Aye! Too true!

I think in the midst of the global warming noise we lost sight of all the other problems and the "solutions" found so far.

A thing that never ceases to scare me: Google Earth's view of the Amazon forest. Or rather more appropriately: what's left of it!
Seriously, have a look. Most of the devastation is now in high rez.

The other two that give me the shakes are India and China's Yang-ze. Most of those areas are now in high rez as well. The devastation is beyond scary...

I'm all for action but I fear somewhere in the race to reach the elusive $10 dvd player, we lost sight of the consequences as you well point out.

The thing that scares me most is the more I look, the more I get the feeling climate change is being used as a curtain above and over much more dramatic problems.

What is going on now in China and India is going to byte us a lot more...