Finally, A Better Way To Watch the Sunrise in Smog-Filled Beijing

Screen displays rising sun in polluted city

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ChinaFotoPress / Getty Images

This LED screen displays the rising sun in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, which is shrouded in heavy smog on Jan. 16, 2014.

Corrections appended on Jan. 17, 2014 at 05:32 EST and Jan. 21 at 21:20 EST.

Air pollution in the Chinese capital reached new, choking heights on Thursday. Those who still felt the urge to catch a glimpse of sunlight were able to gather around the city’s gigantic LED screens, where this glorious sunrise was broadcast as part of a tourism ad.

Correction: The original post did not mention that the large screens in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square broadcast panoramic scenes on a daily basis, regardless of atmospheric conditions, nor did it state that the sunrise was part of a tourism commercial.

98 comments
bell.chen
bell.chen

ich kann es einfach nicht glauben und kein bisschen verstehen, dass angeblich gebildetet und kluge Erwachsene so etwas dulden. das es Menschen gibt, die auf kosten ALLER unsere Umwelt so zerstören! Und dann noch UNSERE Kinder bilden! ich bin ja echt mal gespannt, wie lange es dauert, das Menschen FÜR unseren/meinen Lebensraum so auf die Straße gehen, wie die Menscheheit auf die Straße geht, um eine Politischerichtung zu verteildigen.. also Weltenbürger... ihr macht mich fast Sprachlos

klor_uy
klor_uy

     Pointing out the inaccuracies of the article may salve the egos of those who want to take pride in the accomplishments of China, but you are "whistling past the graveyard". The pollution remains.

    In the late 60's, Life or Look magazine ( can't remember which ) published a series of photos taken in various American cities. They were time exposures of 30 minutes taken with color film, and clearly showed a dense soup of yellowish/green fog everywhere. This article and other journalism at that time awakened the American public to the pollution around us, and helped create the EPA. Hated by Republicans and TP's, it was signed into law by Richard Nixon.

     Later, I became a professional photographer, and learned that the yellow/ green color actually came from a shift in the color sensitivity of the layers of the film over time , and had nothing to do with what was floating in the air. If the internet had been around then, some clever person would have debunked the photos and possibly the nascent green movement that has served this country so well.

     So, yes, the article is misleading. Your choice though, on how you deal with the fact of pollution - face it or hide from it, it's still there.

MarkStolzoff
MarkStolzoff

CHOKE YOURSELF TIME MAGAZINE, this is pathetic

ShawnRiddick
ShawnRiddick

When I was a child God spoke to me about our planet. He said He introduced evil into His Universe from a sister Universe and it spread like cancer. He is unable to stop it. God also said He has watched many civilizations destroy their planets and end up like Mars. God said Our outer atmosphere can only heal itself up to a point, after that catastrophic failure will occur ending almost all life. Our current rocket technology is destroying our outer atmosphere. this is classified. Our planet is launching an overload of rockets. You would be shocked at how many flights there are. A 7 year old child in Beijing has lung cancer. This is insanity. Please read warningfromgod and please store a one year supply of food. Clearly something has gone horribly wrong.

MalcolmHillier
MalcolmHillier

Do you know what is more sad, that people and governments still insist on ignoring this situation and choose to ignore this problem by carrying on with daily life when there are solutions out there to fix this problem, don't believe me, of course you wouldn't just like people don't believe in global warming. http://www.hydroinfra.com see for yourself. This situation is wrong on so many levels!!

jkang71908
jkang71908

Time: your "correction" bit at the bottom clears this up a bit, but I am completely shocked you still have this on your website. It is misleading and phony. Remove this!

Noah87
Noah87

Your use of the word "finally" in the headline implies that the displays are a new addition. 

Alphonse
Alphonse

And an all-time low in journalism was reached that day.


This is just one shot that lasted a few seconds in a travel ad. It isn't to give people a fake sunrise to look at every day.

gr8fun4me
gr8fun4me

Are you kidding me? There must be a lot of government politicians being paid off to continue to allow this. What a messed up country! You will never get me to go over there, EVER.

joseph.frye
joseph.frye

Its amazing how many things China gets away with when the United States owes them so much money.

CredoQuiaAbsurdum
CredoQuiaAbsurdum

This looks sooooooo much like TERRA NOVA tv show!


But yeah, this is sooooooooooo sad : (

AsdsHighf
AsdsHighf

the earth and atmosphere the weather everything will soon be under are control i just wish we had better more fun tech

u idiots that think the earth will die soon are wrong we the people might kill are selfs if we fail to take control but anyway it does not matter there is millions of planets to for us to use so its no big deal if we lose a few planets or galaxy's as i  do know that if we create the correct tech we will never have to fear these such things but thats impossible do to the ones in charge not caring about us or the future they only care about how much money they can make we all get to suffer because of a few greedy people that are some how in charge of the world its wrong in so many ways if we can get rid of governments and the Illuminati that controls them we can take back are freedom and then fix everything correctly where no1 will ever have to suffer again

ktm882
ktm882

OMG, that's insane. DO they not see they are killing themselves?  :-< Praying for Skip and Angelina over there. 

ownourliberty
ownourliberty

Admits I am on  a soapbox in advance. I have to say I find it sad that so many are posting things like it is about population control, it is about emissions, etc. One is blaming coal and our energy. Yet, you know what, they are using the technologies and items that are created that cause pollutions. If a person uses a computer, how much pollution gets created for every little computer part, transport, creation and sourcing? How about the cell phones, how much pollution from making one new year of cells. How about water and pop bottles etc. I see people blaming things yet they are using them, to even post their opinions. Also, I love when people blame population control. 100 people just living do not put out the pollution of even one cell phone being created. Just to create all the plastics, parts, and transport. It is the technologies people use that cause a big part of pollution. Companies then pay to put out more pollution, then they will convince us it is our fault and charge a carbon tax and because we are all using these products and are consumer based on materialism then it is our fault. Also, we know how to clean up tires, and cans, and all sorts of things to produce cleaner homes, homes that work with the land. Look up Earthships for homes. Yet we build homes that make little sense in many ways. We implement also policies that are so full of red tape that we stifle real innovation. Then we back politicians who love to create that red tape to make bigger governments, that eat up more funds, then pass more red tape, in a vicious circle. Shoot in America we don't grow hemp and hemp is proven to reduce carbon. We should be growing it then. There is thousands of reasons why things are as they are with pollution, it is not the result of only one thing, one policy, one technology. You know what I notice with those who complain about population (like the Ted Turners), they never seem to take their own lives to help with a population issue, and they have children. He has 5 BTW. If one does not believe in the free market, and believes in big government, they are actually a pollution creator. If one believes in corporations being able to pay to put out more pollution, that is also part of the problem. Ultimately, we are ALL part of the problem and no one thing is to blame.


Authorial
Authorial

Haters of capitalism use the United States as something to kick around. Why isn't the world outraged by communist China's abuses, which far exceed our own and will only get worse with 1.3 billion in their population. In the last 35 years alone, China has increased its population by 300,000. That's equivalent to the ENTIRE population of the United States.

Yet America keeps getting beaten up when it comes to pollution.

Clearly, the objective of those doing the whining is to challenge capitalism. Yet industrial communism seems to get a pass.

Amykins
Amykins

Disgusting. What I want to know is, aren't there environmental sanctions the U.N. is supposed to enforce? Why is China allowed to keep destroying the health of its people and the planet itself so freely and carelessly?

Yoshi
Yoshi

This would be comical were it not painfully true.

ColeRanze
ColeRanze

To be fair, the billboard with the image of the sun is clearly displaying a tourism advertisement for Shandong province, no doubt just one of many in a string of picturesque images meant to illustrate the beauty of that region. I think this article is a bit misleading, to be sure.

MesoHi
MesoHi

Such problems will only continue all over the "civilized" world until people finally figure out that this planet is not large enough to support the ever increasing populations. You have old people living well into their 80's and 90's, babies born out of wedlock, billions wasted on unnecessary safety equipment and gadgets that take much of the fun and challenge out of what should be fun activities, grandparents encouraging their kids to have more kids, "modern medicine" keeping people clinging to life for years who  should have been allowed to go home to glory much sooner.  The only way to fix the problems is to expand humans into other moons or planets.  All the other rocks in the universe are not only there for us to just marvel at: They are there for us to populate.

choicewelding
choicewelding

There are certain places on earth that need to wake the _____up!  Kill this spaceship we are on and we're all done.  Greedy scumbags what will it take for them to understand?  The pollution is obviously gotten to their brains.

Polymath1
Polymath1

Pollution is yet another problem spawned by having too many people. Over-population is THE seminal problem of the planet. Pollution, global warming, urban sprawl, traffic jams, destruction of habitat, poverty and many other major problems are driven by over-population. The planet currently has about 7 billon people. Several studies have shown that perhaps as many as 2 billion might be sustainable at the standard of living enjoyed in the States or western Europe. 


Politicians, even in a totalitarian society like China are having a tough time keeping the lid on population growth. In democracies, it is potentially the hottest, red-hot issue of them all - regulating who can reproduce and how often. I am not sanguine about our prospects of resolving this problem rationally. Mother Nature is on deck and when she gets to the plate, she's gonna hit a grand slam!  

LianaWeber
LianaWeber

@Alphonse it can be just an ad...but, looking at this pic, it seems impossible to watch the sunrise with all this air pollution/haze

DysonLu
DysonLu

@Alphonse 

Welcome to the age of Web journalism.  "Journalists" gathering whatever tidbits of stories found on the Web that could make a click-bait article, without verifying the authenticity and the source. 

DysonLu
DysonLu

@ktm882 

What's more insane is people believing everything they read on the Web.   Irony.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@ownourliberty 

Uh, Mr. Soapbox...  Walls of text do not get read.  Perhaps you should embrace the concept of the paragraph.  Then, MAYBE, someone would actually bother to read it.

Ambulocetus
Ambulocetus

@Authorial  Probably, because the only thing China took from communism is the name. It’s an authoritarian capitalism. Even USSR was not a communist state – it was a socialist country. China is not even a socialist state.

Communism (from Latincommunis – common, universal) is a classless, moneyless, and statelesssocial orderstructured upon common ownership of the means of production, as well as a social, political and economic ideology and movement that aims at the establishment of this social order.

ChrisJamesIrving
ChrisJamesIrving

@Authorial The population of the US is 300 million. Not 300 thousand. Our military alone has 1.1 million people in it.

JosephJebrael
JosephJebrael

@Authorial you do relise that countries around the world settle sweat shops in china right? im not saying u r wrong, but its not really about one particular country, its about humanity in major, china is forced to have those sweat shops because of their crazy population like you said, and right now we cant do anything because judgment is in the wrong hands, this terrifies me more than anything.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@ColeRanze The article now reflects the corrected account of what it is.  But the image was shot during the day.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@MesoHi 

"Babies born out of wedlock"?  What the hell is the difference between a baby being born out of wedlock and fifteen babies being born IN wedlock?  You could have just said "Too damn many babies being born".

But that isn't really the problem. The earth could EASILY sustain tens of billions more people, if the resources were managed appropriately. The REAL trouble is two-fold.  Human greed and human stupidity.

Human greed by the too few haves taking most and the far more numerous have nots getting less.  To properly allocate resources, everyone has to learn the concept of "enough".  Capitalism isn't going to provide that, but, then, neither will any other socioeconomic system we've ever come up with.  And that leads to the second part.

Too many people are too damn stupid to know when they've got "enough".  They keep trying to get more and more and more all for themselves.

The only way this will change is by the fall of civilization as we know it when the top-heavy use of the haves takes too much from the have nots and the have nots topple them.  Unfortunately that won't happen in an enlightened switch to a more sustainable method of living.  It will be done in blood and death and destruction and billions will die.

Nature is not kind to the stupid, and we will do it to ourselves.

Will humanity survive this?  I give big odds against it.  People are too stupid to realize we have more in common than we have differences and will always and forever use the petty differences we have to justify hurting others.  Human nature can not change that fast in that short of time to overcome our tribal biases.  Unless we start sterilizing people who can't accept the realities and embrace the concept of "enough", there isn't a chance in hell of our species surviving the next hundred years.

Basically, I'd not make any long-term investments.  Civilization won't be around in 50 years.

DysonLu
DysonLu

@choicewelding 

And where are those "certain places"?

If you are part of the developed capitalist world (most westerners), then you are part of those greedy scumbags.  And you are an hypocrite too, unless you are not consuming any products from China (or from any developing countries) and you are not using fossil fuel.   You have attained a high standard of living by polluting and now you are condemning others that are seeking that same standard of living.

Amykins
Amykins

@choicewelding Sadly I don't think anyone's going to "wake up" until the air is so black that every last living thing drops dead.

tupan
tupan

@Polymath1 jWe must also give thanks to Catholocism and their strong encouragment of the family.  Birth control is not allowed, nor is abortion.  In their doctrine, if a husband and wife have sex without the intention of having a child, it's considered adultery.  In my family's parrish, there are still an unbelievable amount of families with 5-7 kids.  The largest family in our parrish has 9 children.  In Latin American families, children often total 7-9 in a family. 

The reason for this doctrine is money.  Grow the Catholic church above everything else.  Create large families to encourage more future Catholics.    I know Catholics are only a small percentage of the population of the planet, but if Mother Nature comes a calling....may she wack some of these self-righteous Catholic families!

shobus01
shobus01

So, has China's pollution problem grown in a manner consistent with their increase in population?  No?  Oh, so perhaps population isn't the big issue here. 

lauriebee
lauriebee

@DysonLu @ktm882 So are you saying there is NO air pollution or other pollution in China?  Because believe me, there is an over abundance.  Whenever I have been there, I felt like every breath I took was worse than the last.  Found myself trying to take only tiny little breaths, as if that would help!  My daughter lived in Beijing for a decade and I am soooooooooooo  thankful that she is back in the US and no longer has to breathe that horrible air.

Yoshi
Yoshi

@MarkStolzoff@Yoshi The cloud is visible from space. Are you saying the photos are untrue? That the sky is clear in Beijing and the other industrial areas? Two of my friends who travel to their companies' production sites in China several times a year have commented that the air quality is "unbelievably bad".  Are you there, right now? Why are there so many reports like this?

Please elaborate?

ChinaExpat
ChinaExpat

@DeweySayenoffActually, it's still not accurate. As of 1:23 p.m. in Beijing, this article still has "In the airpocalypse, fake sunrises are a thing" as its subhead.This sunrise, as @ColeRanze already mentioned, is part of a tourism advertisement for Shandong province. 


A friend of mine recently emailed the writer to inform him or her of the factual error. He received a polite email back, but the email said the current correction ("This post has been revised to reflect that the sunrise was not broadcast specifically for that day.") is satisfactorily truthful. 

I've been a TIME reader my entire life, but I'm frustrated and disappointed that editors will allow accuracy to take second to page hits.

075859140
075859140

@tupan @Polymath1 The reason isn't primarily money; it's power.  More followers (i.e. Catholics) means more power to the Catholic hierarchy.  The planet is being populated out of existence by human beings,  but the church isn't prepared to give up its power, despite the seemingly obvious fact that if the planet goes down the tubes, the Catholic Church will too.

Amykins
Amykins

@shobus01China is one of the most populated countries on Earth. And their politics are FUBAR. And they don't really give a honk about things like, oh, human rights, conservation, etc. The companies there know that people are expendable. And that's the root of the problem, ultimately.


What needs to happen is for there to be worldwide bans on things like coal and caps on emissions. And they need to be enforced. Not by the U.N., they're been proven to be a total failure. But a world government failed before, and the U.N. was the result. I believe it will fail again and this time something better will take its place.

Polymath1
Polymath1

@shobus01 China's pollution problem has grown in a manner consistent with increasing affluence. Population becomes an issue when people aren't satisfied living in ramshackle huts as most Chinese did 50 years ago. The environmental impact of global affluence is impossible to manage when 7 billion people want to live like the average American.

DysonLu
DysonLu

@lauriebee

There's a difference between the existence of air pollution  and people feeling the need to gather around a LED screen to "catch sunrise", which is what this "article" is suggesting.

fpenque
fpenque

@Yoshi @MarkStolzoff Yoshi it is probably best not to engage Mark.  He is either a troll just trying to get a rise out of people, or he is horrifically ignorant...