China’s Apocalyptic Hellscape

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The smog in Beijing and parts of northern China has grown so bad that some have likened conditions to living through a “nuclear winter”

Related content:
China’s Smog Is So Bad They’re Now Calling It a ‘Nuclear Winter’

More Photography from Time

215 comments
JackWolf
JackWolf

And to think deniers don't think emissions are bad for humans.

cdkeli
cdkeli

China - the land that greedy Wall Street bankers built,,,who'd of guessed?!

paulgeorges
paulgeorges

To be wealthy doesn't mean automatically more intelligent as some try to convince us . Only to see in China or the crise of 2008 without any real measure against  traders and bankers bad behaviour .Bussiness as usual for wealthy ones and abyss for the others .

George286
George286

This same thing happened in London in 1952 with burning coal and just the right weather conditions, the smog killed about 4,000 people.  It is just a matter of time for the Chinese, apparently they will need the same wake-up call to consider the environment along with economic progress. 

ChangDaXu
ChangDaXu

Us Chinese must not get defensive when the US talks bad about the bad air quality in China. I don't know if its fog that's in the pictures but Beijing and other areas are suffering from POLLUTION. There is no denying, Don't ignore the problem and deny it just because the West is saying those harsh things. This is the only issue where I don't mind US talking bad about China cuz it's really that bad.

yzhuang1
yzhuang1

Just like a few decades in LA

john_rambo
john_rambo

Manufacturing all that counterfeit stuff creates a lot of pollution.

DredScott
DredScott

I didnt see anything!!  All the slides were just gray colored!!!


LMAO!!!

rj8612
rj8612

Wow is it really that bad?. The Chinese aren't complaining and it just looks like another foggy day. It can't be that bad. Us Americans are just not use to it. If it gets bad enough the Chinese will fix it and it's not to that point yet. But the air does smell good here it america, ahhh taking a deep breath.

Crom
Crom

So far I have only heard western and non Chinese media making comments about the pollution. When is the Chinese media and it's government, that is speaks for, going to say something about it? So far they got angry at the US for releasing the PM 2.5 readings with out permission.

DML
DML

It's pollution...I was just there for two years. It hurts your lungs just breathing. People are coughing all the time, and there is a nagging phlegm that resides in your throat. It's pretty bad. The picture shown is a normal day in Beijing. 

You may think it's fog but they have pollution measuring equipment at the embassy and other places. Sometimes the conversation revolves around the amount of pollution in the air at the office--its that bad. 

zOne
zOne

In the 1800s London choked on its own fumes from coal. 


In the 1960s it was NYC.


Now it is China. 


Buring coal to boil water to make steam to turn a turbine to make electricity is industrial revolution technology.   


Burning coal is a first order solution.  It works if you ignore all of the negative side effects. 


A second order solution is one that can make the electricity without poisoning the people to death. 


Short term you can put industrial process controls in place - that are currently commercially available and it will dramatically improve the situation.  


As China allows this conditin to persist,  it tells a tale about waht the power rich wannabees think about the people there.  Obviously the people are only ythere to be exploited.   


The intersting things is - even the rich breathe the poison air. 


This is like a lithmus test about the fate of the planet. 


Are the Chinese savvy enough to pick up their game and fix this - to the bettermment of all mankind ? 


That is the prefered path.  Even from the Chinese point of view.  Why?  Chinesecivilization is 5 thousand years old.  There is a traditon of greatness in that society.  This condition is a blemish on that tradition.  


In recent times, there has been a history of expliotation of the Chinese by foreigners.   And now the CHinese feel it is their day to get what is due to them.  


But this condititon is not the answer.   And the problem this time is thsat the Chinese are doing it to themselves. 


Ina country where that can put in 6000 miles of high speed rail in 5 years.  They can fix this just about completely in 5 years and establish China as the preeminent eco country globoally in the coming century.   The quesiton is of values and allocation of resource.  Will they go the way of some western countries catering to the narrow interests of ecnomicly power individuals or will they tap into the posittive traditon of a great China and adovcate for all of the citizens there ? 


If you were emperor,  what would you do ? As goes China, so goes the planet. 

Protect_American_Jobs
Protect_American_Jobs

Foreign Lobbyists here in the US promote sending US jobs to countries like China, where they work for slave wages, no benefits, no OSHA safety standards or no real environment regulations. It also doesn't help us compete when these company's factories are subsidized by China's communist government. Just check out the current Chinese extreme pollution issues – We all live in the same world, but not every country plays by the same rules.

Countries like Germany, Canada, Japan and other countries like them are more or less on a level playing field with us. But countries like China, India, Mexico and others like them are not even close. But you don't see China, India or Mexico with anything even close to our EPA, DEP, OSHA, etc................

Also most counterfeit goods are produced and manufactured in China, making it the counterfeit capital of the world. In fact, the counterfeiting industry accounts for 8% of China's GDP.

Trade with countries like China, India and Mexico is pretty much a One-Way-Street.

Our economic problems didn't happen overnight. It's been happening over the past 25 years, but the American economy was kept going by middle class American consumers tapping into the equity on their homes, that enabled them to continue to buy the cheap outsourced products until they were completely tapped out, out of good jobs and or out of work.  

On the US Department of Commerce's US Census Bureau website there's a graphic showing how our trade imbalance has gotten progressively worse over the entire period from 1989 to the present and how it's really accelerated at an increasingly greater rate each year since 1999.

We can thank "our leaders" from both sides and the WTO for that.

See for yourself: www(dot)census(dot)gov(slash)foreign-trade(slash)balance(slash)c0004(dot)html

Check it out and figure it out for yourself.

If these "free trade" agreements were so good us, why did our trade deficit keep getting larger and larger during this span of time.

Increasingly way more money going out of our country every year versus coming in every year.

It's not rocket science.

Regardless of what the Free-Traitors keep trying to sell us, we can see what's real. The American People need to just trust their own instincts, common sense and what they've seen actually going on all around them versus all of the nonsense that the free-traitors are still trying to sell us.

The “Global Market Place” is not a level playing field! The whole idea of the tariffs is so we can pay our factory workers a decent wage and not be blown out by these other countries where they don’t play by the same rules.

The bottom line is that “Our Government” has to protect domestic industry and the jobs that those industries provide. If they do that, the rest will take care of itself.

We may have to pay a bit more for products made here in the USA by US citizens, but at least we'll still have jobs and a future for our children.

TNT55
TNT55

Do you know  the bluest sky on earth  is in China. Tibet plateau, Google it and you are sure.

DanielMKasian
DanielMKasian

Yup your all right Fog nothing to see here! LOL

Try googling China pollution pics, and get an idea of the pics that should be posted above....

smoke a joint first to open your mind!

bliss
bliss

just look at the peoples they wearing winter cloths so is must be a cold foggy morning.don't make judgement& negative comment so soon viewers

bliss
bliss

man this is stupid

just posted a picture of a FOGGY morning then saids all the negatives things about it LOL

TNT55
TNT55

Pollution caused by industrial development is nothing unusual and I don't know why there are so many idiots taking pleasure in others' misfortune. Ask your grandfather “Was London once a smoggy city? Did New York  have a blue sky many many years ago? ” 

Autora
Autora

It is only a matter of time, pollution problem is wide-spread in Asia everywhere. Pollution control does not exist where production is not regulated and well planned.

TRuNYC
TRuNYC

Don't care about China. The are the worlds hemorrhoids

makeyourself
makeyourself

Please. This is ridiculous. Not trying to downplay pollution, but PLEASE. This is FOG. Clearly FOG. READ a SCIENCE BOOK. This pics are taken at "beneficial moments" for certain groups "propaganda machines". PLEASE. Asia, for hundreds, even thousands of years, has been subject to FOG. Try taking pics of San Fran, you could see the same thing. As far as the medical masks go, I'm not sure why, so I don't presume to be knowledgeable about this topic, but... a lot of Asian cultures wear these types of masks in densely populated areas/situations. Making a brash and hasty conclusion by putting 2 and 2 together is a mistake. PLEASE go off of PROVEN science. Not media science.

pataihua
pataihua

Eleven years in Eastern China, mostly Shanghai.  The first few years, Chinese could have anything and in any colour they wanted as long as it was black and looked like government issue.  You could have any car, as long as it was a Ford or VW. and black.  People still had little money, ate mostly at home.  Would spend their last RMB for the month so as to give face to their compatriots.  By 2004 the economy was beginning to ramp up, we saw people adopting more colour in their dress, style and colour of cars were noticeable, more KFC's and McD's, Starbucks began to ramp up, over-taking the pricy coffee lounges from Taiwan.  Change wa in the air.  Having just left Shanghai the changes were astounding, the population had exploded.  the price payed was noticeable pollution about three years ago, until the last year became a deep cause for concern.  Windows closed, face masks were becoming a fashion, if not a necessary item to wear.  Astounding that still few people wore them and still eschew them.  The population in that period exploded, with new graduates seeking fortune, unskilled migrant people were flooding into the City in search of a better life, only to have many work in low paying jobs, many being exploited, unpaid after a year's work. Many living on the edges of the City, six, eight, ten living in one room.  And yes I've seen it all. What they left behind was in many cases worse. 

Pollution in China is certainly serious and health-threatening, but for many who have no choice there are greater challenges.  China is perhaps the most complex society on our planet. It is akin to a pressure cooker.  The leadership are well aware of the inside pressures, are desperately seeking ways of bleeding off the pressure.  

For the sake of those good people, who struggle each and every day to get by, one hopes that the new leadership finds a way.  Time is running out.

defiantroa
defiantroa

Probably the best way for the powers that be to reduce the population of China.

lolololol
lolololol

@ChangDaXu  @ChangDaXu  Nobody is denying there is a pollution problem in main Chinese cities. The problem comes with the West using it as a rhetorical weapon. Would you shut down these factories, from which literally millions of people draw their livelihood, and drive them into Southeast Asia? Would you deprive the growing (and unstable) middle-class petite-bourgeoisie of their privilege of driving their own vehicles?


What some don't realize is that despite what happened in West, industrial production has never moved to a position where pollution can be reduced. The de-industrialized economies of developed countries derive their GDP from finance, with which they deprive poorer countries of their hard-earned wealth without lifting a finger. And so the richer gets richer, and the poorer gets poorer.


If there's one thing we learned from history, it's that the heavily-polluting industrial stage, driven by cheaply available energy and labor sources, is one that every country must go through. The accumulation of capital that occurs at this stage is necessary for the eventual transformation of the economy into more sustainable, less exploitative forms.


I'm also Chinese (let's assume you're really Chinese as well), and millions upon millions of my countrymen have worked hard in these factories to provide for themselves and their families, securing a chance for their children to attend school, become literate, and have a shot at making more of themselves than their parents. As dangerous, low-paying, and polluting as these factories are, they provide a degree of inter-generational social mobility that subsistence farming in a remote mountain village never could.



Read more: PHOTOS: China's Smog Conditions Like 'Nuclear Winter' | TIME.com http://world.time.com/2014/02/26/china-smog-nuclear-winter/#ixzz2uruTf7pK

lolololol
lolololol

@ChangDaXu  Nobody is denying there is a pollution problem in main Chinese cities. The problem comes with the West using it as a rhetorical weapon. Would you shut down these factories, from which literally millions of people draw their livelihood, and drive them into Southeast Asia? Would you deprive the growing (and unstable) middle-class petite-bourgeoisie of their privilege of driving their own vehicles?


What some don't realize is that despite what happened in West, industrial production has never moved to a position where pollution can be reduced. The de-industrialized economies of developed countries derive their GDP from finance, with which they deprive poorer countries of their hard-earned wealth without lifting a finger. And so the richer gets richer, and the poorer gets poorer.


If there's one thing we learned from history, it's that the heavily-polluting industrial stage, driven by cheaply available energy and labor sources, is one that every country must go through. The accumulation of capital that occurs at this stage is necessary for the eventual transformation of the economy into more sustainable, less exploitative forms.


I'm also Chinese (let's assume you're really Chinese as well), and millions upon millions of my countrymen have worked hard in these factories to provide for themselves and their families, securing a chance for their children to attend school, become literate, and have a shot at making more of themselves than their parents. As dangerous, low-paying, and polluting as these factories are, they provide a degree of inter-generational social mobility that subsistence farming in a remote mountain village never could.

WilfTarquin
WilfTarquin

@ChangDaXu I really must commend you on your fairness and honesty. It's refreshing to see.

786178572
786178572

the governer are always lie to us people,many youngs hate government and the communist party here in china,,and we ofen kid that u.s. save us

madskiguy
madskiguy

Are you really that dumb? Say it isn't so!

Jiran1026
Jiran1026

@Crom  Your "so far" is really far away, like a decade ago. Lots of local citizens in Beijing are complaining about the air pollution. There are tons of news reports released by local medias regarding the terrible air quality. 

Jason_Xu
Jason_Xu

@Crom  they talk about those stuff everyday both on street and media. but no obvious measurements are taken by now. 

madskiguy
madskiguy

You sound smart but type like yer drunk ;)

George286
George286

@TNT55 that is because there is no air at that altitude (not to mention that Tibet is not exactly an industrial powerhouse).

Crom
Crom

@TNT55  

Tibet is not China and neither is Taiwan 

MickeyCashen
MickeyCashen

@bliss I wore winter clothes outside yesterday and we had NO fog.  Imagine that - no fog on a very cold day!  Where do you live, San Francisco?

MickeyCashen
MickeyCashen

@TNT55 Baltimore was so bad with pollution when I was very young that I witnessed my mother's and other women's hosiery literally partially disintegrate, developing large holes or "runs" on their legs while walking down the street.  Other cities in the USA were as bad.


But I've also spent time in Beijing.  Baltimore, etc. were NOWHERE CLOSE as bad as Beijing is now.

lolololol
lolololol

@TRuNYC  Anglo-Saxons are the world's cancer. And it's already metastasized.

TNT55
TNT55

@TRuNYC  


Be careful with your  words! Are you  a savage or civilized person? I bet there is something on your body  or in your house is made in China. 

Tokyo5
Tokyo5

Proven science? Well, the air is passed through a series sub micron filters and the amount of particles smaller than 2.5 microns contained in each cubic meter of air are measured in micro grams. Normal is 0~4, and the limit for safety is around 37. China is seeing readings over 200. Is that scientific enough for you? I live in Japan, and when the weather current are right, it blows across the Sea of Japan, and all the way to Tokyo. It sets off automatic warning systems and can get as high as 90 micrograms per cubic meter. It feels a lot like having cat allergies and rubbing a cat all over your face. Your eyes turn red and burn like hell. You cough, sneeze constantly and have a splitting headache. The only relief is to close all windows, hang by your air purifier and wait for it to blow over or for it to rain.

You should really stick to talking about things that you actually know something about.

TNT55
TNT55

@defiantroa  

         You know China is a Power . You are the first to be reduced because your English is so bad but  live in English-speaking country. 

ihun
ihun

@786178572  SAVE US?   无语了都,one couldn't save himself but depand on others,救你何用?

TNT55
TNT55

@George286 @TNT55  

China is very big. The coverage of media about the smog in Beijing seems to have given people such an impression that the whole China is in smog.  That's really ridiculous!   

Mia524879
Mia524879

Iraq's oil not for US to grab through war.

Jason_Xu
Jason_Xu

@Crom @TNT55  this is a ridiculous matter to talk about it here. anyway, tibet is managed by chinese government. it is now under china's control. 

horaisankaguya
horaisankaguya

@ihun @786178572  check your spelling u two guys, what's 'depand'? and what's 'ofen'? 回高中去重读3年书ok.


one can't save himself but depends on others, is he not worth saving? in certain cases, he is indeed worth saving since if you don't save people like him the entire society might collapse. 


and after all, is it a crime that one can't save himself only because he can not change the world to a significant extent with his own effort? if even this is a crime, how many people on the earth are not criminals???

George286
George286

@Mia524879 it is if a Hussein wants conquer his neighbors to steal theirs and use it as a weapon against us.