Code red smog

Air polution is a major problem in China after rapid industrialisation.

Beijing haiku:

A man on a bench in code red smog
pulls down his mask
To drag on a cigarette.

Kittycatkin: Too many syllables; a haiku has 17, 5-7-5

Proper (Kittycatkin) version:

Man in Code Red smog-
sits on bench, pulls down his mask,
lights a cigarette.

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16 Comments

  1. kittycatkin

     /  8th December 2015

    Too many syllables; a haiku has 17, 5-7-5

    Man in Code Red smog-
    sits on bench, pulls down his mask,
    lights a cigarette.

    Now, that is a haiku. See how nicely it flows with the 5-7-5 ? It is a very disciplined form, one learns what does not need to be there.

    Reply
  2. Missy

     /  8th December 2015

    So far the AQI levels have not gotten past about 400 today – not sure if that is good or bad, as last week they hit over 600 – but it is a red alert due to it being over 200 for the next three days, not due to how high they think it is going to get to – so I think it may be worse….

    Part of living in Beijing I guess.

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  8th December 2015

      Better heads than mine have obviously tried and failed to find a solution to this. How can one say to a Chinese person that THEY mustn’t drive a car ? They would rightly answer that people in the West do, so why shouldn’t they ? Do as I say, not as I do, or the Chinese equivalent. I use things made in China which may well be adding to the problem (I hope not, though) and if people didn’t buy Chinese goods, the economy would die….I don’t envy the people who have to try to solve this one.

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  8th December 2015

        The smoker might well reason that his tiny contribution is not going to make much difference and that his not smoking wouldn’t either. I’d hate to have his lungs !

        Reply
        • Missy

           /  8th December 2015

          Me too! To be honest I have seen that so many times where (men mainly) pull down or take off their mask to smoke. It is craziness!

          Reply
      • Missy

         /  8th December 2015

        I agree with you Kitty, it is not a good position to be in. A solution is very difficult for the situation I think, in the meantime the population suffer immensely from the pollution.

        Reply
      • @ kittycatkin – It’s almost certain that everything we use made in China is adding to the problem. Before we could buy Chinese commodities, manufactured cheaply due to labour exploitation – one major factor in corporate colonisation – people made or assembled them here in New Zealand, or perhaps in some cases made good without them?

        Rather than a single big red shed in (or separate from) a community, there may have been 10 or more local shops. A greater proportion of the money circulated within the NZ economy for longer because more manufacturers and wholesalers were domiciled here.

        I’m not being nostalgic. I don’t want a blanket return to those days. I don’t think they’re “the good old days” (entirely). Just saying is all, your “the economy would die” is quite a leap. The economy might simply “adapt”? (The economy might die regardless!?)

        Adaptation is surely what the pollution issue is all about too. We might both demonstrate and offer advice to China on how to adapt to reduce pollution? To do this, we’d have to recognise, in my opinion, ways in which we are “fouling our own nest” that could be changed.

        Reply
        • kittycatkin

           /  9th December 2015

          How many of us would want to go back to the days when a televison cost a week’s wages or whatever it was ? Or a car that cost what THEY cost then ? I think that those days are long gone. Remember when houses had one phone ? And when, if you wanted a second one, you had to pay for the extension as if it was a different phoneline, i.e. a double phone bill (unless you could sneakily install it yourself or knew someone who could) If the factories weren’t in China, they’d have to be somewhere.We have all become so used to cheap appliances that we wouldn’t take kindly to having to pay what people used to have to pay. I have some old magazines, and the prices of appliances here and in the UK in the 50s and 60s was eye-watering when you see how much people were earning then. I have seen some that cost the same as they do now-and I don’t mean in real terms, I mean that the actual amount was the same.

          Reply
          • kittycatkin

             /  9th December 2015

            Missy will know better than I if Chinese factory workers are paid a fair wage. I’d have thought that as general rule, wages reflected the cost of living.

            Reply
          • Yes indeed, those terrible times when the house itself was affordable, requiring a much smaller proportion of income to repay; when 80% of the population aspired to own their own house, rather than 50% or less, and didn’t see ownership necessarily as investment on a ‘property ladder’, but a place to live, a community to be part of, a ‘family home’.

            People who didn’t both rely upon and encourage property price inflation and capital gain as a means of wealth acquisition and accumulation, often the sole means. A false economy, a property bubble, economic la la Land. People who built and created things instead. Oh they were dreadful times!

            Yes, the factories would have to be somewhere. Somewhere else where the labour and other cost inputs are obscenely cheap, so owners and bosses can make obscene profits and earn obscene salaries …

            Our children’s children’s children will look back upon these times and say –

            “The darkness moved within their souls. They knew not what they did”

            Reply
  3. Missy

     /  8th December 2015

    for every cloud there is a silver lining…

    or in this case for every high pollution day there is cheap beer….

    http://www.thebeijinger.com/blog/2015/12/08/wishing-higher-aqi-jing-lifts-cap-airpocalypse-ipa-discount

    at least someone will be cashing in on the horrendous AQI. 🙂

    Reply
  4. If London could clean up its air and water in the 1950’s, China can now. Just do it.

    Reply

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