Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Pollutiony (adjective: thick or having much pollution)

The weather in Wenzhou has been dull and pollutiony (I know that's not a word, but I'm not giving in to saying it's foggy, because it's not, it's pollutiony). There are clear days in Wenzhou and then there are days like these, it's all in the roll of a dice. I guess it might be to do with wind direction, sometimes we're lucky and the pollution is sent to Taiwan, other times it veils across the city like a pillow suffocating us all to death -- albeit very slowly. It is this point alone that makes Wenzhou not a place to live for a long duration of time. It's fine for now, but I am still not comfortable with the fact that I am unintentionally smoking the equivalent of a couple of packets of cigarettes every day.

I have used this example once before I think: above, The Wenzhou World Trade Centre on a clear day. Below, the same building today, ugh.


I had a class a few days ago which was centred around the environment. I asked my student if he knew which cities were the top pollutants in the world. This young man was clever, talkative, and inquisitive, so I thought he would know for sure. Actually, he didn't. He told me an answer which I have heard all too many times since I started working at Web: "To be honest, I think London is the most polluted city". He explained to me his reasons why, which were all correct -- if we were still in Victorian times. I told him it is not like that now at all, but he insisted that it is because of the 2012 Olympics, so the government are moving away all of the factories from the city. This highlighted to me how, once again, many people have been misinformed on basic facts.

9 comments:

Alex (Sasha) said...

Random student said:

He explained to me his reasons why, which were all correct -- if we were still in Victorian times. I told him it is not like that now at all, but he insisted that it is because of the 2012 Olympics, so the government are moving away all of the factories from the city. This highlighted to me how, once again, many people have been misinformed on basic facts.

I can only shake my head. Sure London was a foggy, polluted place in victorian times, but it is nothing like that now!

When I left Beijing Airport in the summer, and showed my parents the photos, they couldnt believe the olympics would be held there. It gets so bad in places like BJ, GZ, WZ, you just cant even see clouds.

When the weather is sunny and no fog or haze, it is wonderful though.

And fog is different from hazy pollution. I've walked around in England in fog and felt refreshed and enjoying clean air. Not the same here.

Cheers for the post.
Alex

Jonna Wibelius said...

Yeah the pollution over here is the one thing I cannot stand. Sure it is crowded, sure it is... different. But the polluted air (so well highlighted with your photo of a 'good day' and a 'bad day'...) is simply unbearable. I am an avid runner but since I moved to China my outdoor runs have decreased dramatically. Now I rather run at the treadmill (that I used to hate!) than outside.

The Acolyte Tao said...

That is pretty funny he said London. Quite interesting really how people from different areas think other places are more polluted when you yourself are covered in it. Oh well.

Johnny Ding said...

As I grew up here in Wenzhou,I really didn't realize the weather was like that bad! Beer Lillian always talk to me that Wenzhou has bad weather.

London was badly polluted,we learnd this from our history book years ago. Maybe middle school. But that was at least 10 years ago. Never put your mind on that guy who ahead-moving.

Alex (Sasha) said...

Johnny,

The problem is the reactionary knee jerk nationalism that raises it's head.

Chris (or foreign teacher from US/Canada/Australia) mentions pollution in China, and then student names random city in teacher's home country to say it is more polluted than China, even if it isn't true.

It's like arguing with religious bigots about abortion or creationism, you can't argue with brainwashed youth like that, because they are ALWAYS right!!

mabelp said...

Wow! There's a big difference between smoggy and clear day there.
Hope your health won't be affected by it too much. You can wear a mask if the air pollution is too serious!

I think HK is a polluted city too since we have too many cars, people and skyscrapers, so the ventilation is bad if humidity is high.

Alex (Sasha) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex (Sasha) said...

Mabel,

Where do you think most of that pollution in HK comes from? Those factories Dongguan and Shenzhen.....never?!

mabelp said...

Alex,
U're right! Factories in the Mainland is a significant cause of air pollution in Hong Kong as well! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_pollution_in_Hong_Kong#Mainland_Chinese_industry