Thursday, February 01, 2007

Try not to breathe for the next few days...

Impression of Killer Fog - Embankment 1952 by Jacqueline Morreau

I am appalled and aghast. According to the EPA's website the Pollutant Standard Index in Taichung is sitting at a whopping 108! That's into the red, into unhealthy, where small children and people with respiratory problems are supposed to stay indoors. It's even worse in many places down south and over on Kinmen, which, unlike the others, doesn't have a lot of industry. I mean they have a lot of industry nearby, but nothing they're making much money off of. Meanwhile in Beijing they're sitting on a fifty! They have been cleaning up their air quality in anticipation of the arriving Olympians. They've been doing lots of nice things to prepare.

This is one of those curious weather phenomena that a cold front can sometimes bring. An inversion that traps all the pollution under a layer of pressure while the people under the bubble keep turning up their heaters and slowly choke to death. It's like what happened with the Great London Fog famously in 1952, but several other times as well, in 1873, 1880, 1882, 1891, 1892, 1948, 1962 and in 1991.

This image was originally posted atNPR

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