Skyscrapers rise eerily through the heavy smog in Shenyang, in northeast China’s Liaoning Province, in November 2014.
Air and water pollution have plagued China in recent decades as the East Asian country has powered its way to being the world’s second-largest economy. Growing up in smog-blanketed cities like Beijing, some Chinese children have never seen the stars at night, or a blue sky, or a white cloud. Many city dwellers wear masks when they venture outdoors. Tourists have their photos taken against backdrops of a scenic cityscape to conceal the real, polluted skyline.
In early March an exposé of China’s pollution problems titled Under the Dome went viral on China’s internet. Produced by Chai Jing, a former anchor on Chinese state-run television, the documentary received more than 200 million hits. It was even praised by China’s environmental minister, Chen Jining, who likened it to Silent Spring, the book by Rachel Carson that helped launch the environmental movement in the United States a half century ago.
But the level of attention to the government’s ineffectiveness in combatting pollution apparently became too inconvenient for China’s rulers. As the annual meeting of the Communist Party–controlled National People’s Congress got under way in early March, the censors were ordered to step in and block the film. In seconds, it was gone from the Internet. Hopefully for the Chinese people, its message won’t disappear from the minds of those who saw it.
Image credit: © Imaginechina via AP Images
- Pollution Film Too Popular for Beijing’s Comfort
This article tells how a documentary titled Under the Dome has stirred up China’s environmental crisis.
(Source: Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2015)
- Under the Dome: Watch the Viral Video Documentary about Pollution That Is Scaring the Chinese Government
This Australian news site has made celebrity journalist Chiai Jing’s film Under the Dome, on China’s perilous pollution, available online.
(Source: Sydney Morning Herald, March 8, 2015)
- 20+ Shocking Photos Showing How Bad Pollution in China Has Become
One picture is worth all the words in this current events posting.
(Source: boredpanda.com, February 6, 2015)
- Chinese Premier Vows Tougher Regulation on Air Pollution
This article covers the official Chinese response of to the renewed alarm over the country’s toxic pollution and the government’s failure to address it.
(Source: New York Times, March 15, 2015)