Tuesday, December 10, 2013

State Media Deletes Editorials Espousing the Benefits of Air Pollution

These screenshots were taken on December 9, 2013, and show that, during the preceding two days, levels of PM 2.5 pollutants in both Shanghai and Beijing had exceeded 400. Anything above 300 is considered “Hazardous.”
On December 6, 2013, the state sponsored China Daily published an article entitled “Shanghai Lowers Air Quality benchmark to Reduce Alerts.” Some excerpts:
The Shanghai environmental authority announced on Thursday that it has adjusted its air pollution standards to reduce the number of alerts, adding that they will still be frequent in winter.

Experts say the move was a reluctant tacit acknowledgment of the city's poor air quality.

The municipality's Environmental Protection Bureau will now lift air pollution alerts when the concentration of PM2.5 — particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter that can penetrate deep into human lungs — falls below 115 micrograms per cubic meter.

Previously, the bureau lifted alerts after the concentration of PM2.5 dropped below 75 micrograms per cubic meter.
On December 8, 2013, China’s official news agency Xinhua published an English language  article entitled “Smog Not to Smother Road Toward Chinese Dream: Experts.” Some excerpts:
Smog these days has covered most of China with visibility in some regions lower than 50 meters, and its the hot topic at home and abroad.

Shanghai mayor Yang Xiong told a two-day forum called International Dialogue on the Chinese Dream on Saturday that Shanghai had the worst air pollution, "but it will be fine in the following days."

The Air Quality Index (AQI) topped 500 in certain areas of Shanghai on Friday.
On December 8, China’s state run television network published an editorial on its web site by one of its editors, Wang Lei (王磊), entitled “The Five Unexpected Benefits That Smog Brings” (雾霾带来的五大意外收获).
Wang's Article as it Originally Appeared on CCTV's Website
According Wang, the five benefits are:
  1. The smog makes Chinese people more united. (雾霾让中国人更团结)
  2. The smog makes Chinese people more equal. (雾霾让中国人更平等)
  3. The smog makes Chinese people more aware. (雾霾让中国人更清醒)
  4. The smog makes Chinese people more humorous. (雾霾让中国人更幽默)
  5. The smog makes Chinese people more knowledgeable. (雾霾让中国人长知识)
 The article, originally available here - http://opinion.cntv.cn/2013/12/08/ARTI1386507346057774.shtml  - was removed from the CCTV web site on December 9. These screenshots show that Xinhua published, and deleted, the article on the same day.
On December 9, the state sponsored Global Times published an article entitled “Smog Has a Major Impact on Weapons, Surveillance Becomes Unclear, and Guided Missles Lose Accuracy” (雾霾对武器影响多大:侦察看不清导弹打不准). Some excerpts:
Recently, the smog in most regions in China has grabbed everyone’s attention. Smog not only impacts physical health and normal travel, it also has an influence on military activities: it can significantly reduce the effectiveness of surveillance equipment, and can also cause guided missiles to become inaccurate. Smog is major enemy of those who make their living off the air force. However, on the battlefield, smog can also benefit the military activities of defense forces. 
The article, originally available here - http://mil.huanqiu.com/paper/2013-12/4642262.html - was subsequently deleted, as shown in this video.