At some point I have to emerge and face some real news. Here is an intermediate step:
China starts 2017 engulfed by smog, issues pollution alerts
Yeah, yeah, China has a smog problem, no news there. But this struck me:
More than 300 flights out of the northern city of Tianjin were canceled Sunday due to poor visibility.
And some grim reality:
The Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau extended an "orange alert" for heavy air pollution for three more days. Beijing's smog had initially been forecast to lift by Monday.
The "orange alert" is the third level, preceding a "red alert," in China's four-tiered warning system. On Sunday, 25 cities in China issued "red alerts" for smog, which triggers orders to close factories, schools and construction sites.
Air pollution readings in northern Chinese cities were many times above the World Health Organization-designated safe level of 25 micrograms per cubic meter of PM 2.5, the tiny, toxic particles that damage lung tissue. The readings exceeded 400 by Monday afternoon in several cities in the northern province of Hebei.
China will transition away from coal due to common air pollution, not carbon pollution. Somewhat similar to the path the US followed once we felt ourselves wealthy enough to afford seeming "luxuries" like clean air.
That said, it is sad that experience has been such a poor teacher over in China. They should have seen this pollution problem coming, and would have except for the poor air quality...