Sulfur, Sulfur, Toil and Trouble | Jeff Schweitzer
If you think this story is irrelevant, or just another example of government overreach, I invite you to visit Beijing before we continue here, even if only on a virtual tour.
The air pollution there is now so dense that the sun is blocked to the degree we would find in the aftermath of a nuclear winter.
Small toxic airborne particles are 24 times levels considered safe.
Tall buildings are obscured by toxic clouds of smog.
The atmosphere is so bad that it exceeds the world’s scale for air pollution toxicity. Breathing has become risky behavior for children, who are exposed to pollutants at levels 40 times recommended limits.
Exposed children are at higher risk for cancer, anxiety, depression, attention-deficit disorders, respiratory problems and permanent lung damage. Adults too suffer a myriad of pollution-caused ailments, including an epidemic of cancers. The countryside is no escape. Chinese farmers are “almost four times more likely to die of liver cancer and twice as likely to die of stomach cancer than the global average…”
Beijing air is what happens when the environment is forsaken on the altar of economic growth. The strategy is shortsighted, unless you manufacture face masks. Beijing air is what happens when we oppose reasonable government regulation — such as removing sulfur from gasoline.