A bout de souffle

When you read laws in China, you will find that they are very thoughtful and accurately designed. So are also the standards of air quality. But it will be a large effort to implement them to a degree that there is a real improvement. The development model of China is based on turning the country into the "world's factory". Unfortunately it has been also been turned into the world's garbage bin. It is often said that this is the price for development and that now developed countries were even worse in the past. That's also true. Just that now clean technologies are readily available for use and they were not in Europe 50-100 years ago. People tell me that China has the "moral right to be polluted" like all other countries during the phase of industrialisation. Sure, people also have the moral right to have diabetes, to smoke, to wear no seat belt in the car and no helmet on motor cycles and make all the other mistakes we did before in the developed countries again. Enjoy!

I am glad to see that not just awareness, but also the determination is growing to resolve the problem of air pollution in Beijing. The immediate health effect might not be even too bad. But it is just not nice if you can't see the sky and feel like you want to vomit when you go on the street on a bad day. For the Olympic Games in 2008 it worked reasonably well, but was not sustained. The current Five Year Plan also sets clear targets for environmental protection and energy usage per GDP. I guess, everybody is holding his breath to see what happens. I am happy that I can do a bit more than that.