Dust Storms plague Beijing


Dust storms occur regularly yearly in China now. In spring, when winds from China’s north-west blow loose, dry soil and sand from the Gobi Desert into the city, it coats urban areas with a layer of dusty pollution and adds to the existing choking smog from industrial pollution.

Visibility in Beijing was as low as 1km yesterday  and levels of large particulate matter, known as PM10, hovered at around 900 micrograms per cubic m, or nearly 20 times the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommended daily maximum exposure of 50 mcg per cubic m.

The Chinese government has spent billions of dollars on projects to rein in the spread of deserts, planting trees on empty land and trying to protect what plant cover remains in marginal areas. Right now the effects of the changes are negligible.

Has their economic march gone down a slippery slope they cannot recover from? Will the Paris Climate Agreement  within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) be their salvation? Do they have enough political will to make serious and effective changes that will make a difference in the lives of their citizens in the near future? Or is the Economic Imperative just too strong and important a priority?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s