Where it hurts to breathe

The air in Beijing is one of the reasons I’m writing this blog. After going there I decided that I want to do everything I can to make people realize that a healthy environment is the best thing we have. That no amounts of any material stuff made in China can make up for clean air to breathe.

The air in Beijing right now is so thick with smog that they limited traffic and closed factories. Older and sickly people are dying from the air they breathe. You can read more about the situation  for example here on New York Times.

Beijing 2

The Forbidden City, gray as well. You see the scarf in my hand that covered my mouth and nose for most of the stay

I went there in July 2013 with my boyfriend. We stayed two days before taking the Trans-Siberian train. I walked with my scarf over my mouth and nose. The air contained particles that you could feel in your lungs. It felt like needles after a day of breathing in the city. And then it was not even a warning for extra polluted air, it was just normal Beijing! The best thing about the Chinese wall was that it’s above the city so the air there was cleaner. Something is wrong when you’re at the Chinese wall and your’e not so much impressed with the wall itself but more with the feeling of being able to breathe. I had a cough for weeks after leaving Beijing. And I decided that I would really do as much as I can to make sure the air elsewhere would never reach the state of Beijing.

Beijing 1

Forced smile. The a sun practically never shines in Beijing because of smog. Everything looks gray

What is wrong with people? Why don’t we stop before the air has become bad? It’s like smokers who don’t stop smoking until they get lung cancer.

A fancy car. A new bag. A flat screen tv or a new computer every two years. Stuff made in factories making Beijings air dangerous to breathe. What’s wrong with people, it seems like many prefer a handbag to clean air to breathe? Economic growth, which usually means more people owning more stuff, should never be more important than health.

Beijing 3

Still smog but you could breathe at the Great Wall

Helsinki decided to stop burning coal in 2024. Great, but why not stop today? The next step is to introduce road-fees for all other cars than electric ones. These opinions do not originate from some altruist environmentalism. I just really like air. That’s pretty normal, right? The truth is that people are too lazy to do what’s good for them. I ride a car every now and then too, even if I know taking the bike is always better. Single persons can make a difference by choosing public transport or bicycling but there will always be people who are lazy more than every now and then. That’s why we need regulations. Just like most teenagers benefit from parents telling them not to smoke.But in a democracy we can’t blame it just on the regulators, because we chose them…

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