China’s Smog Can’t Compete With London’s Pea SoupRoundup: Historians' Take
tags: China, smog, pollution
In Harbin, which has a population of 11 million, the PM2.5 index -- a measure of the concentration of microscopic particulate matter in the air -- broke 1,000. The World Health Organization considers any reading of more than 20 to be a cause for concern, and levels above 300 to be hazardous.
Like so much having to do with China’s economy, this environmental degradation seems unprecedented. It isn’t. The disasters in China today are simply the latest in a series of public-health catastrophes that have accompanied industrialization elsewhere. In fact, China’s contemporary pollution problems probably fall short of records first established in the U.K. and the U.S.
One of the defining features of industrial revolutions past and present is the shift to fossil fuels such as coal, particularly in urban centers. Much like contemporary China, England became an economic powerhouse by relying on cheap coal to power its factories as well as to heat and illuminate the cities that would become crucibles of industrial capitalism: Manchester, Birmingham and above all, London....
comments powered by Disqus
- Oklahoma ACLU Files Suit Against State Ban on Critical Race Theory
- St. Malo, Louisiana, Site of Earliest Filipino-American Settlement, Threatened by Climate Change
- Executive Privilege was out of Control Before Steve Bannon Claimed It
- Can Skeletons Have Racial Identity?
- Diver Discovers 900-Year-Old Sword Dating to the Crusades
- Leonard Moore: On Teaching Black History to White People
- How Cigarettes Became a Civil Rights Issue
- David Graeber and David Wengrow Have Given Human History a Rewrite
- Dems Worry Not Passing Biden Agenda Will Kill Them in the Midterms. Does Legislation Actually Matter?
- #HATM: "Historians at the Movies" Builds Community One Screening at a Time