Traffic Police In Shanghai Get Anti-Smog Nasal Air Filters.

Shanghai traffic police wearing anti-smog nasal air filters.

Anti-smog nasal air filters

Unlike the became fashionable SARS masks, designer anti-smog nasal air filters are going to be a tough sell. In an effort to protect police officers in the Songjiang district of Shanghai, the department has issued the anti-smog nasal air filters to all traffic police. From the Guardian:

“The department decided to provide nasal filters – which it called ‘invisible masks’ – because unlike traditional masks they would not hinder officers from shouting and blowing whistles. A sequence of heavily polluted days in January, dubbed the ‘airpocalypse’ has transformed public attitudes towards the thick smog bedevilling many of China’s major cities.”

Here’s a suggestion for anyone traveling through Shanghai: if a police officer pulls you aside and speaks to you haltingly, don’t mimic them. It’s not easy to only breathe in through your nose and have a conversation. [Guardian]

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China Consumes Almost As Much Coal As The Rest Of The World Combined.

China Coal Consumption vs Rest Of The World

Graphic from Washington Post

I might have figured out one major contributor to China’s deadly smog.

Burning coal to supply electricity to 1+ billion people will have adverse side-effects – off the charts air pollution is just the visible one. [ThinkProgress]

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Billionaire Chen Guangbiao Is Already Selling A Cure For China’s Devastating Smog: ‘Pristine Tibet’ Canned Air.

China smog cure:  canned air.I sure hope the Onion is behind this story.

Beijing’s extremely hazardous air quality has been all over the news and billionaire Chen Guangbiao isn’t waiting for a Chinese version of the Clean Air Act – he’s already done something about it. He’s been producing canned air for several months and his hope is that China’s children and future grandchildren won’t have to wear gas masks and carry oxygen tanks around in order to breathe clean air. From The Sydney Morning Herald:

“Chen Guangbiao sells his cans of air for five yuan (75¢) each. It comes in atmospheric flavours including pristine Tibet, post-industrial Taiwan and revolutionary Yan’an, the Communist Party’s early base area.”

Jubbling’s take now is the same as it was when we first heard about canned air for sale: 蛇油 (snake oil). [Smart Planet]

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Scene From Blade Runner Unknowingly Recreated In China’s Smog.

Pangu Plaza in Beijing smog

The photo above is the Pangu Plaza in Beijing and due to the smog conditions and the building’s large video screen, it does share an uncanny resemblance to a city scene in the film Blade Runner. Pangu Plaza in Beijing


Large video screen scene in Blade Runner

2019 Los Angeles might actually get a win here. [Gizmodo]

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CEMEX Cement Plant In Kentucky Reduced Emissions By Switching Power Source From Coal To Scrap Tires.

CEMEX-Kosmos Cement KilnThis is news to me – burning scrap tires to make cement is better for the environment than using coal. According to an article in the Courier-Journal, emissions of nitrogen oxides (a component of smog) have dropped by 37% ever since the CEMEX cement plant in Kosmos KY switched their fuel source from coal to scrap tires in December 2010.

From the Courier-Journal, here’s how the tire-powered cement kiln works:

“Two rollers grab a scrapped rubber tire before pitching it at 85 mph as far as 110 feet into the bowels of the kiln — where it vaporizes in an instant in 3,000-degree temperatures.”

We need our cement so we have to choose “what’s less worse”: coal (30 tons/hour) or recycled tires (3-6 tons/hour)?

After reading the article in C-J and watching the video, I couldn’t help feeling that CEMEX’s switch from coal to scrap tires isn’t going to end well. It’s kind of like the 1940’s advertisements with doctors recommending one cigarette brand over another. Consume less. [Courier-Journal]

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