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Under the Dome: Trying To Save This Whole System We Call Home


Under the Dome: Trying To Save This Whole System We Call Home

Giving new breadth to the term "viral," up to 200 million people in China watched a new, deeply personal, meticulously researched, $160,000 documentary last weekend about China's calamitous pollution problem, which on its worst "airpocalypse" days is said to resemble an airport smoking lounge. Some view the film, released on the eve of the National People's Congress, as China's "Silent Spring." Journalist and filmmaker Chai Jing hopes so: "This is how history will be made."


Just a little personal note here: my son lives in Shanghai, has been living there for the last 5 years. He has an apartment on the 37th floor by the Huangpu and they should have a wonderful view over the city and far beyond. Unfortunately it’s not the case: you can barely see a couple of hundred meters and even that is murky. Some days you can barely make out buildings over the river. Whenever I arrive to visit, the first thing I’m given is a face-mask to breath through. Once in the car, I’m forbidden to open the windows. Every couple of hours we check the weather apps on our phone what is the pollution like and if it’s bad we get inside, or at least in the car. When the pollution gets unbearablle, the big factories in the vicinity are simply switched off for a couple of days, then cranked up again. Not sure of this though, but that’s the official line, so maybe…
We’ve travelled widely in China and during those 5 years we’ve seen staggering changes. Everything is being modernized, built in with skyscrapers, factories, shops, etc. The highways and bridges are incredible. The problem is however the quality: every building barely a couple of years old looks as if it was built a hundred years ago - they are literally crumbling and dirty. So they need to build new ones instead.


"Where have all the flowers gone?" Pete Seeger


Thank you, o reptilian queen. I rather imagined the explosive growth there was accomplished partly through the absence of responsible regulation. Worked in construction most of my life - heavy, light, industrial, commercial, residential. Many here don’t fully appreciate the impact of long-formulated regulation to ensure quality, salability, and insurability. When I worked in heavy industrial construction most contract documents forbid the use of Chinese steel in any component of the project. Wasn’t due to trade protectionism, but for safety and strength, and durability reasons. Similarly, designing and erecting competent concrete structures is both a science and an art, and a learned skill that relies on the competency of every worker involved. This last was driven home to me when witnessing the stark differences between work performed by union construction trades as opposed to non-union.

Your post made me think of The Nightmare Before Christmas - seeing the shape, but not the underlying substance.


Yeah, ‘get in the car’, that’ll sure make things better . . . for everyone.


I look at this and see the same globalization madness the wold over, wool pulled over, the world over. The system that bring you this poisoning is… tada!.. exporting the centuries old “assimilation” and genocide/ ecocide/ethnocide of the diversity of indigenous peoples of Nicaragua with the Interoceanic Canal - CD is covering today.

To ship things,things, things, things; so people can ‘vacate’ their daily lives that are so devoid of meaning that they go someplace ‘exotic’ like a ‘resort’ - that is to resort to vacating in vacation; so that the bludgeon of an economic theory can suck in and blow out in imitation of planetary life being cut off below the knees with … tada! … absolutely amazing short circuits to keep ‘growing’ the militarization of industrialization.


Under the Dome is up on youtube


Hello Justaman, I agree that we need regulations and trade unions to keep an eye on applying them. But wait: isn’t China a communist country, where watchers are watching the watchers and trade unions supposedly are everywhere? Seems not, alas. Corruption? Neglect? Who-cares attitude? I guess that all those cheap goodies coming out of China are not that cheap at all. The food is toxic, the materials are toxic and very low quality, etc. Although, once you pay the proper price, the quality is superb, be it Apple products or other electronics, some clothing and other fashion items, etc.


The Chinese have embraced predatory Capitalism wholeheartedly, and that’s just one of the results.


Yep, planned obsolescence