Denial is not just an American thing…
Last week, the Chinese government demanded that foreign embassies stop reporting independent air pollution measurements. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing, for example, has a monitor on its roof that automatically tweets information about the city’s particulate and ozone pollution.
06-11-2012 09:00; PM2.5; 38.0; 105; Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (at 24-hour exposure at this level)
— BeijingAir (@BeijingAir) June 11, 2012
The government claims that its objection is based on the small sample size such readings necessarily represent. The real critique, of course, is that air pollution in that nation’s capital is an ongoing source of tension and embarrassment — one that the government would rather not be a matter of public knowledge. It’s embarrassing to have your carefully crafted messaging fall apart in the face of scientific evidence.
But that’s China — a repressive regime that mirrors 1984, right? It doesn’t know the freedoms and honest debate that…
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