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US Embassy Categorizes Beijing Air Quality As 'Crazy Bad'

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the it-totally-sucks dept.

Earth 270

digitaldc writes "Pollution in Beijing was so bad Friday the US embassy, which has been independently monitoring air quality, ran out of conventional adjectives to describe it, at one point saying it was 'crazy bad.' The embassy later deleted the phrase, saying it was an 'incorrect' description and it would revise the language to use when the air quality index goes above 500, its highest point and a level considered hazardous for all people by US standards. The hazardous haze has forced schools to stop outdoor exercises, and health experts asked residents, especially those with respiratory problems, the elderly and children, to stay indoors."

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270 comments

Better than "Fucking Bad" I guess (4, Funny)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 3 years ago | (#34298870)

Desperately seeking emphatic adjective...

Re:Better than "Fucking Bad" I guess (2, Funny)

Konsalik (1921874) | more than 3 years ago | (#34298904)

The air quality is OVER 9000!!!1!!

Re:Better than "Fucking Bad" I guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34298998)

Officials later revised their statement, declaring that air quality was, in fact, "teh suXX0rz."

Re:Better than "Fucking Bad" I guess (2, Funny)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299258)

This one goes to 11.

Re:Better than "Fucking Bad" I guess (1)

RsG (809189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34298954)

It's like a party in your lungs, and everyone's invited!

Re:Better than "Fucking Bad" I guess (3, Funny)

flyingkillerrobots (1865630) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299400)

The air quality is too damn high!

Re:Better than "Fucking Bad" I guess (2, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299414)

The two higher degrees of pollution would probably be "ridiculous" and "ludicrous"...

Re:Better than "Fucking Bad" I guess (4, Funny)

ilsaloving (1534307) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299586)

You mean they'd be breathing Plaid?

Re:Better than "Fucking Bad" I guess (2, Funny)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299516)

At first I thought they were complaining about the airline service of "Beijing Air". I could picture a bunch of snobby suits ordering martinis and yelling "WHERE'S THE FUCKING OLIVE!? This is so going to hit the news."

Re:Better than "Fucking Bad" I guess (1, Informative)

suso (153703) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299810)

More like they were mad that they didn't get the happy ending in China that they got from the TSA back in the states.

Re:Better than "Fucking Bad" I guess (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34299796)

I think "off-scale high" would be appropriate here.

No kidding. (4, Interesting)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 3 years ago | (#34298892)

When I was in Beijing a few years ago, after a while the days there started to feel kind of like the day before you're going to catch a cold.

Re:No kidding. (2, Funny)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299040)

class TSA_AGENT
{
public: ...
private: ...
friend class American_Citizen
}

Re:No kidding. (2, Interesting)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299700)

I've been living in Beijing for a number of years now. The embassy started measuring the air pollution when the Olympics became a topic. At that time the air quality had already been improved dramatically compared to what it was before. Although the 500+ now is the worst they ever measured, and certainly worse than what we had during the Olympics, it's still relatively clean to what it used to be a in the pre-Olympic decade.

Crazy bad.. (4, Insightful)

ewhenn (647989) | more than 3 years ago | (#34298900)

Crazy bad, when "embarrassingly polluted" just doesn't do justice.

Re:Crazy bad.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34299136)

Only Beijing?
You want bad?
  Visit Shanghai!
Many sunny days filtered through crap.

Re:Crazy bad.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34299452)

How about "Atmosphere of Mass Destruction"? Actually, that's kinda dated. I think "Atmo-terrorism" is the politically expected vernacular.

Re:Crazy bad.. (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299618)

I have to wonder if they've yet used conventional adjectives like "semi-transparent", "translucent", and "opaque" that are found the dictionary.

Yet if the lasse fair economics crowd would say (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34298942)

.. this would be an idea state: no EPA at all, and nothing to work against any company in order to make a profit.

Re:Yet if the lasse fair economics crowd would say (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299072)

.. this would be an idea state: no EPA at all, and nothing to work against any company in order to make a profit.

Way more accurate to say its the ideal fascist state (what the USA is rapidly moving toward) where all the costs (pollution) are socialized and all the benefits (profits) are privatized. They're just a little further along than we are.

Remember when the govt and corps merge, suing a corp for pollution is a great way to get executed as an enemy of the state.

Re:Yet if the lasse fair economics crowd would say (4, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299184)

There is an easy fix. Simply do what the US did. Get rid of all your factories and buy everything from overseas.

Re:Yet if the lasse fair economics crowd would say (1)

nu1x (992092) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299336)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA From GERMANS, Hahahahahaha ha ha hack wheeze damn you're killing me.

Re:Yet if the lasse fair economics crowd would say (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299720)

Simply do what the US did. Get rid of all your factories and buy everything from overseas.

We sold U.S. Treasuries to Chinese officials who showed up at auctions and scooped them up in order to strengthen the dollar with respect to their own currency. When a growing world power like China insists on indexing its own strengthening currency to yours, carrying out business overseas in other countries becomes financially obvious to industries like manufacturing and importing that benefit from inflated dollars.

Re:Yet if the lasse fair economics crowd would say (2, Funny)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299210)

Wish I had mod points.

Re:Yet if the lasse fair economics crowd would say (2, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299634)

I wish I had a Pony...

Re:Yet if the lasse fair economics crowd would say (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299908)

I am hungry, a pony might not be enough. I could eat a horse though.

Re:Yet if the lasse fair economics crowd would say (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299354)

In the US, merging the Gov and Corps too early would be counterproductive, since the Gov would have to abide by the US Constitution, pacify voters and other Pesky Stuff. Pesky Stuff like the FOIA doesn't apply to Corporations.

So if the Companies start owning nearly everything, it's likely to enter Company Land you have to sign away some rights. Don't like it, go live on some other Company's Land instead (and sign away your rights there too).

You might not get executed but if you have no place to stay legally, you'd end up being a criminal.

Re:Yet if the lasse fair economics crowd would say (2, Insightful)

Just Another Poster (894286) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299514)

Way more accurate to say its the ideal fascist state (what the USA is rapidly moving toward) where all the costs (pollution) are socialized and all the benefits (profits) are privatized.

That is not fascism.

Remember when the govt and corps merge

If by that you mean that all private business and interest groups are forcibly organized into cartels subservient to the government, then yes, that might be defined as 'fascism'.

Re:Yet if the lasse fair economics crowd would say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34299626)

You're the one who's wrong: You're talking about the hardline definition of communism, which is not the same thing as fascism. The core of fascism is corporatism, where the government is an extension of corporate interests.

You have us confused... (5, Insightful)

Garrett Fox (970174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299122)

No, you have libertarians and conservatives confused with anarchists. That's typical talk from the socialist/communist faction: "When you guys talk about enforcing the Constitution that means you guys don't want any government at all!"

Re:You have us confused... (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299146)

I'd mod you as being "funny", if I could be sure you were actually being funny. Irony is something of a lost art these days, more often a happy accident than a deliberate choice.

Re:You have us confused... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299268)

Conservatives (well, those 2% of conservatives that aren't religious nuts, or progressives that want to move us in their socially conservative manner) want the Constitution applied. Libertarians want to ignore the Constitution like everyone else.

Re:You have us confused... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34299682)

Don't forget that most of us conservatives like the EPA because we realise how fucked up things get when the factory owners can pollute at will. It's stuff like foreign wars and massive deficit spending which we're against.

Just because someone argues for property rights above all else, it doesn't follow then that he or she means that they are for their property rights at the expense of your property rights. The air is something we all have to use so we all have to keep it clean or else.

Re:You have us confused... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34299422)

Libertarians don't really want the Constitution either, a significant chunk of them want to sell off the roads despite the fact that the post roads are declared to be the federal government's responsibility in the constitution.

Re:You have us confused... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34299520)

Libertarians don't really want the Constitution either, a significant chunk of them want to sell off the roads despite the fact that the post roads are declared to be the federal government's responsibility in the constitution.

Interesting. Section 8 grants the government the power to "establish post offices and post roads."

The key question in interpreting this is, what does "establish" mean in this context? Does it mean building a physical road, or just specifying a route to be used for delivering mail?

Re:Yet if the lasse fair economics crowd would say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34299526)

It would not be.

As would stand, if the grounds on which the pollution occured were private property, you would be able to sue the owner of said property for damages because the pollution was damaging your health.

Now multiply that by the number of people living on said private property and the property owner would quickly enact anti-pollution laws.

Re:Yet if the lasse fair economics crowd would say (2, Interesting)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299584)

In laissez faire economical system all property is private. When I own a plot of land, I own everything above and below it, including the air and water flowing through it. When you pollute the air and it drifts over my land, you are committing vandalism against my property, and are criminally liable for the damages you cause. That's a much stronger protection than what you get from the EPA.

Re:Yet if the lasse fair economics crowd would say (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299840)

And rather than thousands or millions of individual lawsuits by individuals against big polluters we collectively assert our right to clean air and water through our government. It's much more efficient that way.

And a technical point. Often you don't own the mineral rights under your property and you have no right to prevent aircraft from using the air over your property (above 500 feet I think).

I was at a loss for words (4, Interesting)

Christoph (17845) | more than 3 years ago | (#34298944)

I found it hard to believe or describe when I visited (in 2004). From one block north, the Forbidden City was obscured by smog on a cloudless day [cgstock.com] . It otherwise felt like you were smoking all the time.

Re:I was at a loss for words (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34299144)

Does Altria market there? "Smoke Marlboro. Why the fuck not?"

Re:I was at a loss for words (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299238)

When it gets really bad, smoking cigarettes might be healthier... Or just breathe through the cigarettes without lighting them up ;).

I'd have though they were trying to prevent the "aging population" problem, except they' seem to be trying to clean things up (building nuclear reactors etc).

Re:I was at a loss for words (1)

vxice (1690200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299286)

almost looks like a mystic mist over the forbidden city, good for photography bad for lungs.

Re:I was at a loss for words (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34299836)

god damn your wife is that cheap ass cunt my marine fucking fucked for 20 dollars.
And you married that cum whore!! LOL

you are a pathetic looser

A spokes person at the embassy was also quoted (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34298960)

A spokes person at the embassy was also quoted as saying, "The dude who said the first statement is all retarded and is a total dick. He always causing drama. Our bad, we cool"

This is why the USA can not compete. (4, Funny)

harrytuttle777 (1720146) | more than 3 years ago | (#34298964)

If you run away from smog every time it comes around the smog is going to start thinking we are weak. Then we are going to have to listen to the smog whenever it tell us to do something. We need to stand up to the smog and show it that we are not just a bunch of overly socialized western pansies. I demand that we give all our kids smog masks! The smog masks will supply a steady stream of high quality smog to school children, who will naturally become smog tolerant. The smog tolerant children will go on to create a new world free untethered from the requirements of clean air and pollution control devices. These new smog tolerant children will then be able to compete against the Chinese who are fed a steady diet of smog since birth.

-If you don't want to turn into a frog, you better eat some smog.
-Elliot Weise

Re:This is why the USA can not compete. (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299036)

So what you're saying is we can't allow the smog to become smug?

Re:This is why the USA can not compete. (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299112)

I think he's saying we need to have our military take over China, so we can fight the smog on its home turf instead of having the smog come to the usa and knock over our skyscrapers. It'll only cost a couple billion, which can pay for from Chinese food export revenues, it'll practically pay for itself, and I'm sure the populace will love the freedom we bring them so we'll get plenty of support.

Re:This is why the USA can not compete. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34299090)

I for one welcome our new overlords.

go47 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34298966)

Atlanta (1)

Uttles (324447) | more than 3 years ago | (#34298968)

Isn't the air quality "crazy bad" in Atlanta on any given day, by this same scale? One has to wonder about the accuracy of such measurements.

Re:Atlanta (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34299006)

Assuming that Airnow.gov is using the same standard for AQI, then no.

Their number is only 72 at the moment, which is moderate, but not crazy bad.

But maybe the state department has some different scale in use, and we're comparing Fahrenheit to Celsius.

Re:Atlanta (2, Interesting)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299020)

No. The only time we hit "crazy bad" is when you are describing the pollen count in the spring, when every car in the city turns yellow.

Re:Atlanta (5, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299416)

Last year the Air Quality Index in Atlanta [gaepd.org] reached the level of "Unhealthy For Sensitive Groups" (100-150) on 16 days, and never reached the next level, "Unhealthy" (150-200). Beijing's score - over 500 - sounds very bad indeed.

Re:Atlanta (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299046)

No, Atlanta in general is "Crazy Bad" on any given day, I think the air simply has a southern tint to it.

You're off by orders of magnitude (4, Informative)

Cyberblah (140887) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299200)

When I visited Beijing during the summer six years ago, the Imperial Vault and the Hall of Prayers at the Temple of Heaven weren't visible from each other. According to this site [kinabaloo.com] , they're only about 360 meters apart. Smog limited the visibility at ground level to less than a quarter of a mile, and it has gotten worse since then.

When will China have their 60's? (4, Interesting)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 3 years ago | (#34298972)

When will the youth of China decide they've had enough of conformity and respect for authority? China has raised it standard of living in recent decades but they still suffer from a severe lack of basic freedoms, corruption, and choking pollution. The civil rights movement and Vietnam triggered the events of the 60's in the USA. When will the same happen in China?

Re:When will China have their 60's? (3, Funny)

harrytuttle777 (1720146) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299026)

Yea! The 60's, lawyers, and Elvis Presley pretty much destroyed our economy. As a USian, and can emphatically say I want China to have the same 'benefits' we have. Anything can get the Chinese to start thinking individualistically and to stop worrying about the greater good of the society is the right way to go. Of coarse I would prefer that USians start following the Chinese example, and value education / hard work, but if I can't have that I think the next best think is to export MTV to China.

-We know what we ought to do, but do it naught
-Jerry Springer

Re:When will China have their 60's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34299130)

So poisoning the air in your capital city to the point that the children and elderly are ordered to stay indoors for health reasons is acceptable if its for "the greater good"?

The greater good for whom? (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299642)

The greater good for whom?

Re:When will China have their 60's? (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299124)

China has raised it standard of living in recent decades but they still suffer from a severe lack of basic freedoms, corruption, and choking pollution.

Hmmm ... China's severe lack of basic freedoms is pretty well documented. But I don't recall reading about a similar severe shortage of corruption, or of choking pollution. Where might these shortages be documented?

Re:When will China have their 60's? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34299318)

China has raised it standard of living in recent decades but they still suffer from a severe lack of basic freedoms, corruption, and choking pollution.

Hmmm ... China's severe lack of basic freedoms is pretty well documented. But I don't recall reading about a similar severe shortage of corruption, or of choking pollution. Where might these shortages be documented?

It's quite funny actually. In attempting to show higher intelligence by correcting the parent, you only succeeded in showing how poorly you can parse language, thus utterly fail at English.

If you can't understand people, you definitely should not be attempting to correct them.

(This lack of funny by showing stupidity also removes all rights to a 'woosh')

but they still suffer from a severe lack of basic freedoms, corruption, and choking pollution

There are three things in his list after the word 'from'
1) a severe lack of basic freedoms
2) corruption
and 3) choking pollution

No where is it mentioned a shortage of corruption nor a shortage of choking pollution.

Don't feel bad though. English classes are available for you to learn how to understand others around you, so there is hope yet.
Protip: you might want to stop posting and showing how you so utterly fail at language comprehension for the time being. You wouldn't want even more people to think this poorly about you.

fight! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34299426)

This is what happens when pedantics meet each other.

Re:fight! (2, Funny)

alext (29323) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299750)

I think you mean "pedants".

Re:When will China have their 60's? (1)

xaoslaad (590527) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299126)

"China has raised it standard of living in recent decades but..."

But maybe that's all a lot of the youth see. Maybe they're happy to be working in factories where they get to sit, albeit for 14 or 16 hour work days, instead of trudging around in a field for 14 or 16 hours a day. Add on top of that the fact that they can earn a comparatively decent paycheck compared to their parents still living in squallor on that farm, and maybe they just don't think it is so bad. Sooner or later this hard working, more informed, and hopefully better educated youth will create an even more enlightened generation and things will improve even more. Not every evolution requires a revolution. I have no problem with seeing civil war if it is warranted, but China seems to be on some track, whether fast or slow I can't say, to improvement... it's probably not warranted in this case.

Re:When will China have their 60's? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299142)

When will the youth of China decide they've had enough of conformity and respect for authority? China has raised it standard of living in recent decades but they still suffer from a severe lack of basic freedoms, corruption, and choking pollution. The civil rights movement and Vietnam triggered the events of the 60's in the USA. When will the same happen in China?

USA had the Kent State Massacre, 4 dead. We've got "a couple hundred" political prisoners in that concentration camp in Cuba. Nothing to be proud of, but not that bad either.

China at the same time roughly had Mao killing about 50 million, admittedly mostly indirectly thru starvation. And their entire population is basically political prisoners / slaves of their government.

The odds of a successful counter cultural movement are a little bit higher in the US, for some odd reason.

Re:When will China have their 60's? (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299208)

The odds of a successful counter cultural movement are a little bit higher in the US, for some odd reason.

Because their culture values conformity more than individuality and they have a high degree of respect for elders - you wouldn't see them saying "Don't trust anyone over 30!"

Re:When will China have their 60's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34299316)

People would have more respect for their elders in the west if it weren't so apparent every day that they're trying to screw the youth over.

Re:When will China have their 60's? (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299562)

Dare to criticize and repudiate, dare to struggle
Never stop making revolutionary rebellion.
We will smash the old world
And keep our revolutionary state red for ten thousand generations

Battle Song of the Red Guard [morningsun.org]

Re:When will China have their 60's? (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299722)

The odds of a successful counter cultural movement are a little bit higher in the US, for some odd reason.

Because their culture values conformity more than individuality and they have a high degree of respect for elders - you wouldn't see them saying "Don't trust anyone over 30!"

And what has that gotten them? Corruption, judicial murder, and choking pollution.

Re:When will China have their 60's? (4, Insightful)

hahn (101816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299342)

When will the youth of China decide they've had enough of conformity and respect for authority? China has raised it standard of living in recent decades but they still suffer from a severe lack of basic freedoms, corruption, and choking pollution. The civil rights movement and Vietnam triggered the events of the 60's in the USA. When will the same happen in China?

Basic freedoms have improved, corruption has been far less than I've seen in the US (their former food and drug regulator was found to be taking bribes from pharmaceutical companies, and subsequently executed), and the choking pollution has only been a recent occurrence because of the rapid growth.

The pollution is bad right now, but I think China is in a position to turn that around really quickly. Unlike in the US, they don't have lobbyists from companies creating the pollution who will oppose any and all environmental laws. Of course they don't want pollution, but currently the government is in a tough position of making choices between pollution and slowing down the growth of the country. However, one might note that their pace of growth in renewable energy is torrid. They have been putting a lot of money into wind and solar tech. Plus, they are already way ahead of the game in creating a practical 100% electric car. To me, it seems like sometime in the next 10 years, they will have the ability to switch over, nearly overnight, to clean energy solutions. Without a bunch of opposing interest groups like we have in the U.S., it'll literally be like flipping a switch.

Re:When will China have their 60's? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299366)

"When will the same happen in China?"

30 years, because keeping the air clean is expensive, and if companies are forced to be clean then they'll have to raise prices which means their prices would no longer be as competitive as they are now and we'd have floods of goods from other countries.

China is going through what the US did in the late 1800s and early 1900s with pollution and child labor, this is their industrial revolution. [42explore2.com] They'll come out of it eventually but they'll no longer be shipping cheap goods when they do. Britain's industrial revolution took 80 years, I figure we have another 20 to 30 years of cheap goods before Africa begins their industrial revolution.

Re:When will China have their 60's? (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299386)

Even before the 60s, Americans have had a rather individualist mindset, which was only replaced by conformity during the cold war. I'm not so sure you can expect a similar trend in China.

Re:When will China have their 60's? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299458)

I'd say it's the Progressive Era [wikipedia.org] (1890s-1920s in the US) they're approaching - reducing government corruption, food and medical safety standards, better worker conditions...

The 60s was after it all went rancid.

Thankfully (4, Funny)

scubamage (727538) | more than 3 years ago | (#34298988)

I mean really, this is proof that a truly free market benefits everyone. I mean if people can't go outside, they can't commit crimes OR hurt the children!

Re:Thankfully (1)

Inschato (1350323) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299194)

But if you make going outside illegal, only the criminals will go outside!

Re:Thankfully (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299632)

Are you implying China is a free market?

A Prime Example of Externalized Costs. (5, Interesting)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299008)

The bad air quality is a prime example of an externalized cost.

Many people claim the reason for offshoring is wages, but that's only part of it...

Much of the savings comes from the ability to operate a factory in China under less stringent rules - less labor protections, less safety, less pollution controls, etc.

Eventually China will crack down on polluters (they already do on an ad hoc basis, such as briefly during the 2008 Olympics) improving air quality, but also increasing production costs, which will then push many companies to offshore to the next cheaper place where such costs can again be externalized.

Ron

p.s. why is the comment entry window so narrow? More breakage - Slashdot was more usable in 1998 than it is now, but hey I guess this is progress... bah!

Re:A Prime Example of Externalized Costs. (2, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299150)

Much of the savings comes from the ability to operate a factory in China under less stringent rules - less labor protections, less safety, less pollution controls, etc.

Yet some still ignorantly call it "free trade" as if the differences are as small as North vs South Carolina.

Re:A Prime Example of Externalized Costs. (4, Informative)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299186)

p.s. why is the comment entry window so narrow? More breakage - Slashdot was more usable in 1998 than it is now, but hey I guess this is progress... bah!

thats because its in idle view
change the url from idle.slashdot.org/...
to
ile.slashdot.org/...
and it will be fine?(u cn put anything instead of ile)

Re:A Prime Example of Externalized Costs. (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299498)

Ive known this trick for a while, I wish there was a setting somewhere so I could make them pop up as ile or news or whatever. Save me from having to reload the page, or copying, pasting and editing the link.

Re:A Prime Example of Externalized Costs. (1)

the_one(2) (1117139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299534)

I can't seem to get that to work. I'm simply getting redirected back to idle=(

Re:A Prime Example of Externalized Costs. (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299228)

why is the comment entry window so narrow?

- due to outsourcing.

Also in the URL you'll see this: idle.slashdot.org. Delete the "idle." part and you'll get a normally sized text area, but the reasons for this are .... obscured by smog - Chinese style.

Re:A Prime Example of Externalized Costs. (1)

wampus (1932) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299328)

The reasons aren't obscure at all. Management rammed idle down slashdot's throat back in the day and as a sign of protest, they made it suck as hard as possible. Now they are pretty much just phoning it in, so don't expect any fixes.

dwater (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299034)

I lived there for several years and there were some days that were pretty bad, but those were mostly due to weather conditions - particularly the dust/sand storms, which were some times quite spectacular.

Most of the time I was wondering what all the fuss (made by USians mostly) was about. Of course, I wasn't conducting scientific analysis, but I'll bet it's not nearly as poor as the reports might make you think. I hear some cities in the US have trouble too...

Quite amusing though, but not of much interest otherwise, if you ask me.

Re:dwater (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299418)

"Most of the time I was wondering what all the fuss (made by USians mostly) was about. Of course, I wasn't conducting scientific analysis, but I'll bet it's not nearly as poor as the reports might make you think. I hear some cities in the US have trouble too..."

As a culture Asians don't usually complain about things, especially the weather which is out of an individual's control, so it would have to be hailing balls of fire before anyone would make a peep. Of course everyone knows Americans love to have civil unrest and fix everything to make our lives better, it's what our country was founded on, so it's to be expected that Americans would notice something wrong and be vocal while the Chinese just shrug their shoulders and stay indoors.

Re:dwater (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299524)

Fair enough, though I'm neither Asian nor American. I'm English (sort of), though I guess my complaining *is* worthy of someone from the USA - I spent several years working and living there (prior to moving to Beijing), so had plenty of practice (there's plenty to complain about there too), and many opportunities to observe the 'pros', so to speak :)
Anyway, I certainly have seen plenty of Chinese people complaining...a situation where a domestic aeroplane was delayed comes to immediately to mind...very loud and obnoxious ;) ... perhaps he was from the USA.

Air quality indoors? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34299196)

Where does the air inside come from? I always thought it came from outside. If all the air outside is terribly polluted, then isn't the air inside just as bad? I mean, I don't think most buildings have any serious air filtering, do they?

In other news... (1)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299292)

In other news, the US Embassy called Google's decision to leave mainland China "totally messed up," claimed the widely-acclaimed film The Town "actually kind of sucks balls," and that the animated show "Family Guy" was "actually not all that funny."

New weather scale (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34299294)

Crazy Bad

Wicked Bad

Bogus

Chill

Sweet

If it's that bad... (1)

esome (166227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299378)

I say close the embassy down. Why do we ask our embassy workers to continue being exposed to a health risk that we clearly wouldn't tolerate here in the US? If countries were pulling their citizens out and recommending against travel in Beijing, China would at least have more incentive to address the problem.

Re:If it's that bad... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34299502)

No way. Recommending against travel is one thing, but the embassy is the island of refuge for Americans abroad.

My solution: look into the cost needed to make the embassy's interior airtight or at least positive pressure with 'good air' and leave it there with airlocks.

Trade-offs (1)

SnowHog (1944314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299396)

I would take "crazy bad" air quality for a decent job at this point.

Natural course of development (1)

ivoras (455934) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299460)

Nothing to see here, move along:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pea_soup_fog [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Smog_of_1952 [wikipedia.org]

It's probably an inevitable phase in development.

Re:Natural course of development (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299674)

Not really. By all rights they should have every bit of knowledge required to prevent it.

On top of that, this is a persistent state they permit to continue instead of enforcing regulations that would massively reduce the human-caused portions of it.

This shows us two things ... (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299528)

Pollution is a problem in China and education is a problem in the USA.
The other very likely alternative is the embassy staff were politically connected so qualifications were considered irrelevant.

Pity they didn't learn from their forerunners (2, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299652)

If only they'd learned from the negative examples provided by Europe and the USA's journeys through the Industrial Revolution.

Money talks and bullshit walks.

One word: Kyoto (0)

PietjeJantje (917584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299718)

The hypocrisy in here is so thick, I can almost smell it.

Hint: the red areas ain't China..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_Protocol [wikipedia.org]

China isn't subject to Kyoto restrictions (1)

Quila (201335) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299826)

They got a pass on pollution as a "developing nation" so of course they signed Kyoto. There was no down side for China.

Note the article says GHG emissions in China have been increasing 10% per year since 1990.

China has been building two new coal power plants per week for years.

Re:One word: Kyoto (1)

gilbert644 (1515625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299902)

I have far greater respect for what the Americans did (not sign up) then they many countries that sign up and not live up to their obligations.

From the country that brought you cowboy metaphors (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299892)

I suppose if the USA has a tradition of presidents referring to serious, highly complex, global geopolitical situations in terms of cowboy movies, "good guys", "bad guys" etc. then having a diplomatic service that refers to local meteorological conditions as "crazy bad" is merely following form....

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