Beijing's smog: A tale of two cities

Next, the idea’s time to start producing breakfast. She’s already made sure all the groceries come coming from an organic farm.

She’ll wash her produce with tap water filtered through a separate treatment system under her sink.

although in which water isn’t for drinking — there’s imported bottled water for in which.

This specific is actually how Wang typically starts her day, trying to minimize the effects of the toxic environment in Beijing.

“coming from the moment you open your eyes till the moment, you rest inside the evening,” she says, “you have to pay genuinely (close) attention, to the air, to the water, to the food you eat.”

Jiang Wang, her husband Ludovic Bodin in addition to also also her two daughters, 6-year-old Mia in addition to also also 3-month-old Anna.

Wang in addition to also also her family are part of a growing number of Beijingers who are trying to pollution-proof their lives.

in addition to also also money is actually no cost.

the idea’s “very expensive,” she says. “although think about the health. There is actually nothing to trade off.”

although for Beijing’s rising middle class in addition to also also poorer residents, This specific high-end home equipment is actually financially out of reach.

in which’s turning pollution into both a health issue in addition to also also a class issue — in addition to also also the idea’s killing off those left behind.

Research by Nanjing University’s School of the Environment has linked smog with nearly one-third of all deaths in China, positioning the idea on a par with smoking as a threat to public health.

Published in November last year, the study analyzed over 3 million deaths across 74 cities throughout China in 2013. The findings revealed in which as many as 31.8% of all recorded deaths could be linked to pollution, with major cities in Hebei, the province in which encircles Beijing, ranked among the worst.

“Air pollution exacerbates inequality between the rich in addition to also also poor in urban China,” Matthew Kahn, a professor of economics at the University of Southern California, told sy88pgw in an email.

“The rich live in cleaner parts of the city in addition to also also on more polluted days they can drive to work, work inside, access better doctors, have second homes inside the countryside in addition to also also have expensive in addition to also also effective air filters.”

Beijing risks becoming a tale of two cities, a place where the rich in addition to also also poor don’t even breathe the same air.

the idea adds up

The Wang family recently installed a fresh air filtering system, which cost them about $4,300.

the idea works like a ventilation system, cleaning outside air in addition to also also pumping the idea into their home.

They also have an air purifier in each room, eight in all, to filter out carbon dioxide in addition to also also take care of any dirty air in which may leak in. Those add up to about $7,0.

in addition to also also the purifiers need to be changed about once a month — which rings in at $430.

Water filters for sinks run about $300 in addition to also also shower filters can cost upwards of $1,000 on JD, a well-known Chinese e-commerce site.

For the super wealthy, companies such as Environment Assured, an indoor air quality in addition to also also water filtration consultancy, will assess the toxicity of living in addition to also also office spaces.

The company offers a top-of-the-line package in which comes in at just under $15,000, according to Alex Cukor, the vice president of enterprise solutions at Environment Assured.

Real estate prices can swing based on technology in addition to also also proximity to pollution, too.

A two-bedroom apartment in Beijing’s MOMA complex — where the units come equipped with air filtration systems — cost far in excess of $3 million, according to the Lianjia real estate listings.

in which’s almost six times the cost of a similarly-sized apartment on the city’s dusty fringes.

in addition to also also these costs aren’t reserved to homes.

The International School of Beijing, where tuition is actually north of $37,000 a year, built a pressurized dome for kids to play in during the smog. the idea cost $5 million. (Some public schools have also built domes recently.)
Some people will get organic produce shipped directly to their homes. A yearly membership to Tony’s Farm costs $3,400. in which will get you two weekly deliveries of produce, three kilograms (about 6.6 pounds) each.
Others escape the bad air by traveling abroad.

in addition to also also then there’s the more outlandish products.

You can buy canned air coming from Britain for $115 a bottle. Anti-pollution creams can top $100 (the jury’s still out on how well these work) in addition to also also there are also expensive “pollution-catching” amulets.

The typical Beijinger likely can’t afford any of in which — the average individual salary is actually a little less than $17,000 year, according to a report coming from Peking University. in addition to also also in which’s the highest in China.

although even though China’s economic boom has delivered material wealth to millions, growing numbers are becoming frustrated in which China’s elite in addition to also also ultra-wealthy — many of whom got rich off the country’s rapid industrialization in which caused the pollution problem — can protect themselves, although they can’t.

“the idea genuinely has reached a point where concern over air pollution throughout the country is actually threatening China’s social stability,” Barbara Finamore of the Center for Strategic in addition to also also International Studies (CSIS) said in a question in addition to also also answer session in May.

A recent environmental protest inside the southwest city of Chengdu was quickly quashed by authorities.

Baby steps

China is actually the globe’s largest emitter of greenhouse gasses, in addition to also also the idea’s costly — the country’s economy lost roughly $535 billion due to pollution in 2012, according to the RAND corporation.
The government knows air quality is actually a pressing problem in addition to also also publicly declared a “war on pollution” in 2014.

With their newfound wealth, China’s upper in addition to also also middles classes have been able to travel abroad in addition to also also see more of the globe — in addition to also also in turn learn about the dangers of pollution in addition to also also how to avoid the idea.

although on the street during a red alert the idea is actually still commonplace to see ordinary people wearing a scarf over their mouth in addition to also also nose, rather than a protective mask.

Even state media has said the government needs to better study in addition to also also understand the effects of pollution.
Still, China had some success in recent years, both locally — 663 localities in Beijing’s city limits replaced coal with clean energy, state-run Xinhua news reported — in addition to also also internationally, with the signing of the Paris climate accords.

in addition to also also China actually leads the globe in wind in addition to also also solar power, according CSIS’ Finamore.

Such measures though have done little to dispel the view in which Beijing is actually becoming increasingly unlivable. “Under the Dome,” a Chinese documentary on the negative effects of pollution, took the country by storm when the idea debuted in 2015. The film drew millions of views online, before government censors stepped in in addition to also also removed the idea coming from Chinese video sharing websites.

A growing industry

Where the government sees a problem, entrepreneurs see an opportunity.

A lucrative industry is actually cropping up around pollution-proofing the lives of people like Wang, who wants to protect her 6-year-old in addition to also also 3-month old daughters.

RELATED: How to manage the (polluted) air you breathe

“Her (the younger daughter’s) life is actually just beginning in addition to also also air she breathes in in addition to also also out is actually of such bad quality. I couldn’t sleep, literally, two nights continuously,” Wang said. “Our kids, they are very young. They have life ahead of them.”

Beijing is actually fertile ground due to This specific brand-new industry — the idea’s home to more billionaires than any additional city inside the globe.
There were 0,000 air purifiers sold in China in 2010, according to Daxue Consulting. in which number spiked to 2 million four years later. Demand is actually anticipated to reach 4 million annually by 2018, according to Huidian Research, a Chinese consulting in addition to also also marketing firm.

Much of the current revenue is actually coming coming from high-end products, although in which is actually slowly changing.

Air purification is actually becoming more in addition to also also more accessible, Cukor says. The Chinese technology company Xiaomi, for example, right now offers a relatively potent air purifier for $360.

Middle-class catch-up

although a lot of the spikes in business are fleeting, coming in addition to also also going with the thick plumes of smog in which roll in.

Activity at Environment Assured has been nonstop inside the past three weeks, since Beijing’s most recent “airpocalypse,” Cukor says.

Data coming from JD, the Chinese online retailer, shows coming from December 16 to December 20 — during the government’s most recent red alert pollution warning — sales of masks on the site increased by 380% while air purifiers, rose by 210%

Research coming from Kahn, the USC professor, found similar trends when analyzing sales data coming from Taobao, another online retailer, in winter 2013, during another spell of bad air quality.

the idea’s likely because people with less disposable income don’t contain the time or money to think about prevention until the problem has gotten out of hand.

in addition to also also they’re not always buying effective products — many cheaper options simply don’t do the job.

Some have called foul on false advertising as well; a recent report inside the Financial Times cited claims by concerned mothers who tested the air quality in some malls promising clean filtered air in addition to also also found the idea was not as safe as advertised.

“This specific poor versus rich differential propensity to invest in self protection means in which air pollution exposure exacerbates quality of life inequality in Chinese cities because the poor are exposed to more risk,” Kahn in addition to also also the paper’s additional authors write.

Kahn in addition to also also in addition to also also his co-author Zheng Siqi, a professor at Tsinghua University, remain optimistic, pointing to the Kuznets curve.

This specific curve posits in which as per-capita income rises, so does environmental degradation — although only to a point. Once people have enough disposal income in which they aren’t living day-to-day, they can afford to worry about pollution, counteract the idea in addition to also also hold their leaders accountable.

in addition to also also when in which day comes, pollution should decrease as per-capita income rises.

For her daughters, Wang hopes in which day comes soon.

“For us — for everybody — health is actually number one,” she says.

“Without health nothing can be done.”

Serenitie Wang reported coming from Beijing, while Steven George in addition to also also Joshua Berlinger reported in addition to also also wrote coming from Hong Kong. sy88pgw’s Charlie Miller in addition to also also Chieu Luu in addition to also also intern Mengchen Zhang contributed to This specific report.

Beijing's smog: A tale of two cities

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