Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

China’s inconvenient truth [VIDEO]

Shanghai, China Shanghai, China Wang Song
12 Mar
2015
A film uncovering and deploring the extent of air pollution and environmental degradation in China has started a national conversation 

It’s been called China’s An Inconvenient Truth. And just as Al Gore’s 2006 documentary forced climate change to the top of the national agenda in America, so former CCTV investigative reporter Chai Jing’s report is doing the same for air pollution and smog in China.

Under the Dome, the independently-made film produced and directed by Chai, features her on stage, unveiling the results of her investigation into the pollution stemming from China’s unprecedented manufacturing boom, and it’s dependence on low quality, unwashed coal. With the use of photography, graphics and animations, she shares information gathered from conversations with scientists and experts, scathingly criticising the way Chinese cities are so often engulfed in smog, and explains the impact of high levels of air pollutants, particularly PM2.5 fine particles, have on peoples’ health, and the surrounding environment.

She also includes direct comparisons with the industrial revolution in Victorian Britain, and the health hazards and death rates which followed this rapid coal-based industrialisation.

An English-language version of the film is now available online:

Chai concludes by citing the examples of London and Los Angeles, and how they managed to clean up their smog emissions whilst continuing to grow their populations, car usage, and energy consumption. 

The film has been immensely popular, gaining more than 150 million views within a week of it’s release. However, latest reports claim the film has subsequently been censored by the Chinese government.

Related items

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in NATURE...

Climate

Katie Burton explores the practicalities and ethics of geoengineering, the…

Energy

Though the pandemic has gripped the world's attention, lying just…

Climate

The IPCC embraced the notion of carbon offset schemes in…

Geophoto

The shortlist for the 2020 Wellcome Photography Prize has been…

Climate

Millions have been displaced due to severe floods in central…

Wildlife

A portable DNA assay could revolutionise the way border officials…

Climate

A handy gathering of facts about carbon emissions with graphs…

Oceans

Researchers have revealed just how many polluting microfibres are released…

Wildlife

Increasing reports of seized jaguar fangs and skin suggest that…

Geophoto

Forced isolation has given many of us the chance to…

Oceans

A fifth of the ocean floor has now been mapped,…

Wildlife

Four ex-circus lions discovered in France are due to be…

Oceans

A roundup of some of the top discussions from the…

Energy

The agave plant, used to make Tequila, has proven itself…

Climate

Concerns about the ozone hole have diminished as levels of…

Wildlife

In the Eastern Cape of South Africa, Munu – a…

Geophoto

Photography competition, Earth Photo, returns for the third year with…