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

Climate change is bringing earlier, dangerous 'false springs', longer summers…

Wildlife

A victory for conservation, South Africa has announced plans to…

Energy

The UK has made little progress decarbonising heating, but a significant source…

Nature

The concept of 'natural capital', where the value of nature…

Geophoto

Prestigious photography competition returns for a fourth year

Climate

Founded in the USA by Denis Hayes, Earth Day became…

Geophoto

Tom Goldner's project Do Brumbies Dream in Red? is an intimate portrayal…

Wildlife

Not your usual tune: translating spider's silk into sound could…

Oceans

Millions of oysters have been rescued from the struggling shellfish…

Climate

History is littered with examples of fungi helping to digest…

Geophoto

The streets of Philadelphia are home to a small and forgotten…

Geophoto

When photographer Matthew Maran first snapped a fox he had…

Wildlife

Coloradans have voted to reintroduce grey wolves to the state

Energy

Covid-19 provides an opportunity to re-assess the supply chains of…

Geophoto

Andrea DiCenzo is a photojournalist, who has covered conflicts for…

Oceans

Field observations of corals around the world reveal that not…

Climate

The Great Plains of the USA are once again getting…

Climate

Attempts to build a digital twin of the Earth could…

Oceans

Food systems will need to change as the global population…