Pollution in Beijing has been a hot topic in the mainstream media for the last week or so, but air pollution is something that affects us here in Hong Kong too, even though we’re quite far away from China’s capital city.
The fact is, China remains the world’s producer of damn near everything, including the plastic keys on my $1000 Macbook on which I’m typing right now, the screen on the Samsung smartphone that I use to take pictures, the jacket that I bought for my daughter for US $6, and everything else you can think of that allows the rest of the world to buy cheap goods.
Cheap goods come at a very high environmental price. And while politicians are meeting in Paris for a climate conference, it’s business as usual in China, and pollution as usual in Hong Kong.
I’m sorry but I just can’t do this anymore. Every year I put up a post called ‘Good Day, Bad Day’ where I show a contrast of two pictures taken from the same spot, on different days, to show what pollution REALLY looks like in Hong Kong.
I simply can’t live with this anymore. And yes I know I’m part of the problem. I’m one of the millions of consumers who buy made in China goods, and contribute to the degradation of the air that I breathe. The air that I inhaled while pregnant. The air that my daughter inhales every second of every day. And now I’m running away.
It’s not China’s fault. It’s the world’s fault. We want cheap goods and we want them now. Because the rest of the world doesn’t have to deal with the effects of industrial pollution from factories.
But in Hong Kong, we see the effects coming from miles away. And there’s no escape. We don’t have factories in Hong Kong, but we’re just across the border, and the pollution travels fast.
So, this will be my very last Good Day, Bad Day post, because we are lucky enough to be able to leave, and move somewhere clean.
The people stuck in China don’t have that option, and it’s not their fault. But they’ll be the ones paying the price.