This really is depressing: Apparently there are continent-sized pools of plastic trash accumulating in eddies in the Pacific Ocean. The ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ or ‘trash vortex’ may contain 100 million tons of stuff; one-fifth of it has fallen or been tossed off of ships and oil-drilling platforms , the rest of has been dumped… Continue reading Depressing news from flotsam experts
So I’ll break the weeks-long silence on our blog by talking about the thing people are always talking about: the weather. At the moment we are emerging from the bone-dry Beijing winter into the gusty, dusty Beijing spring. Spring is a very windy time here, and for the past few days the cracks in our… Continue reading Everyone knows itâ€™s windy
We’ve just returned from a trip to the south, a classic China-travel whirlwind featuring three overnight trains and one overnight bus all in the space of a week and one day. Each day of our travels the words “peak season” rang in our ears more loudly and ominously, as tickets from one place to another… Continue reading We’re back!
As of yesterday, the “11/27” mining disaster in Heilongjiang Province (far northeast, same province that bore the brunt of the benzene spill) had claimed 162 lives. 73 people still had a chance of survival, and 7 people were still missing. The Beijing newspapers are calling it an “especially serious explosion accident,” and although the investigation… Continue reading Rough month for Heilongjiang
No, they really mean it this time. China National Petroleum Corporation has accidentally poured 100 tons of benzene into the Songhua River up in the northeast. Municipal water in China is not potable; you have to boil it before using it, and some super-cautious people don’t even use it to brush their teeth. Well-to-do Chinese… Continue reading Don’t drink the water