28 Jan '12, 2pm

Online Activism Forces Break in Official Silence About Deadly Air Pollution in China

David Barrie /CC BY 2.0 Smoggy day in Beijing. Despite the increasingly hard-to-avoid evidence of its dire smog problem, China has long persisted in playing down air pollution in the country, claiming 274 "blue sky " days last year. Now, though, thanks in part to citizen online activism, the Chinese government has begun to openly publish readings of the small, but extremely hazardous particulates known as PM2.5. Data No Longer A Secret "The Chinese government has monitored exposure levels in 20 cities and 14 other sites, reportedly for as long as five years, but has kept the data secret," The New York Times reported yesterday. Last week, though, "Beijing began publishing hourly readings from one monitoring station" and has "decreed that about 30 major cities must begin monitoring [PM2.5] particulates this year, followed by about 80 more next year." The paper attributes muc...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/fossil-fuels/online-activism-fo...

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