We all remember this scene right? When the Six-Fingered Man turns the water wheel and Wesley convulses in pain? “I’ve just sucked away one year of your life. How does that make you feel?” Wesley whimpers and the Six Fingered Man responds, “Pity.”
This is how I feel about China’s air quality. As Lauren and I approach our 1 year anniversary of moving to Shanghai (February 16th), and Winter colds and coughs are dissipating, I have been considering the toll we are paying for breathing in this air. Chinese New Year was a blessing of one week’s worth of fresh air, blue sky and sunshine as all the the factories closed for the festival; albeit, some of it was replaced with very high levels of sulfur from some of the most amazing fireworks displays I’ve ever seen.
I was amazed to see the moon and stars, which I have missed a lot since I moved here. Maybe comparing China’s air quality to the Six Fingered Man’s Life Sucking Water Wheel of Death is a little extreme, but those of you who know me also come to expect these urges I have to be irrationally sarcastic. But is it that extreme? – Oh, did I mention stubborn?
A few weeks ago I read an article on CNN about the last two decade’s Drop in US Air Pollution Linked to Longer Lifespans. Hilariously blocked by the Chinese firewall, this article argues the statistical proof that the decrease in the United States’ air pollution has increased life expectancy by 5 months since the 1980’s. This is absolutely mind-blowing as I can’t even imagine what I am breathing in comparison to…let’s say New York or Los Angeles? China’s air quality and Shanghai’s air pollution must be at least 2-3 times that of the states (Randomly Generated Facts, pg. 486).
The New England Journal of Medicine, a little more reliable than CNN, has an article with staggering facts about air pollution and your health. Now that we have moved to a new apartment, I think it is time to by an air purifier as well to curb the Water Wheel of Death that is China’s air quality. Please check back for my next post: The ROUS (Rodents of Unusual Size) – The Panda. Just kidding, only one Princess Bride themed post each year.