Discovering China

I’m not sure which MPR talk show gets the not-so-coveted News Cut talk-show-of-the-week award (it’s never been awarded before). Midmorning’s hour with the Cowboy Junkies and its hour with critics and cartoonists on the New Yorker satire are among the top shows of the week. But in the “tell me something I didn’t already know” department, I give the nod to Friday’s Midday segment with Carleton College’s Roy Grow, who was on the line from Vietnam, but spent much of the hour talking about China.

In particular was the portion discussing the incredible pollution as the Olympics near. It’s something the Atlantic’s James Fallows — who now lives there — has been harping on for some time, although in a post this weekend, he’s pretty sure he’s seeing light at the end of the smokestack.


As bad as that picture from Fallows looks (click for bigger image), he says it’s “not that bad” compared to previous days.

Grow’s segment also contrasted nicely with a National Public Radio piece on Friday, in which some Beijing residents are said to be upset at the modern architecture that’s taking over their city.

  • Tyler Suter

    I didn’t hear this story, definitely will check it out. That photo is really something else.

  • They say a photo is worth a thousand words, and in this case, it’s true.

    This is why the American Lung Association of Minnesota (and I, their spokesperson) has been so focused on about cleaner fuels and vehicles. We don’t want to see the Minneapolis skyline looking like this.

    We will be down in Marshall, MN at another E85 promotion on Wednesday. There was one there earlier this month that helped prevent 1.75 tons of greenhouse gases and some smog-greating pollutants from entering our air — we are going back to see if we can top E85 sales (438 gallons) from the first event.

  • Anna

    A friend was in town visiting this weekend from Beijing (she moved there a couple years ago to teach) – and she said one benefit of the Olympics has been that factories have been shut down for days at a time to help clear the air, and that on some days now you can actually see that the sky is blue…With 1000 new cars entering the roadways of Beijing every day, she’s not hopeful that the blue skies will last.

  • ray

    The suffering of the victims of the China earthquake is beyond understanding, but I have to comment on the observation by a, apparently, young reporter today.

    “One man was having to reuse the nails from his home to build a temporary shelter.”

    I hate to think about the number of nails I straightened for my father on constructions projects when I was a kid. I still reuse them when possible today.