Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Hong Kong's Smog-Filled Air

The serious smog levels made it difficult to see across Victoria Harbour today
This morning I woke up to... haze.

Looking out towards Victoria Harbour, I could not distinguish between the water and land -- it was all like a fog, but it really was terribly polluted air.

At 2pm, readings at Hong Kong's 13 general stations as well as three roadside stations had reached "very high" or "serious" health risk levels. Six stations reported scores of 10+, the highest possible, indicating a serious health risk.

Children, the elderly and people with heart or respiratory issues were advised to avoid staying outdoors, especially in areas with heavy traffic.

And yet when I was out in the streets I hardly saw anyone of us don a mask.

Air quality readings went through the roof today
Are we the stupid ones? Or is the government stupid to let our air quality deteriorate so badly?

An Environmental Protection Department spokesman said the pollution was brought by high pressure over the western North pacific as well as light winds locally.

"In addition, Hong Kong is also being affected by an airstream with higher background pollutant concentrations from the Pearl River Delta," the spokesman said.

That's code for blaming the mainland for the pollution, but in the last few years most of the factories across the border have closed down. So where is the pollution really coming from?

The spokesman added that the sunshine, together with "higher than normal" levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulates, had enhanced the smog, resulting in high pollution.

Nitrogen dioxide comes from emissions from cars, trucks, buses, machinery and power plants. Surely a good chunk of that was pollution was made locally.

We can expect the air pollution to be bad these next few days... how visitor-friendly and how nice we get to breathe in this terrible air quality.

Why aren't our lawmakers pushing for the government to do more to improve our living conditions? Surely this is an issue everyone can get behind?


  1. When we have a Chief Executive who actually is on the record as suggesting that Hong Kong is responsible for Guangdong's smog... I wonder: will things be better on the environmental front under Carrie Lam's watch?