Shanghai and Air Pollution

17 of the 20 most polluted cities are supposedly in China (source: documentary), which reminded me of the trip taken there in 2005.

Most times, we were chauffeured by our host’s driver, and unpleasant places were avoided. But on a separate trip to Shanghai, I got a clearer view of its environmental problems.

Granted, since that time, some issues might have improved, but on the big scale, Shanghai probably still has the same problems as other industrial cities do.

Cars pollute the air. In subtropical heat, I walked around in sandals during the day. I really had to scrub my feet, blackened by carbon, in the shower each evening.

Many pedestrians just dropped their trash on the spot with a city employee (mostly senior citizens) sweeping up the trash right behind. I remember seeing a young woman dropping a banana peel on the ground. The garbage bin had been in arm’s length.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Shanghai. It was taken around 3 p.m. During the three days we spent there, the polluted mist never seemed to lift its carbon veil.

Shanghai in the afternoon