Pollution in China

This is again big news so I thought I would mention my own experience. Three or four years ago I visited a brand new factory in China which was producing very high quality textiles with a weldable coating. It is the sort of thing used in inflatable  mattresses. The process is quite elaborate and highly technical comprising of a row of cabinets side by side and extending over about 30 mtrs. Each cabinet had flashing control panels reminiscent of early computer systems. It really was a quite  impressive example of state of the art fabric lamination.

I notices the heating pipes running through the plant and asked if they were steam or hot oil. “Hot oil” the boss replied. “Interesting” I said, “how do you heat the oil”. “Let me show you” he replied, and took to the back of the facility where there was a man shovelling coal into a furnace. “This is the cheapest way to heat”, he said.

Of course the amount of pollution added by this factory is just a drop in the ocean. Unfortunately, there are so many drops that we are sure to drown! Or perhaps not. As a child I did survive the great London Smog of 1953 where the air was so bad that I couldn’t see my extended hand in front of my face and found my way home from school by following the edge of the pavement.

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