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Mon Dec 22, 2014, 04:51 AM

Life in Beijing: "rehearsal for life on an inhospitable planet"

Itís as if the 21-million-strong population of the Chinese capital is engaged in a mass city-wide rehearsal for life on an inhospitable planet. Only itís not a rehearsal: the poisonous atmosphere is already here.

Beijingís air quality has long been a cause of concern, but the effects of its extreme levels of pollution on daily life can now be seen in physical changes to the architecture of the city. Buildings and spaces are being reconfigured and daily routines modified to allow normal life to go on beneath the toxic shroud.

On bad days, bike lanes are completely deserted, as people stay at home or retreat to the conditioned environments of hermetically-sealed malls.

The average 18-year-old Beijinger will spend as much as 40% of their remaining years in ill-health Ė potentially suffering from cancer, cardiovascular or respiratory disease. Breaking the usual government silence on the issue, Chinaís former health minister, Chen Zhu, spoke out in January to reveal that between 350,000 and 500,000 people die prematurely each year here as a result of air pollution.


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Reply Life in Beijing: "rehearsal for life on an inhospitable planet" (Original post)
ellenrr Dec 2014 OP
Dustlawyer Dec 2014 #1
2naSalit Dec 2014 #4
Divernan Dec 2014 #2
Nay Dec 2014 #3

Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Mon Dec 22, 2014, 08:12 AM

1. This is one of the bad parts of the future of our world when we allow the corporations and the

Plutocrats to keep the upper hand instead of regulating them and adapting ourselves to better manage our environment and resources. All of that pollution goes everywhere in the world, including our oceans, where most of our oxygen comes from. If we kill the phytoplankton, which has already started, we all die!

Publicly Funded Elections are what we need to take back control of our government. Bernie Sanders has made that his #1 issue! Support him in large numbers and you will see the rest of the politicians fall in line. We have the power to join together, we just don't use it!

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Response to Dustlawyer (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 22, 2014, 11:28 AM

4. It's obvious that

we have allowed divide and conquer to do its damage by way of apathy. I dpn't know what it will take for a distracted populace to look up and see the edge of the cliff two steps ahead (or less) of them before actually stepping over the edge and dragging the rest of us over with them. It's getting late in the age of mankind.

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Mon Dec 22, 2014, 08:29 AM

2. US State Dept. kids'school:32 acre campus enclosed in pharmaceutical grade air-filtration system.

I heard about the pollution levels in Beijing from a friend whose son-in-law, daughter & grandkids are stationed in Beijing - the parents work for the state department. She described this fantastic, futuristic school her grandkids attend which was completely enclosed - including all the playing fields (baseball, softball & soccer). After seeing your link, I researched it. It's the International School of Beijing, with about 1800 students from pre-K through 12th grade - w/ basic tuition rates starting at $28,857/K and going up to $36,926 for grades 9-12. No health worries, for the kids of U.S. govt. employees attending this school. We taxpayers are ponying up for this campus in a bubble to the tune of $32,450 a year per Kindergarten student up to $40,700 a year for high school students at a super-duper, 5-star-all-the-way-baby, campus.

And it's for ex-pats' kids only, thank you very much - those hundreds of thousands of Chinese kids in Beijing can just keep breathing in those toxic fumes. Our state department is charged with keeping the wheels of export running for corporations - what's good for Walmart, etc. If the Chinese government doesn't give a shit about their citizens, what business is it of ours? I mean as long as U.S. citizens can keep buying slave-labor-produced stuff. It just makes good business sense, right? Take away all the manufacturing jobs from U.S. workers, but import foreign-manufactured shit so cheap that U.S. citizens Formerly Known As Middle Class can still afford it - with a thick layer of profit going to the corporations. It's called transfer of wealth. It's the one percent way! It's all good! Screw Brotherhood of Man! I've got mine, Jack!

(Need I enclose the above paragraph with sarcasm icons?)

Here's a link to the education allowance for U.S. state dept. employees stationed in Beijing, China;

and here's a description of this luxury facility:

International School of Beijing
2013-2014 Fact Sheet

(ISB) is an English-language day school, offering an international curriculum for expatriate children in
ISB provides education from prekindergarten (age 3) through grade 12, in three divisions: Elementary School, Middle School, and High School. Each division has its own principal, assistant
principal, and support services team. The school year runs from August to mid-June over two semesters. In 2002, ISB moved into a new facility in Shunyi District, in northeast Beijing. At that time, the School
ceased to be a diplomatic entity and became an independent school for expatriate children recognized by
the Beijing Municipal Education Commission.

Faculty: In school year 2013-2014, there are 213 full-time faculty members. Enrollment: At the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, enrollment was 1,884.

Facilities: ISB is located on a 32-acre campus in Shunyi close to popular residential compounds. The facilities are unrivaled in Beijing. Two purpose-built sports domes sit side-by-side on an area of over 8,500 square meters. The campus also hosts four fully-equipped gymnasiums (one with a climbing wall); baseball and softball diamonds; two full-sized turf soccer practice fields; and an aquatics center with a 25-meter pool with diving boards. The campus holds twelve state-of-the-art, dedicated science labs in elementary, middle and high school, a dedicated visual arts wing in middle school and high school, and dedicated art studios in elementary school. The performing arts wing consists of a 600-seat theater, black box theater, rehearsal space, and studio stage. The campus also houses two library-media centers with more than 82,000 volumes and over 160 magazine subscriptions. ISB supports a one-to-one MacBook laptop program for each grade 2-12 student with wireless network and Internet available throughout the school. A pharmaceutical grade (H-14) air filtration system is effective throughout the campus and, along with UV-C lights to discourage bacteria growth, works to create a clean and healthy learning environment.

Finances: In the 2013-2014 school year, approximately 95% of the School's income derives from tuition. Annual tuition rates are as follows: PK(3): $14,319; PK(4): $24,563; K: $28,857; grades 1-5: $32,154; grades 6-8: $34,089; and grades 9-12: $36,926. Additional Charges: Bus Service fee for pick-up and drop-off ranges from $1,477 - $2,393 and is based on the distance from home to ISB. The School also charges an application fee of $275 and an annual capital levy of $1,850 to $5,408, which is included in the tuition amount.


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Response to Divernan (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 22, 2014, 10:21 AM

3. Frankly, no State Dept employee would take his/her family to Beijing without

such accommodations for their families. I certainly wouldn't. I don't consider it any different than providing extra security. It is still a wonder that we treat China as benignly as we do -- but capitalism trumps all, it seems. That fact will mean the end of the human race, actually. We can't seem to stop doing stupid and destructive stuff.

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