The Incredible Chinese Pollution Problem

Imagine a place where the word “sky” doesn’t conjure the color blue but an ashy grey. No, such a place isn’t in another planet or the set of a dystopian sci-fi film. That place is present-day China, a country now living and breathing the harsh effects of dogged industrialization. In northern China, the heavy use of coal coupled with the ever-increasing population has led to an alarmingly extreme case of air pollution. It’s so extreme, in fact, that a person’s life expectancy in northern China is a full five years shorter than someone residing in southern China. As the size of the middle class continues to balloon, there is an insatiable need for cheap and easy energy. Quickly turning to oil and gasoline for fuel and coal for heat, the Chinese love affair with fossil fuels has plunged an astounding amount of people into an atmosphere ripe with danger.

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The Most Defiant Nuns You’ll Ever Meet

Lots of times, when we think about environmental activists, we envision sneakered twenty-somethings waving spiteful, corporate greed-decrying posters high into the skies. But once you meet these incensed, anti-fracking nuns and their vision, prepare for your conceptions to be debunked.

The Suffocating Smog Of Beijing In Photographs

While China’s 20-million and counting metropolis of Beijing is still in the midst of an economic and industrial boom, it’s certainly seen brighter days. This spring, a toxic cocktail consisting of car exhaust fumes, factory and coal-heating smoke engulfed much of the city in a thick smog, causing many residents much grief in going about their daily affairs. Says one mining company executive, “I think people in China have forgotten what the sky looks like. They’ve forgotten what normal is.”

It doesn’t look like “normal” will include the color blue for a while, either. As industrialization surges ahead and many newly-rich Chinese increase demand for their own automobiles, the only thing certain about Beijing’s future is that it will be hazy.

Today’s Best Green Design Trends

Best Green Design Trends Cool Office

Source: SM Wall

These days, environmentalists aren’t only interested in saving the earth. They’re also consumed with finding ways to make green living affordable, stylish, and fun. From moss bathmats to re-imagined architecture, eco-friendly designs now rival traditional design schools of thought in appearance and functionality. Below, we explore some of today’s best green design trends:

Green Design Trends: Incredible Roofs

Green roofing has been around in some communities for decades, but only recently has it caught on as a worldwide trend. These eco-friendly roofs are visually pleasing, but also incredibly kind to the earth. They can reduce a phenomenon known as the urban heat island, a troubling trend where urban areas measure higher temperatures than surrounding rural areas, and the roofs can also reduce the building’s energy consumption.

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