The problem with an issue like APEC blue is that it reads as if an authoritarian government can clean up the skies to impress visiting dignities by inconveniencing working class Beijingers and not be bothered to actually work for sustainable options. As such, this whole cleanup/mess easily slips into cultural mudslinging as if we were not talking a global economic system in which environmental quality is one of the perks of status. In such a system it makes sense that what is a “right” in one part of the system, becomes a luxury and political tool in another. Nevertheless, today I’m feeling hopeful because when we do turn off our factories and stop driving, the world heals. We just need sustainable reasons to do so. Continue reading
Suddenly occurred to me that the point of creating APEC blue (APEC蓝) in Beijing is not to give foreigners clear blue skies, but to demonstrate the Party’s superpowers — controlling the weather and people with a single policy decision. I can hear Xi Jinping and evil crew cackling (a la Jiang Zemin), “too young, too simple ha ha ha.” I see them in in black suped-up super up suits, rubbing their hands gleefully as they zoom about the underground tunnels that connect Zhongnanhai to the airport, the Great Hall of the People, and their secret policy laboratories. They need a Marvel tv comic
book tv series. In the meantime, however, they already have their own APEC Blue entry on Baidu. I know. Feeling me some paranoia.