chai jing’s “under the dome”: investigating china’s air pollution

If you haven’t seen Chai Jing’s documentary on China’s air pollution problems, here’s the first ten minutes with subtitles. To view subtitles start the video and then click the icon to the right of the clock in lower right hand corner of the screen.

Compelled to learn more? The full documentary can be viewed on youtube. There is also a written English summary online at Unworthy.

coastal thinking

this past weekend, i was in seattle visiting friends and revisiting my past. yes, the older i become, the greater the twists and turns of who i thought i was and who they thought i was and the distances between all that thinking. mahsheed reminded us that scientists (of the empirically experimental sort) contend that memory is 70% recreated and 30% actual content. however, little is known about how and why that particular ratio or how and why some information is shunted onto one side of the equation or even how recreated memory is plotted… yes, this is the basis of my anthropological musings.  i’ll see your “hmm” and raise you three.

hmmmmm.

caveat given, i’ll move onto thoughts inspired while walking in seward park.

moss on fern green

walking in seward park (as it was when i walked along the salmon river, oregon a year ago), the ferns, red cedars, and douglas furs viscerally reminded me that i was in a coastal ecosystem. mud cold water seeped into my shoes, pulsing bark tempted me to raise my eyes, and a great blue herron stilled my circumnavigation of washington lake.

in contrast, while walking in shenzhen, i find it difficult to remember that we inhabit an estuary. i walk through smog and landscaped greenspace, note new buildings and speculate about economic boomings of one sort or another. i frequently read about mudflat wetland protection, the deep bay oyster industry, marine pollution and mangroves. all this to say, shenzhen’s ecological status strikes me as an abstraction, a category of thinking rather than an experience immanent in the environment itself. thus, my mind invokes “estuarine ecology” as a critical standard by which to hypothesize what might have been and imagine what could be. 

the difference is where lived – right brain or on a path at dawn. now, what to make of it?