virtual sunrise in ChinaWhat has become of Beijing, China’s most progressive and industrial city?  Smog time after time continued to thicken, and air had been taken on an unpleasant odor such that commuters and citizens are already wearing face masks as they hurried to work, in school and even at home.  Air pollution monitoring teams issued serious air advisory for elders and young children to possibly stay indoors whenever pollution happened and waited to improve tremendously.

Smog covering tall buildings had been worse in the last two years or so.  It is definitely causing health hazards such as lung problems, especially to those who are working outside.  Severe air pollution infects mostly the major cities in China because environmental securities were taken into granted for the sake of trade and economic progress.

In January 2014, a futuristic large screen was installed in Beijing presumably intended for people who would like to watch and witness a virtual sunrise each morning.  But the photo was trending in social media wrongly.  Generally, the screens are used for advertisements and promotions of a particular tourist destination – Shandong province.  Today, as smog began hurting the air, pollution hindered the natural view of a beautiful historic sunset for days or even longer periods of time.

The statement about the virtual sunrise which was the only place where people flock in front of a huge screen and experience sunset digitally – is a hoax in social media.

The real story behind this is the problem of air pollution.

The increase in coal-burning intensifies other forms of pollution in the city and winter season added to the already aggravated weather situation.  Readings for particles had already reached PM2.5 pollution mark recently, which is about 300-500 micrograms.  A monitoring post at the US Embassy in the city of Beijing recorded a 671, higher than the usual reading days after.  About 25 micrograms is the safety level, which the World Health Organization declared safe.  However, the reading has been the highest monitored since January 2013.

The chief causes of this pollution are mainly coal burning and car emissions.  The battle to regulate and control pollution has been China’s objective in the recent years.  The city mayor promised to cut the use of coal by 2.6 million tonnes and pledged 15 billion Yuan, which is approximately $2.4 billion, for the enhancement of air quality in 2014 in order to totally work on ways and means concerning this problem.