Shanghailanders have enjoyed what, on the surface, appears to be a summer of blue skies. In recent weeks, locals have come to affectionately refer to this as G-20 Blue in light of the upcoming summit in the neighboring city of Hangzhou. News articles have also pointed to an improvement in the country’s air situation as a whole, although Shanghai doesn’t seem to be contributing to this trend. I wanted to find out whether G-20 Blue is just a fleeting dream or something we can hope to look forward to more often.
The seventh month of the lunar calendar marks the annual Buddhist Ghost Month. This is a time where the spirits of the dead roam the Earth and commune with their living loved ones. Unfortunately, it's also a time where the living create enough pollution to lower their own life expectancies. This begs the question: how much should we modernize tradition?
Ah, September. It’s that rare time of the year when Shanghai’s weather is not only decent, but quite pristine. Muggy summer heat waves give way to cooler afternoons. The mosquito-ridden August sunsets transform into breezy, crisp evenings. Summer’s cicada serenade becomes the song of chirping birds and bicycle bells, as more and more people take to the streets on two wheels. It really is when the best of Shanghai is on display.
Global warming. The mere mention of these two powerful words can create panic in the minds of many. We are bombarded with news about the Earth’s irreversible trajectory towards oblivion. Overconsumption of fossil fuels and other nonrenewable resources is to blame, with every effort humanly possible put into finding alternatives to their use. Human beings, particularly those from the developed world, are held accountable – socially and sometimes legally – to putting the Earth on a greener path. But are we really hearing the whole story?