Friday, September 13, 2013

There, Fixed Forever

When dealing with their very serious environmental issues, China has a way of doing two things. One is ignoring them, as usually, the imperative to make money takes precedence. The other is to half-ass things in grand fashion. In preparation for the Beijing Olympics, a series of measures were employed to hurriedly fix a smog problem that cannot be hurriedly fixed, but when longer-term measures such as limiting the cars that can be on the road and cleaning up factories failed to get anything done, they turned to temporarily shutting the factories off and cloud seeding. Facing a lack of shrubbery on their hills because one was turned into a quarry, local officials painted the hillside green, and not for the first or last time (they'd done similar to help get the Olympics in the first place). Barren stone pits have simply had fully-grown trees just plopped right on top of them. The mentality has even extended into the housing market. Real estate bubble, you say? Nonsense. Just build more houses, regardless of whether anyone wants them!

The latest bit of half-assing is upon us. Hong Kong is beset by smog as well. Among all smog's other problems, it turns tourists away; you can't see the sights if you can't actually see them, after all. The city's solution: throw up banners depicting a clear-skied Hong Kong at various tourist vistas, so tourists can actually have Hong Kong behind them in pictures.

Without actually having Hong Kong behind them.

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