New Rule: You know your nation's got a smog problem when your number one morning TV show is the sunrise. In Beijing, China, the smog has gotten so bad that giant TV screens normally used for advertising have begun broadcasting sunrises, so the Chinese people can catch some virtual rays. Communist China's pollution is so bad it's visible from space. It looks like a giant spot on an X-ray. China is home to black rivers, dead lakes, and two types of groundwater: polluted and extra-crunchy super-chunk. Commuters have long been wearing surgical masks to work and now Chinese hotels have added fancy gas masks to the list of in-room guest amenities.
Naturally the Chinese government has decided to fight fire with denial. Chinese state media recently released a list of five "surprising benefits" of smog: "1) It unifies the Chinese people. 2) It makes China more equal. 3) It raises citizen awareness of the cost of China's economic development. 4) It makes people funnier. (That's true. Smog certainly didn't hurt Johnny Carson's career.) 5) It makes people more knowledgeable (of things like meteorology and the English word haze)." Proving that the Chinese not only make shoddy goods, but shoddy excuses. But are China's five reasons to ignore climate change any more ridiculous than American-made global warming denials?
Last summer a group called Organizing For Action gave out "Climate Denier Award" trophies (bronze unicorn statuettes) to 135 congressmen who are card-carrying global warming deniers, including representatives Michele Bachmann, Dana Rohrabacher, Andy Harris, Michael Grimm and Senator Kelly Ayotte. Researchers also found that over 25 percent of weather forecasters think that global warming is a scam. And roughly 13 percent of architects agreed that "global warming is a myth perpetuated by the media, and green building is just a fad." As Nicholas Kristof pointed out, 77 percent of Americans believe that aliens have visited Earth while 44 percent believe that humans are causing climate change. Which is silly because the way we're ruining the planet will make fewer aliens want to stop here.