SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on Backpacker.com


Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Polluted Chinese City Offers Residents Fresh Mountain Air

Zhengzhou is one of the most polluted towns in the world.

by: Ted Alvarez


China’s pollution woes are infamous at this point: smoggy skies blotting out the skyline, visibility of just a few hundred feet, and skyrocketing health problems. Last week, it moved into truly surreal territory.  In Zhengzhou, a travel company brought bags of air captured in Laojun Mountain, 120 miles from the city, so that breathless residents could get a whiff of mountain freshness. From The Wall Street Journal:

In its account of the event, the state-run China News Service said that some of the residents who lined up for the chance to inhale—they were limited to a few minutes each—tried to wring the bags in order to extract every bit of air possible.

“I felt my baby move right when I breathed in,” one pregnant woman who participated in the event told the agency. “I would love to walk in the mountain’s forests after my child is born,” Sun added. China’s environmental ministry announced last week that Zhengzhou was among the country’s top 10 most-polluted cities. Its AQI [air quality index] on Monday was an unhealthy 158. By contrast, the Monday AQI forecast for Bakersfield, CA, the most polluted city in the U.S., was 45.

With multiple outlets reporting this story, it doesn’t appear to be an April Fools stunt (and besides, it happened a few days beforehand).

Without pollution controls, the smog could always spread to Laojun Mountain too, at which point China might have to import fresh air from elsewhere.  Beyond the deep sadness that comes with the ruination of entire ecosystems, one shudders at the shameless business opportunities. Whiff of Yosemite, anyone?


Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

The Political Arena
Bad Year for Air Travel
Posted On: Jul 25, 2014
Submitted By: halstead
Trailhead Register
White Collar Blues
Posted On: Jul 25, 2014
Submitted By: RebeccaD
Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions