In case you haven’t been on the Internet (well, Reddit), parts of eastern China have been overtaken by so much smog and haze that it’s become a huge health hazard. In what can be described as only a last ditch attempt at good PR, the Chinese state media has released a list of five reasons smog is actually good.
According to Lei Wang, an editor for China Central Television’s website, the reasons are as follows:
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.
5. It makes people more knowledgeable (of things such as meteorology and the English word “haze”).
Now, #1 is kind of vague, but I guess if everyone has the potential for lung cancer in common, then yeah, it definitely unifies the country.
Number 2 seems absurd, however.
Number 3… Sure, why not?
And #4 and #5 are just grasping at straws. It makes people funnier? How is it funny?
“Hey, Dave, wanna go for a jog?”
“I would, Bob, if I wasn’t coughing up blood!”
That’s not funny. Unchecked pollution isn’t funny.
Another piece stated a sixth potential benefit: aiding the Chinese military by reducing visibility and thus obscuring sight lines and rendering surveillance equipment less effective.
The article was ultimately pulled, but the severe pollution is no laughing matter.