HK and Guangdong nearing air quality targets coughcoughretch

Looking at the foul murky air outside, and wondering what it's doing to our lungs, seems bizarre to read China Daily article on Guangdong and Hong Kong scoring successes in tackling air pollution. This includes:
Environmental protection officials in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and neighboring Guangdong Province said on Monday they are confident of achieving their targets to reduce air pollution by 55 percent from 1997 levels within the next three years. Reviewing their efforts to clean up the environment over the past four years, Li Qing, director of Guangdong's environmental protection department, and Edward Yau, permanent secretary for Hong Kong's environmental protection department, said they were on target to reach their goals for 2010. Based on a report released by both authorities in October, the daily average content of sulfur dioxide in Guangdong and Hong Kong was 0.0715 mg per cubic meter of air, lower than the national standard of 0.5 mg. Levels of other pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone and inhalable particulates in the two regions are also lower than national standards, the report said.
">http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2007-12/12/content_6314891.htm] Guangdong, HK closing in on clean air targets This appeared shortly after a Reuters report from 7 Dec, including:
Hong Kong warned people with heart or lung problems to avoid outdoor activities on Friday as the territory experienced one of its most polluted days of the year, with the hills across the harbor almost invisible. Pollution monitoring stations registered "very high" readings in several spots around the former British colony, and the Environmental Protection Department said the poor air was expected to continue. Hong Kong's air has become increasingly clogged with pollutants from cars, ships, power plants and a booming manufacturing sector across the border in China's Guangdong province. Air Pollution Index (API) readings surpassed 101, entering what the EPD considers "very high," at several sites, including the Central business district, which hit 150 by mid-afternoon, and the Causeway Bay shopping area, which hit 127.
Hong">http://uk.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUKHKG7448020071207]Hong Kong chokes on pollution Must wonder about China's national "standards" - rather seems they're akin to having drinking water standard that makes used toilet water acceptable. They're worse than for Hong Kong - meaning filthy air has better chance of meeting standards in China - and yet Hong Kong's "standards" are abysmal compared to recent standards from World Health Organization. So in HK/Guangdong, it seems, it's ok by officials if we might someday meet crappy standards. The China Daily report has an Orwellian ring to it - all's well, even though situation is actually dire. Yet to my mind, officials here displaying mindset much as Bush's White House has done re climate change, which it has long tried to suggest is non issue: Committee">http://oversight.house.gov/story.asp?ID=1653]Committee Report: White House Engaged in Systematic Effort to Manipulate Climate Change Science So we have leaders who seem disinterested in doing any real leading, apparently caring only for economic gain, and responding to environmental ills with little more than spin doctoring.
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Here's shot from Cheung Chau, lunchtime today; Lantau has almost vanished in the crud. :X IMAGE(<a href="http://www.hkoutdoors.com/images/fbfiles/images/crapair13dec07.jpg)">http://www.hkoutdoors.com/images/fbfiles/images/crapair13dec07.jpg[/img]