By Tom Phillips

China’s environment minister has vowed to confront an environmental challenge “unprecedented in human history” after an online film exposing the country’s pollution crisis went viral with more than 100 million hits in two days.

Chen Jining, a UK-educated academic who only took office last Friday, made the pledge following the release of “Under the Dome” a feature-length documentary by a celebrity journalist called Chai Jing.

Ms Chai’s film, which looks at the science and human faces behind China’s smog problem, is named after a Stephen King novel in which residents of a small American town find themselves trapped by a mysterious barrier that falls from the sky…

… Dali Yang, the director of the University of Chicago Centre in Beijing, compared the film to Al Gore’s Oscar-winning “An Inconvenient Truth” and predicted it would have a profound effect on Chinese society and politics.

“It is truly remarkable. It is a phenomenon,” he said. “Many people have realised there is a problem but she presents it in a way that is so relevant to each individual.”

“Under the Dome” takes viewers on a tour of China’s environmental hot spots, introducing a village in the country’s southwest that reputedly has the highest rate of lung cancer on earth and a city near the Russian border where buses are said to get lost because the smog is so thick…

Continue reading at the Telegraph…

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Areas of Focus: Environment
Producing and using energy damages people’s health and the environment. EPIC research is quantifying the social costs of energy choices and uncovering policies that help protect health while facilitating growth.
Air Pollution
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