What a difference a day makes...
It's a beautiful day in Beijing today, which made me think about this picture someone sent me a few months ago:
This is a photo of Beijing on two consecutive days about a year ago in 2006. This, in a single picture, crystallizes for me why we are working in China. The enormity of the problem on one side. The overwhelming promise and potential on the other.
Many days over this gritty city are like those days you see on the left. Those are days when you stay inside and turn your air purifier up to 11. But, sometimes – particularly when a strong wind blows through or after a heavy rain – we get a perfect day like you see towards the right, an instant reminder of what is possible.
There is a tremendous amount of environmental protection activity to take us to the cleaner side of this picture, coming from many different sectors of Chinese society – government, community groups, lawyers, environmental groups, scientists, doctors, etc. More needs to be done though. We have been working to help implement a number of key solutions (in the areas of greater public involvement in environmental protection, improved access to environmental information, energy efficiency and green buildings, clean energy technologies, and so on). I’ll look forward to talking more about these in the weeks to come.