Dog Pile On China

On the heels of the toys with lead paint scandal, China is getting a bad rap for another unhealthy export.

Turns out that a newly emerging area of study has been enabled by all our satellites. These days the scientific rage is tracking intercontinental clouds. There's a lot of research being done on dust clouds that blow up in various far flung parts of the world and where they end up. Apparently they're finding out that the clouds can have industrial pollution on top of all sorts of living micro-organisms and may be potential disease vectors.

According to this WaPo article, dust from the Sahara desert is ending up in the Amazon rain forests, the Caribbean, and the southeast US. The Gobi desert regularly dumps on the US northwest, and Japan and Korea regularly get noxious clouds out of China. The funnest part... perennially smoggy Los Angeles has finally found a new scapegoat.

Authorities in Los Angeles estimate that on some days, one-quarter
of the city's smog comes from China

Back when I was in grad school in those hallowed orange halls of Knoxville a lot of grad students were basing their theses on the idea that the Smokies were being degraded by pollution blowing in from western North Carolina. I found it plausible enough at the time, though it seemed like a blaming your neighbor to get out of fixing your own problems. This new dust cloud tracking is an extension of that to a world wide scale.

The article didn't mention where our dust and crap end up. I'm thinking we should apply the 'whoever smelt it dealt it' rule that every junior high age boy knows well. For all you folks that weren't teenage boys... this rule states that the first person to complain about noxious air is automatically awarded blame for said noxious air.

Since I couldn't decide between my two ending jokes, you pick the one you prefer.

Joke 1 - This is great news for Nashville. It means that the brown ring of pollution that always shows up in the summer can now be legitimately blamed on Memphis. Stacey Campfield will be filing a bill anytime now to offically blame Memphis, GA.

Joke 2 - The SciFi channel is in talks to option this as their next disaster of the week movie.


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