What's the matter with Chengdu?

More than 20 years ago I moved to a city many ordinary people in China considered as a paradise where there were a wonderful environment and delicate cuisines. And indeed I did love the place because I could play football with other teens in the playground I don't recall at all now, and I was barely as seriously aware of air pollution as we do nowadays. Showed in the first picture, it indicates anyone who tends to go outside had better wear a mask against contaminated air they have to inhale. 'Mauvais' - a French word - tells us the air condition is bad and even worse, the same situation carries on in the next few days.

There are six common pollutants giving information on what factor makes a contribution to air pollution. And a colour bar next to each pollutant shows how seriously it deteriorates the innocent air. When looking at the figures first time, I haven't got a clue about what's wrong with the city! Why carbon monoxide (CO) reaches such a peak? I'm sure it is a city that there is no central heating across the region.

The explanation of CO above perhaps gives us a hint. 'Les sources sont variées: feu, cheminée, cuisinière à gaz, combustion des moteurs ou centrales électriques'. Fuels, chemicals, cooking gas, combustion of engines or power plants have been cumulating the level of CO that is noxious to all of us.

Some of our friends have been living in the city since they graduated from university. We are not sure whether or not they are as sensitive to air quality as we are but one thing reaches a consensus on this matter: everyone is relentlessly pursuing a better life without exhaustion. No one sincerely embraces 'That's life' instead, that 'This is the life!' steers our course consistently.

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