A rare new Asia Beat
At 950 micrograms per cubic metre, (the PM2.5 level in Tongzhou, on January 13), Beijing’s famously bad air pollution has finally reached comercially mineable levels. Chinese officials are delighted that unburnt coal particles, oxides of lead, mercury and carbon will now be a commercial asset to the city. “Mining Beijing’s air pollution will become a multi billion dollar industry,” said Cao Yuanzheng, Chief Economist, Bank of China, – and, more importantly, completely renewable.” It also fits with the Daoist principals that every positive can have a downside and every negative a positive side,” continued Mr. Cao. Australian mining giant Rio Tinto is said to be keen to exploit the resources literally lining the dusty streets of the ancient capital. “Even the lungs of someone who has lived in Beijing for over a year could be worth $150 on the rare metals spot market,” a spokesman for the company said.