Made in China (2015)
by Leon Lester
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Covered in the sweat of manic materialism is this flag of China. This digital artwork is designed to draw attention to the devastating pollution that is currently affecting China. Chinese scientists have warned that the country’s toxic air pollution is now so bad that it resembles a nuclear winter, slowing photosynthesis in plants and potentially wreaking havoc on the country’s food supply.
Beijing and broad swaths of six northern provinces are commonly blanketed in a dense pea-soup smog. Beijing’s concentration of air pollutant particles with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less can around hit 900 parts per million – 40 times the level the World Health Organisation deems safe. You can smell, taste and choke on it.
China is the world’s number one CO2 polluter, but a large share of the country’s pollutants are generated during the manufacture of goods destined for countries like Australia. The responsibility for China’s soaring emissions lies not just with China but with the rest of the World. The other countries of the World, particularly the western developed countries like Australia have simple moved their carbon footprint to China.
The World moved its manufacturing base to China over the last thirty years. No environmental conditions were attached to this manufacturing move. Corporations were only interested in the cheap price of labour. This kept the price of products and inflation down, but at the cost of devastating the Chinese environment.