Winter is here. That means it’s time once again to dig back out your trusty smog mask for yet another season of respiratory misery.
But, humans aren’t the only ones affected by China’s pollutant particle-rich air. Recently, some thoughtful students at a Xi’an university cared enough to provide 800 stone statues (mostly of lions) on campus with some symbolic protection from the PM 2.5. Photos of the masked stone lions have since gone viral on the Chinese internet.
A student who helped with the stunt said that it was yet another effort to raise awareness about China’s serious problem with air pollution. Currently, the air in Xi’an is an “unhealthy” 168 on the AQI. It’s been in the red for the last few days.
Of course, with the coming of winter, this kind of thing happens every year in China: the coal furnaces switch on, and the skies grow grey. When air quality levels get to be unbearable, activists try to raise awareness to the issue, often the smog mask is the means to do so.
Over the weekend, residents of Chengdu tried putting masks on statues and holding a protest in the center of the city. However, an unknown number of the protesters were quickly detained by police and the protest was squashed before it even began with riot police blocking off the public square downtown.
[Images via Global Times]
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