Surviving the Anthropocene in China

Allison Guy
August 22nd 2013

Edward Wong's fascinating personal essay reveals the extreme lengths that foreigners and wealthy Chinese go to in order to survive in a country where the air, food and water are toxic. Children are raised indoors, surrounded by high-tech air filters. Adults wear face masks when they venture outside. Stranger still (from an outsider's perspective) is the quest for safe staple foods such as infant formula:

"So widespread is the phenomenon of Chinese buying milk powder abroad that it has led to shortages in at least a half-dozen countries. Hong Kong has even cracked down on what customs officials call “syndicates” smuggling foreign-made powder to mainland China."

Perhaps it's time for a new field guide: Survival Strategies in the Anthropocene. Read Wong's full article at the New York Times.

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Siri Beerends: I really embrace the idea that viruses can teach us a lesson in modesty. It is necessary that our position as the dominant species on the planet is being challenged. I also agree that it is a mistake to think that we are becoming Gods. But unfortunately, this is actually what is happening now. Corona doesn’t teach us to be modest, it teaches us how we can -as quickly as possible- go back to business as usual: saving our capitalistic economy.

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