Welcome to the dirtiest place on Earth! Breathing the air in Linfen in China for a day is like smoking three packets of cigarettes. This shocking report reveals why Climate Change may be here to stay.
Linfen, located at the heart of the Shanxi Province, is one of the mining centres that have been central to China's rapid economic growth. It is an endless landscape of factories and smoking towers, which is constantly emptied by thousands of trucks, taking its coal to the rest of China's cities. Linfen, as Ailun Yang from Greenpeace China points out, is the dark side of China's economic miracle. "There's something fundamentally wrong with the economic model. That's why the more the economy grows, the more the environment starts to get worse." Not only is the air toxic, but the water is so polluted that many towns in the area have become so-called 'Cancer Towns'. "Many illnesses are common to this area: pesticide exposure, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung problems..." But for the 4 million inhabitants of Linfen, it was only 20 years ago that their city was nicknamed 'The fruit and flower town of Shanxi Province'.The environmental impact of coal exploitation has destroyed the environment and with no way back the people of Linfen are paying a high price for China's economic progress.