According to GlobalPost today, "air pollution in Hong Kong is so bad that one-in-five residents in a recent poll said they were considering leaving the city."

That's what's called a "brain drain"—and the largest exodus since the British gave Hong Kong back to China in 1997. Then, 450,000 people are estimated to have left.

The poll, according to GlobalPost's Matt Driskill, "showed that people believe air pollution is making Hong Kong an 'undesirable location for both locals and prospective international talent.'


"For its part, the government of Hong Kong says it is working to improve air quality," according to the article. "In his 2008 policy address, similar to a U.S. president’s State of the Union speech, Hong Kong’s chief executive, Donald Tsang, said the government was reviewing its air quality objectives and would adopt targets in line with those proposed by the World Health Organization."

All of this raises serious quetions about the potential for a functioning global society when there are no international regulations to govern the environment.