Waiting to Exhale in Hong Kong: The Air Pollution Crisis

How much smog is too much smog?

Air pollution in Hong Kong is worse than it has ever been, and ten times worse than it was in 2005. In fact, it has become such a problem that some worry global corporations located in Hong Kong's central business district will have to relocate due to health concerns. 

This problem is certainly not unique to China or the developing world. While air quality has improved in recent years, half of America breathes air that is polluted enough to cause health problems, according to the American Lung Association. The area of Los Angeles-LongBeach-Riverside, CA ranked #1 for high ozone pollution levels out of 277 metropolitan areas in the U.S. 

There could be an enormous economic cost to pay for being dirty if cities start to shed major businesses. Furthermore, as Big Think's chief economist Daniel Altman has forecast, a new set of "lifestyle hubs" will gradually replace today's business hubs. The more the air stinks in these cities will only speed up this process. 

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Strange Maps
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(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
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(NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill)
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