Assuming you were not under a coconut shell for the past weeks, you would have read that China has been combating the problem of smog for a fair number of years already, and the latest occurrences have prompted more calls for something concrete to be done by the government of the day as the situation is not getting any better as each year passes by. Having said that, truth being stranger than fiction at times, we have a real life “Aloysius O’Hare” (of The Lorax movie fame) in the form of entrepreneur Chen Guangbiao who has begun to sell canned air. Of course, I am quite sure that rich as he is, the whole idea of selling canned air at 5 yuan each is not to make more money to add to his $740 million fortune, but rather, to stress on a point concerning the toll on the environment.
Apparently, the canned air comes with atmospheric flavours that will include pristine Tibet, post-industrial Taiwan and revolutionary Yan’an. Mr Chen said, ‘If we don’t start caring for the environment then after 20 or 30 years our children and grandchildren might be wearing gas masks and carry oxygen tanks.” Do you think that it is too late to reverse the damage to the environment that was kickstarted by the Industrial Revolution all those years ago?