A documentary for free on the Internet since February 28, managed to put the issue of air pollution in the debate center in China.

In a few days, it has become one of the most discussed topics of China: “Under the Dome survey on Chinese fog” has been more than 30 million times on Youku (Chinese YouTube) and even 155 million times on Weibo , a Chinese microblogging site. This documentary depicts the investigation of Chai Jing, a former presenter star of Chinese television CCTV, air pollution in China, and its health consequences.

The documentary begins with a personal story: Chai Jing birth in March 2013. Her child must be made ‚Äč‚Äčimmediately after birth in order to remove a benign tumor. It is from this trauma that the journalist will start to worry about air pollution. She begins by putting a cloth over the mouth of her daughter coming home from the maternity ward, and then comes to prohibit him from playing in the garden during certain peaks of pollution, “like a prisoner,” she said before a captivated audience . It is this very personal approach which is surely one of the keys to the success of the documentary (visible below, with English subtitles).



More than 20 times the limit set by WHO

Analysis of the Health Effects Institute estimates that the “smog” China was responsible for 1.2 million premature deaths in 2010, according to the Wall Street Journal . It is not uncommon for the fine particle density in the air reaches the threshold of 568 micrograms per cubic meter – more than twenty times the limit set by the WHO.

In Beijing, the air is so polluted that vehicles must turn on their headlights during the day Beyond the issue of health, journalist discusses other topics, such as the economy when it asks a Official why not close the most polluting steel plants in the region surrounding Beijing, he replied “You’re kidding! ” recounts Le Monde , citing employment represented by these furnaces.

The documentary, which resulted in a veritable tidal wave of comments on Chinese social networks, also reacted government. The new environment minister, Chen Jining, explained he contacted the reporter to thank for his work, comparing it to that of Rachel Carson, author of “Silent Spring,” the origin of the environmental movement West.