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A stroke of cool irony

SCMP – Lai See Aug. 8, 2012

The government’s done it again. Last week, it noted that the Observatory had issued a hot weather warning advising us to wear broad-brimmed hats and drink water, and so. But it didn’t think of warning us against a more deadly threat – the very high levels of roadside pollution. Yesterday, there was another hot weather warning and the Labour Department got in on the act, urging employers to protect their employees from heatstroke. The irony is that we are all aware of the weather and the heat, but we don’t see the pollution. There are two possible reasons for this. First, the government doesn’t want to draw too much attention to its dirty problem. Second, there’s a bureaucratic problem. The Environmental Protection Department just measures emissions and has no remit for health. Public health is dealt with by the Department of Health but it doesn’t study emissions.

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