Poor air quality – what's the cause?

Here's a graph from the government that gave me a shock. It shows that the pollution we generate in Hong Kong fell significantly between 1990 (on the left) and 2007 [1]:

How can that be, when we all know that air quality has got much worse?

Bay windows: Begone!

A couple of things have come to bug me about Hong Kong apartments. First, they're built to catch as many rays of sunshine as possible. Second, the quoted floor-areas bear little relation to how much usable space you'll actually get.

Ten bonus points if you can guess the common cause of both bugs. Read more »

Hong Kong air pollution: better than it looks?

A few weeks back I asked if our air pollution is getting better or worse, then answered myself: worse over the last 18 years, but possibly getting better slowly in the last one or two years.

Then I went looking for some more numbers to back this up, but found that ... well, see if you find them as surprising as I did. Read more »

Can we have our blue skies back? Please?

You don't need a chemistry degree or expensive monitoring equipment to tell when the pollution is bad. When the view from the window shows the harbour shrouded in a smoggy haze, you know that whatever is in the air can't be good for us.

But how do you tell if it is getting better or worse? Read more »

How we calculate the BSI (Batgung Smog Index)

The idea behind the Batgung Smog Index (BSI) is to give a simple measure of whether air pollution in Hong Kong is getting better or worse over time.

It's based on the observation that when the air is smoggy, visibility is low and pollution levels are high. Read more »

Where does Hong kong's air pollution come from?

Last month saw several articles in the media with headlines like:

Hong Kong producing most of its own pollution (AFP)

Local sources blamed for most air pollution woes (HK Standard)

If they are true, were earlier claims about regional pollution affecting us just a smokescreen? We’d certainly need to focus our efforts on reducing local sources of pollution, instead of those over the border. But if they’re wrong, we risk diverting people’s attention from the real source of the problem.

Unfortunately, they’re wrong.

 Read more »

pollution and housing

We're moving to HK for the 2nd time, but this time with 2 small children (3 and 4.5 years). Lived in Midlevels (western) before, now, where to go now that apparently the pollution has become much much worse! Is South side better? Any tips? Will be working in Central and don't want to commute too much. I've read all the pollution indexes and it seems to boil down to central or western with the lowest average score ... If I want the kids to start learning Mandarin will an Int'l school suffice or will it have to be a local school?

Is the pollution in Hong Kong really bad?

Question: I've heard that Hong Kong is really, really crowded and polluted. Will I be able to stand it?

Mr T replies: You may find the pollution distressing at times, but there are also many parts of HK that are amazingly unaffected. Read more »

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