There’s quite a lot of attention on air pollution at the moment in Britain, which is a good thing – the problem has been largely ignored for a long time. The other day I had an email from a campaigning organisation. It was asking for funds to help fight the air pollution ‘crisis’, which made me think of the film Under the Dome. Having seen it, I’d hesitate to describe our problem as a crisis, serious though it is.
Under the Dome is a documentary about air pollution in China, made and self-funded by investigative journalist Chai Jing. She presents it herself in an Inconvenient Truth sort of style, mixing a presentation to an audience with interviews and reportage. It answers simple questions about what smog is, where it comes from and what can be done about it, and it’s as good an explanation of the issue as I’ve seen anywhere. It’s also a real insight into what life is like when you can’t trust the air you breathe, and a good background to China’s environmental priorities. And despite the ongoing fight for cleaner air, it made me grateful for the blue sky.