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Tuesday, May 30, 20061149037800

SkyFord: City of Pollution

The final segment of my Tianjin Sentiments (perhaps a fitting companion to another blogger's "Balkan Memories"?) is of the pollution in Tianjin. Tianjin is composed of two characters -- Tian meaning Heavenly or Sky, Jin meaning Ford. In a previous post I explained that I would translate Tian as "Heavenly" for beautiful things, and as "Sky" for more prosaic uses. Thus, this post on the pollution in Tianjin discusses contamination in Sky Ford.


The pollution in Skyford is everywhere. Our local guides explained that it was the result of the building boom that builds new offices, malls, and apartments everywhere. Certainly there was a lot of construction in Tianjin, as there was in Beijing.

Some of the power plants in Tianjin clearly gave off a blackish smoke

Moore cooling plants, these as scene from the train (metro)

At the Port of Tianjin I saw more trucks than I have ever seen, in my life.

Riding in a taxi in this is oddly relaxing: as you've already forfeited your life, there is nothing to do but wait.

A Chinese wears a mask (as I did) while gazing out at what was once the Pacific Ocean

To the smog-chocked horizon and beyond, industrial salt ponds grew on the reclaimed land. Plants did not.

Industrial machinery helps process the salt

Salt Town

The ocean was brown. The cause of that was, among other things...

... and oil refinery. The refinery is much, much closer than it looks. The deadly smog makes everything look hazy and far away, and this part of Tianjin had the worst smog of anywhere in China I've seen.

While the Ocean is dead, the port lives. The amount of shipping containers was Cyclopean, if not Lovecraftian

View of death from the former deathship, the Soviet ACC Kiev.

This was on the LSD-like riverfront of Skyford, near the strawberry house and waterfall. Ugly beyond description.

Tianjin, a tdaxp series.

20:10 Posted in Beijing 2006 | Permalink | Comments (7) | Tags: tianjin, pollution


Dear Dan tdaxp,

I am writing from Blacksmith Institute headquarters in New York. Our mission is to clean up very polluted sites in the developing world. We came across your stunning photographs Tianjin on your blog posted May 30, 2006.
We are looking for photographs for the 2007 report. The goal of this report is to place pollution clean-up, especially in very poor countries where children's health is most affected, on the international agenda.

We would like very much to use your images in our report, in order to make an even more compelling case for pollution clean-up. The city of Tianyin is a high priority. In particular, we are interested in the following photos: photo of cooling plants taken from a train, photo of industrial salt ponds, photo of polluted, brown ocean and the photo of LSD-like riverfront Skyford (last photo in entry). Would you be willing to share your photos with us? We don't have a budget for this project -- everyone is volunteering their time and work so that we can keep our finances flowing directly to clean-up initiatives. Would it be possible to use your images at no cost? Certainly, we would give you full attribution and your images would be widely seen. Please consider this inquiry because it can contribute greatly to our efforts in bringing awareness of the pollution problems in Tianyin.

To learn more about us and our work, please visit:

Best Regards,
Aadika Singh
Project Coordinator
Blacksmith Institute

Posted by: Aadika Singh | Sunday, August 19, 2007

I'd be honored!

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Monday, August 20, 2007

You smell that? Do you smell that? Globalization, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of globalization in the morning."

Posted by: sonofsamphm1c | Monday, August 20, 2007

My grandpa said that manure on fields smelled like money.

For a while, at least, smog must look like it, too.

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Monday, August 20, 2007

I'm the chief editor of Business Tianjin magazine, a periodical dedicated to improving industry and life in Tianjin. Your article caught our attention. In the coming month we will print information on industrial air pollution in the region. Would you allow us permission to use your photographs? We are most interested in those depicting pollution surrounding the power plant cooling towers. We can credit you or your website if you so require.

Additionally, if you are still in Tianjin, let me know if you would be interested in reporting assignments.
Thank you.


Posted by: Jamie | Sunday, January 06, 2008

I'd be honored!

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Sunday, January 06, 2008

I really be honored too.. I am glade it works that way

Posted by: Daily Forex | Tuesday, December 06, 2011