China Trip - Day 8 Shenyang

Another day in Shenyang and more visits to glass factories.  It was a day of contradictions.  On one of the factory tours we got to see the coal room on the first floor.  This is where they stoke the furnace for the glass blowing operations on the second floor.  Just outside of one of the coal rooms was a pretty raised flower bed in the courtyard.  Then on the way back to the airport, around 2:00 pm, the sky turned a weird pink color.  It was disturbing to see this level of air pollution and all of the smoke stacks we were passing.  It was at this point that I really started to think about my role as a designer of objects for the mass market and as a consumer.  This was very troubling for me and was starting to get harder for me to rationalize.  Just consider that the water in China is not drinkable and the air is so polluted that a 1/3 of the pollution on the west coast of the U.S. comes from China.  One of our hosts told us how the Chinese find it funny that Americans wear sunglasses.  They think our fair eyes burn easily.  But after she visited the U.S. she realized how bad the air in China really is.  She said the people in Shenyang hadn’t even seen the sun in 30 years until the recent factory shut down in Beijing so they could have clear skies for the military parade.  How sad.