Jiaying Xu '17
On the evening of Jan. 27, Chai Jing, a Chinese journalist, host and author, known for her autobiography “What I Have Seen,” delivered a speech in front of billions of people. Entitled “Under the Dome,” her speech focused on the Chinese air pollution problem.
Jing appeared onstage looking like an ordinary mom – white silk shirt, light-colored jeans, common flat shoes and without make-up. She began her speech with the story of her daughter, who was diagnosed with a benign tumor at birth. Jing’s concern for the wellbeing of her daughter motivated her to embark on an in-depth investigation of China’s horrific haze.
Jing’s entire speech mainly addressed three questions: What is haze? Where does it come from? What can we do? Though surrounded by haze in their everyday lives, many people have no clear understanding of what haze is. Jing’s speech provided a full picture of the cause and effects of the Chinese air pollution problem, serving as a popularization of environmental knowledge as well as a call for social change. Throughout her speech, Jing maintained a highly professional manner as she frequently employed specialized terms like “the aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 micrometers.”
In general, Jing’s speech demonstrated her keen observation of the world and her strong sense of social responsibility. Compared with those denizens who pay only lip service to environmental change, Jing appears to be wholeheartedly dedicated to the actual practices. She spent all her savings on this comprehensive investigation and spoke with truth and evidence and without fearing governmental threat, a pragmatic style that should be advocated in our time.
Although it seems normal for Jing to investigate voluntarily and at her own expense because she is a journalist whose responsibility is to unearth social problems, we shouldn’t let her walk alone “under the dome.” As long as environmental protection affects us all, we should take on our reasonability and actively make an effort for change.