Mongolia: A toxic warning to the world - BBC News

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Mongolia: A toxic warning to the world - BBC News 4.5
All over the world cities are grappling with apocalyptic air pollution but the small capital of Mongolia is suffering from some of the worst in the world.

And the problem is intrinsically linked to climate change.

The country has already warmed by 2.2 degrees, forcing thousands of people to abandon the countryside and the traditional herding lifestyle every year for the smog-choked city where 90% of children are breathing toxic air every day.

Population Reporter Stephanie Hegarty finds out why.

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💬 Comments on the video

BBC, i know this is serious so stop using the dramatic glitching effect please.

Author — yee yu ong


I have been in conditions like this whilst in India. The atmosphere so thick with pollution you can see the particles in the air, and difficult to breathe without coughing. Luckily for me, I was able to move from those areas quite quickly as I was travelling... but for many people, this is their home.

This can never be right.

Author — Michael Summerell


A lot of Americans who oppose 'green' initiatives don't realize that this is what many industrialized cities in the US were like prior to the EPA and the clean air act. The underlying point of this video is also pertinent: it's not just the change itself, but also the unpredictability that is wreaking havoc ....

Author — K. C


It's depressing how many people in their comments make it obvious that they missed the whole point of the video ....

Climate change is driving Mongolians away from their traditional way of life and into the city, where unchecked air pollution is making them sick.

Author — K. C


London had this problem in the sixties so they came up with the Clean Air Act

Author — sean o'haimheirgin


And meanwhile in the US, congressman brings a giant ball of ice from his state to prove climate change isn't real. An absolute disgrace.

Author — Madhumitha Thangamani


Editor: What visual effects do you want?

Director: *Yes*

Author — Hamham


Forget about outer space. We will need astronaut helmets on earth.

Author — Mark Yaske


And our great president wants to revitalize the coal industry and claims climate change is a hoax 🤔

Author — Angela Roberts


whats with the gimmicky editing why do these kind of shows always do this godawful editing.

Author — theo tryhard


7:29 "He's stopped coughing since we turned it on."
Okay, you got me, that was upsetting.

Author — xyaeiounn


So sad
We need to do something about our planet
And educate people

Author — Trinidad Sanchez


It'd be great if some philanthropist (or better, international aid) contributed to putting clean energy farms in Mongolia...perhaps lifting the need for coal heating. :/

Author — archlinuxrussian


Somebody adds subtitle please. Non-English speaking part of the world should understand this problem completely as well

Author — No Name


This segment talks about the effects of problem, but does not go into detail about the source of the problem. Burning coal in Ulaanbaatar isn't the only issue and we all know it.

Mongolians had been burning wood and coal for hundreds of years and never had such an air pollution issue. A similarly land-locked, Non-urbanized country like Bhutan use coal to power their domestic needs and conduct massive fire burning ceremonies every year, and yet they are a carbon negative country. It's only after the recent mass-industrialization (factories and chemical plants) and urbanization of Ulaanbaatar and Mongolia's neighboring country that these air pollution problems started arising. It's actually a bit odd how this BBC segment avoids mentioning the huge air pollution situation of its neighboring country.

And most important of all, there is a GIANT rare earth mine right at the South Mongolian-China borderline. In 2018, the second largest rare earth mine was Australia with 20, 000 MT. Meanwhile, China's domestic output of rare earths were 120, 000 MT. That's 6 times the amount of Australia. Even if you combine all 9 of the biggest rare earth mines around the world, China is still outproducing them all. That's how big these mines are. So why is this so important you ask? Because the health symptoms shown in the people of Ulaanbatar are very similar to the health problems observed in people who were exposed to toxic and radioactive wastes created from rare earth processing.

Search for 'rare earth toxic health risk' on google. It is no secret either, countries like Australia absolutely knew about the toxic risks of rare earth processing when their own Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency set guidelines to warn its dangers. So instead Australia decided to build rare earth processing factories outside of its border in developing countries like Malaysia and Vietnam where local populations conducted massive protests over it. Yet somehow this BBC report glazes over this giant, obvious health risk South of Mongolia's border. Not one mention. Even South Koreans to the East of China are suffering from China's toxic microdust tainting its air. That's how far it travels, and it's gotten so bad that they have daily weather reports about it. I am not making this up, search for 'south korea dust warning' on google.

Author — Mark S


I predate the English Clean Air act. I remember scenes like this in the UK. Not nice, not nice at all.

Author — Leslie White


Mongolia is the first to experience this but India will be the second to witness this on a gigantic scale....

Author — Vaibhav Sharma


What are the big businesses doing! Killing us softly

Author — Debbie Coker


Mongolia should really start planting more trees and take steps to reduce their pollution.

Author — horses4555


Probably doesn't help when you're next door to China.

Author — se7enX89X