Occasionally I hear that the Chinese government is very concerned about keeping its huge population content – or at least sufficiently calm that the people don’t riot in the streets. I don’t really understand this, as the government hasn’t been particularly afraid of rounding up protesters and putting bullets through their heads.
But now I’m starting to see that these protesters may feel that they don’t have much to lose. If I read a scientific report that said that my life had been shortened by 5.5 years because my government hadn’t addressed the air pollution coming from its coal-fired power plants, and had been less than forthcoming in telling me the truth, I might be mad enough to take to the streets myself. The article linked above tells this shocking and heartbreaking story.