Folks in China Cooling Down in Converted Air Raid Shelters
How’s this for a sentence that sounds like it’s straight from a a J.G. Ballard: “Cities across China are inviting citizens to beat the heat by chilling out in converted air raid shelters.” Ballard wrote about the strange stasis of the post-Oppenheimer world and was one of the earliest Cassandras for climate change. During the Cold War, we lived for a time inside the fear of one apocalypse and in the grips of another one to come. Cities in China converting World War II bomb shelters into havens from deadly heat would fit right into his visions. Here’s more from MOTHERBOARD:
Temperatures in places like Wuhan and Chongqing have long been oppressive in the summer, and the proximity to the Yangtze River Valley makes them particularly humid. In Chongqing, people have been retreating underground into World War II air raid shelters for decades.
These converted spaces look more like shopping malls than spaces meant to keep citizens safe in the event of a nuclear war. One space in Jinan shows walls lined with wooden barrels and people hanging out on polished wood benches. Another hallway is filled with beautiful red brickwork, parked cars, and advertisements for wine.
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