Central Heating

John M. Glionna writes:

Winter weather has already arrived here, with temperatures dropping into the high 30s on some nights. But Li’s home in the 500-unit Flower Garden Apartments in a northern suburb of the capital has provided scant refuge from the growing chill. Instead, Li and an estimated 200 million of China’s poor have been forced to shiver as they mark off the days until Nov. 15 arrives. That’s when municipal managers switch on steam generator, boilers, radiators and immersion heaters, firing up central heating systems that are a throwback to the Communist-planned economy of the 1960s.

Kevin Drum notes:

Man, when they say central heating in China, they really mean central heating. Crikey.

Even in Los Angeles, you get a variation of this. It’s a bit warm today but my office is just boiling. So I complain about them turning off the air conditioner – and they note this is just how it’s done in this office building after October 31. I’m tempted to wear a tee shirt and shorts to the office tomorrow.