How Bad is the Smog in Beijing?

This bad:

(Photo source:


These pictures were posted on the Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo this week.  They were not actually taken this past weekend, but this is pretty much what it looked like here on Sunday. I think that for about the tenth time this year I made the statement “this is the worst smog I’ve ever seen in Beijing.”


The BeijingAir Twitter feed from the US Embassy indicated that the air pollution was off the charts.  Literally — the top of the scale is 500, and their numbers topped those. This usually creates a bit of an international incident because the Chinese government’s readings are always about half what the embassy’s readings are. Some think that it is because of this Twitter feed that the Chinese government blocked Twitter in China. They were afraid it would confuse the people and disturb social stablity.


I don’t think folks here are confused.  Who are you going to believe? The government or your dying lungs?