Smog Alert

Even though I am in Minnesota, enjoying the delights of clean air AND snow, I thought I’d join the stampede to rant about the terrible smog that has enveloped Beijing.


Obviously I can’t give a first-hand account, so I’ll share with you this description of what it’s like in Beijing today.  It’s a post titled “Holding Our Breath” on the blog Absurdity, Allegory, and China:


The days between then and now have not been all that different: a few ‘Good’ and ‘Moderate’ periods, though mostly ‘Unhealthy’ and above. The exception has been the period we are in at the moment. As I write the PM 2.5 readings have been pegged in the ‘Hazardous’ zone since yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, 12-04-2011; 16:00; PM2.5; 406.0; 438; Hazardous, more than 19 hours ago. A few hours after the air quality entered the ‘Hazardous’ zone it reached the unmeasurable range (what some have unofficially deemed “Crazy Bad”) @ 12-04-2011; 19:00; PM2.5; 522.0; 500; Beyond Index , which is somewhat akin to WWI trench warfare air. How far ‘Beyond Index’ was it? There’s no way of knowing that, though if the folks do, they aren’t about to tell anyone. In fact I’m surprised they haven’t sniped the measurement machine on top of the U.S. Embassy, yet. They hate it. Recently there have been at least two smartphone applications that republish the hourly U.S. Embassy readings. But despite a rise in requests to come clean with the real information, the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau has refused to make that data available. {In Chinese}


For more see The Ministry of Tofu’s Photos: Smog-shrouded China denies citizens right to know pollutant measurements. Also have a look at this photo taken at the Beijing Capital Airport last night by @kinablog who was on an Air China flight that was grounded due to the heavy smog.


My friend Amy, who blogs at The Messy Middle also wrote about the sorry state of Beijing’s air.


I love the headline in the China Daily about the problem:  Smog spawns environmental awareness in China. Spinning smog as a good thing?  “Just think, if it weren’t for the smog, we wouldn’t be thinking about environmental issues.”


I think mostly people are becoming aware that they are being lied to.


Previous posts I’ve written about Beijing smog:

How bad is the smog in Beijing?

The smog! The smog!

Acid Fog

(photo source:






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