Those of us who choose to live in one of China’s big cities understand the deal. In exchange for opportunities for personal and professional growth, a front seat on the roller coaster that is China’s development, and all in all a pretty good life, we agree to put up with traffic woes, the occasional big-city headache, and pollution. All of us know better than to complain about these things in polite company.
We bring up our collective “China bargain” because writing about the weather is even worse than reading about it, but:
Beijing was hit by its worst smog in almost a year yesterday.
That’s via SCMP. The story immediately devolves into sensationalism, but look at that sentence above — a clear, concise reminder that we are all going to suffocate in a tar pit of PM2.5 particles.
Although the capital is often hit by smog in winter, the past two weeks have seen one of the longest stretches of smoggy days in Beijing in years.
If you’re worried: masks are here.
Pollution readings, including those for the smog-inducing fine particles known as PM2.5, from the local environmental watchdog and the US embassy were well in “severely polluted” or “hazardous” levels for most of Thursday night and yesterday morning.
The embassy’s hourly pollution data, published on Twitter, showed a reading of 488 micrograms per cubic metre of air at 11pm on Thursday and an air quality index of 492. The hazardous band of its air quality index readings begins at 300 and tops out at 500.
Oh by the way:
01-12-2013 14:00; PM2.5; 529.0; 519; Beyond Index
— BeijingAir (@BeijingAir) January 12, 2013
Worst smog in a year blankets Beijing (SCMP)
Also see, 1/13, 12:25 pm: While US Embassy Pollution Index Measured 755 Last Night, Beijing’s Official Air Quality Index Was “Out Of Service”
And is the Chinese mainstream press reporting this? Nah. Why? Because, as I discovered when working for wholly state-run media, it would show China up in a bad light and that would never do. See my book ‘Limp Pigs’ for further revelations on China’s insidious ‘information’ industry.
Thank you for your insightful spam. I will now directly go to my closest online store to not purchase the book you have written.
- I love the smell of lung cancer in the morning.
If you’re in Beijing, that’s just as well.
“And is the Chinese mainstream press reporting this? ”
Yes, it is. Search 北京空气 on baidu. No offence intended, but I hope your book involves slightly more in the way of research…
Thanks for the heads-up but I knew about that. And yes, I agree the issue did get a mention. The point is that it what appeared was just the bare facts ignoring the real issue which the western media has addressed. That is, how and why and what will be the ultimate effects of the smog. All missing from reports by Xinhua, Global Times, China Daily etc. And yes, Limp Pigs was based on SOLID research – ie two years spent at the heart of the Chinese propaganda machine monitoring the laughable way China tries to convince the world that it’s the best of all possible worlds. It would be far more believable if, on occasion, China admitted to its shortcomings. As both I and other westerners working inside the system told the cadres in charge of the ‘news’ at the time, if you’re going to do propaganda, at least do it well. Then, on occasion, the West might actually believe you.
Tonight around 9pm the reading was 886.
I never needed my lung cilia anyway
What’s worse, 50% worse to be exact, then “very unhealthy”? Death?