Air Quality? It’s All Relative, Apparently

The Gate of Divine Prowess as seen from the northeast corner of the surrounding Palace Moat

The Gate of Divine Prowess as seen from the northeast corner of the surrounding Palace Moat

Last week, the Air Quality Index in Beijing stayed at the top-level of “Hazardous,” exceeding the maximum reading of 500 for six straight days, but the news wasn’t all bad, according to China Daily “the past week was less severe than last year’s incident, monitoring results revealed.”  “The concentration of pollutants in the smog decreased by 20 to 30 percent in general over the last year”  they claimed.

BULLSHIT! I claim.

A researcher for a government agency reported “the emergency measures taken to cope with air pollution were effective,” (hard to tell if he said that with a straight face, or with a gun to his head) “but the effect may not be o obvious to the general public because the PM 2.5 concentration still caused a deterioration in visibility.”

Just to give you an idea about that “deterioration in visibility”  this picture, taken on Monday, March 03, 2014 at noon, on a day the weather was reported to be “sunny.” I shit you not.  And the AQI was down to 358 from last weeks 500+

I still have hope, however slight,  that things will get better, that China really understands just how bad and unsustainable this situation is. The official concluded by acknowledging that China burns a disproportionate amount of the world’s coal, saying “We are living inside a huge chimney.”

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