Great news: Beijing air quality upgraded to “hazardous”

posted at 3:51 pm on January 14, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Hey, it’s a step up from “off the charts,” as CNN’s Steven Jiang reports from China’s capital. After being buried in smog so thick that even the Chinese media began to report it, residents lined up at hospitals and worried parents kept their children indoors:

The Washington Post reports on the new openness in Chinese media, which may reflect the desperate straits of Beijing residents more than it does actual reform by the government:

One of Beijing’s worst rounds of air pollution kept schoolchildren indoors and sent coughing residents to hospitals Monday, but this time something was different about the murky haze: the government’s transparency in talking about it.

While welcomed by residents and environmentalists, Beijing’s new openness about smog also put more pressure on the government to address underlying causes, including a lag in efforts to expand Western-style emissions limits to all of the vehicles in Beijing’s notoriously thick traffic. …

Even state-run media gave the smog remarkably critical and prominent play. “More suffocating than the haze is the weakness in response,” read the headline of a front-page commentary by the Communist Party-run China Youth Daily.

Government officials — who have played down past periods of heavy smog — held news conferences and posted messages on microblogs discussing the pollution.

The wave of pollution peaked Saturday with off-the-charts levels that shrouded Beijing’s skyscrapers in thick gray haze. Expected to last through Tuesday, it was the severest smog since the government began releasing figures on PM2.5 particles — among the worst pollutants — early last year in response to a public outcry.

Check out the pictures to see just how bad it got before abating somewhat today.  I grew up in Los Angeles during an era with frequent Stage 1 smog alerts and occasional Stage 2 alerts, and there were days when it hurt to breathe – especially when spending time in the foothills.  I never saw anything like this as a child or adult, and can’t imagine how it feels to breathe in Beijing now.  I doubt the masks help much, either.

This isn’t a new phenomenon, either.  The issue of air quality came up during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, too, with considerable concern over the health of athletes competing in an atmosphere that looked like this:

It’s too bad that Beijing isn’t run by the kind of government that Tom Friedman thinks can solve all its problems because of a lack of dissent and obstruction by political opposition, huh?  Or for that matter, Ray LaHood.


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There was that study proving that a thermonuclear explosion greatly decreases the amount of air impurities. I suggest we test that theory.

Archivarix on January 14, 2013 at 3:54 PM

DarkCurrent to be by soon, to defend.

Schadenfreude on January 14, 2013 at 3:55 PM

In China they do this on location, at home, to any political suspects…then they sell the organs.

Schadenfreude on January 14, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Where oh where is that fat hog gore on this? How is it the US is almost the only country that has to have bho/epa/un TELL us how much air quality the demand?
L

letget on January 14, 2013 at 3:57 PM

At least they don’t have a “Dictatorial Constitution” like we have.

Sorry, my bad….they don’t call it “Dictatorial”……in the US it’s called Executive Order.

PappyD61 on January 14, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Ed I grew up (El Monte) during the worst of L.A. smog. My guess is that the San Bernardino/Riverside areas would have experienced smog like this given the prevailing wind patterns. I can remember driving through Riverside and needing my lights on at 4 pm during the summer smog season.

chemman on January 14, 2013 at 3:58 PM

CNN link uh?

What did Mark Levin think and say about commie thug Obama’s press conf. today?

http://www.marklevinshow.com

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 14, 2013 at 3:59 PM

chemman on January 14, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Me too. I grew up there. My Mom still lives there. They have a bunch of socialists on the City Council. I’m talking about the new ones. I know, because went to school with them. Soda tax anyone, and they have a 10% or 9.75% sale tax.

Oil Can on January 14, 2013 at 4:03 PM

I say we send the Chinese ALL of our EPA folks as a repayment for the money Obama borrows from them.
Our debt goes down. Their air gets breathable.

Jabberwock on January 14, 2013 at 4:04 PM

A country of Slaves and Slave labor ruled by evil communists elite… What else do you expect… If they do not give a damn about the life, liberty, and happiness of their people where the super vast majority of them is living in an abject poverty that we cannot even imagine, where there are no free men and women, where the communists kill and imprison anyone who opposes them, then why do you expect them to care about pollution…

mnjg on January 14, 2013 at 4:05 PM

I’d say an overzealous EPA is preferable to that.

red_herring on January 14, 2013 at 4:05 PM

At least they don’t have a “Dictatorial Constitution” like we have.

Sorry, my bad….they don’t call it “Dictatorial”……in the US it’s called Executive Order.

PappyD61 on January 14, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Despite that Obama desires to be a communist dictator he is not going to be, not even close… If he is then you PappyD61 would be either dead or in jail, your children will be working as slave labor in a facotry for 50 cents an hours, and this forum where you are expressing your freedom of speech would not exist to begin with… That is China…

mnjg on January 14, 2013 at 4:08 PM

I’d say an overzealous EPA is preferable to that.

red_herring on January 14, 2013 at 4:05 PM

I’d say an overzealous EPA wouldn’t mind the smog, as long as their offices are elsewhere. Farm milk spillage, on the other hand, is a national crime that should be punished by dissection for organs.

Archivarix on January 14, 2013 at 4:09 PM

OT:

Got Milk?

BobMbx on January 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Elizabeth warren unavailable for comment.

can_con on January 14, 2013 at 4:16 PM

OT:

Got Milk?

BobMbx on January 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM

It’s not off topic. Just smell that dairy air.

The Rogue Tomato on January 14, 2013 at 4:18 PM

I’d say a n over zealous EPA is preferable to that.

All things in moderation. The EPA’s overzealousness has been detrimental than beneficial at times.

hawkeye54 on January 14, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Gross.

jawkneemusic on January 14, 2013 at 4:26 PM

All things in moderation. The EPA’s overzealousness has been detrimental than beneficial at times.

hawkeye54 on January 14, 2013 at 4:23 PM

It’s not so much that the EPA has done a bang up job of cleaning up the air over certain areas of the US, it’s that our technology is a little beyond burning trash for heat, dirty factories, coal powered furnaces in houses, etc etc. As technology improves, so does our enviornment. China has a smog problem because they have crappy, inefficient factories, power plants, vehicles, and furnaces that spew out a ton of smoke and random particles.

Timin203 on January 14, 2013 at 4:30 PM

I’ll never forget my first visit to China (Shanghai and some of the surrounding area). I immediately developed respiratory problems.

The Greenie/caps-on-carbon-emissions/global warming crowd love to vilify the US in this regard when the reality is that the US has some of the strictest environmental regulations on the planet. Do they seriously think that China and other places give a flying crap about their emissions? They don’t. That’s totalitarianism for you. And that is what Obama wants here. Wake up green-tards.

WhatSlushfund on January 14, 2013 at 4:37 PM

…let’s make sure our air is clean…so theirs can drift over here!

KOOLAID2 on January 14, 2013 at 4:40 PM

I’ll never forget my first visit to China (Shanghai and some of the surrounding area). I immediately developed respiratory problems.

The Greenie/caps-on-carbon-emissions/global warming crowd love to vilify the US in this regard when the reality is that the US has some of the strictest environmental regulations on the planet. Do they seriously think that China and other places give a flying crap about their emissions? They don’t. That’s totalitarianism for you. And that is what Obama wants here. Wake up green-tards.

WhatSlushfund on January 14, 2013 at 4:37 PM

The problem is that like a lot of mass movements that started with good intentions and initially produced some good results, the left hijacked and turned it into a vote machine for the Democrat party like so many other causes – the unions, feminism, etc.

The “green” movement these days has very little to do with helping the environment and much more with neo-pantheists and US foreign enemies who want to cripple the US economy, and communists who see an excellent opportunity to loot more money from the taxpayer and further harm their enemies, the American middle class. The amazing ability of the communists to hollow out and consume every non-explicitly conservative political organization has never ceased to astonish me.

Doomberg on January 14, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Been there, done that and all I got was this hacking cough.

My wife is Chinese. When her new father in-law asked her what she liked about America so far, (She had been here a week), she replied:

“The air is so clean!”

She then spent the next year sick as a dog as her body detoxed. Her sister went through the same thing when she immigrated.

evilned on January 14, 2013 at 4:46 PM

I’ve also visited Shanghai, and a few other places in interior China. I’d wager that you’d be hard pressed to find a city in the entire country where the air quality’s good. You could almost choke on the smell of coal ash on a lot of days.

Once, we had dinner with a local government official, who had recently returned from a trip to the U.S. He’d been to Atlanta, D.C., and New York. I asked him what he thought, and he cracked a big smile and said, “Air very clean.”

Doogie on January 14, 2013 at 4:47 PM


let’s make sure our air is clean…so theirs can drift over here!

KOOLAID2 on January 14, 2013 at 4:40 PM

YUP !

Here in lies the lie that is Global Warming.
We wreck our economy and the Chinese keep on chugging right along.

Jabberwock on January 14, 2013 at 4:47 PM

…let’s make sure our air is clean…so theirs can drift over here!
KOOLAID2 on January 14, 2013 at 4:40 PM

How dare you use science logic to refute settled science liberal orthodoxy!

can_con on January 14, 2013 at 4:47 PM

China bringing 1 coal fired energy plant online every two weeks for the next 20 years. 76% of 1200 planned plants globally are to be built in China and India.

can_con on January 14, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Light some candles and worship everything. A little polution shouldn’t interfere with your life of no desires.

THWACK! Straight to amithaba’s loving arms and neverending feast!

tom daschle concerned on January 14, 2013 at 5:44 PM

The Chinese internet police will have to ban the slogan on the statue of liberty that calls to those “yearning to breath free” because it is dangerous propaganda that could upset the masses.

KW64 on January 14, 2013 at 5:57 PM

Maybe we should change the Lady Liberty slogan to “those yearning to breath” and put it on Tianamen Square Liberty statue replica’s made in Tiawan.

KW64 on January 14, 2013 at 6:09 PM

My friend who travels to Chengdu married his translater. When he brought her to the USA and they visited me, she commented that we could see all the stars at night here. She said she had not seen stars at night in Chengdu for some time.

KW64 on January 14, 2013 at 6:13 PM

It’s too bad that Beijing isn’t run by the kind of government that Tom Friedman thinks can solve all its problems because of a lack of dissent and obstruction by political opposition, huh? Or for that matter, Ray LaHood.

Too bad we can’t ship Friedman and LaHood there PERMANENTLY.

GarandFan on January 14, 2013 at 6:18 PM

DarkCurrent to be by soon, to defend.

Schadenfreude on January 14, 2013 at 3:55 PM

What’s to defend? It’s quite true, as I said in yesterday’s headline on same topic.

DarkCurrent on January 14, 2013 at 8:30 PM