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Is That Smog? No, It’s a Meteorological Disaster

  • 19
  • 12
  • 2016

Beijing may not have the worst air pollution in the world, but it has a well-deserved reputation for being home to some serious haze, dirty air, smog – whatever you want to call it.

Beijing smog

Beijing’s famous smog

I’ve been to Beijing 11 times, and every time, the air was crystal clear with the sun shining down from bright blue skies. Guess I was just lucky.

I listened to people complain about the famous Beijing smog and just didn’t quite believe it. But I’ve now seen enough pictures to know that my friends in Beijing had a right to complain about the quality of their air.

Forbidden City clear day

An entry to Beijing’s famous Forbidden City on a clear day

In fact, Beijing officials are ready to include the city’s smog in the Beijing Municipal Meteorological Disaster Prevention Statute, thereby categorizing it as a natural disaster rather than a man-made one.

Since the prime reasons for the dirty air in Beijing involve human activity in the form of motor vehicle exhaust, coal burning in neighboring regions, and construction dust, many scientists are concerned that classifying smog as a natural disaster will exempt humans from finding alternatives that would not add to Beijing’s air pollution.

Forbidden City smoggy day

Overlooking Beijing’s Forbidden City in the smog

On the other hand, those in favor of categorizing smog as a natural disaster argue that this classification gives the city the ability to access disaster relief resources for better emergency response.

Both sides seem to have good reasons for their stance, but if you plan to visit Beijing, I pray that you’ll be lucky like I’ve been and you’ll see only clear, blue skies in China’s capital.

Beijing CBD

Beijing’s Central Business District on a clear day

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