Thursday, July 01, 2010

Is Beijing 2010 More Polluted?

Since arriving back in town, Desi and I have been having a sort of running argument about Beijing's air quality. It has been going something like this...

Desi: Man, it is really soupy out there. I don't remember the air being this bad for so many days on end.

Steve: I don't think the air is any worse than last summer. Remember, we were living here for a whole year, and there were lots of blue sky days, especially in the fall and spring. After the middle of June last year, we didn't see the sun for the last two months we lived here.

Desi: I don't know about that. It seems that there were some breaks last summer, days where the sun and blue sky came out.

Steve: You're remembering it that way because we took a couple of trips away from Beijing last summer. A few days in the grasslands of Inner Mongolia and at Wei Ziji's house gave us breaks from Beijing's smog.

Desi: Even so, it has been really bad out there for a week now, much worse than I expected. Maybe it is just because we are on the 15th floor and so are much higher up in the thick of the soup.


PS: It rained off and on all day yesterday, setting the stage for our first sort of blue sky day of the year...


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