Yep, air quality was bad this weekend. But, no, some gray blanket of smog wasn’t laid over the city for all eternity.
For example, here’s a picture I took from the roof of my apartment complex (about 30 floors) at 4 pm today:
At that time, the Beijing AQI was 117… which translates to “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups”, but certainly breathable enough.
Right now, around 6:30 pm, the index is at 277… it might just get into the 300+ range, which would mean hazardous conditions.
Air quality during the summer and winter months can be positively manic.
But, during the six or so years I’ve lived here, I’ve seen the overall air quality improve year after year.
The factors behind Beijing’s air quality are complex.
I don’t think that the myopic reporting being done by most Western media outlets is helping people understand the situation.