Yellow skies of Beijing

Beijingers are being told to stay indoors as yellow smog enshrouds the city.

People in Beijing were warned to stay indoors as the Chinese capital was shrouded in yellow smog with pollution reaching dangerous levels.

“Under these polluted conditions, we propose that the majority of citizens reduce their time outdoors and avoid breathing this seriously polluted air,” the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau said in a warning posted on its website.

Beijing’s air quality has been at the lowest level for the past two days with the air “seriously polluted,” the bureau said.

Experts said the capital was experiencing a heat inversion, where warmer air in the atmosphere was keeping the colder ground air in place, making it difficult for the pollution to disperse, the bureau said.

Meanwhile warmer spring temperatures in the city also meant that work at construction sites has increased, further kicking up dust that is mixing with the ever-increasing auto pollution.

And I want to go back?? (Yeah, I really do.)

The Discussion: 26 Comments

I’ve been thinking a lot about moving to China. something about a second term of bush seems to have that effect on me…

April 7, 2005 @ 1:00 am | Comment


You should start stock up on the air masks. Home Depot has plenty of them… Perhaps you can start an import/export business to sell air masks in Beijing.

April 7, 2005 @ 2:22 am | Comment

In one of the books I had to read for my class on Chinese Foreign Policy, there was a statement that some 200,000 people die in China every year due to urban air pollution.

That figure is expected to rise to 600,000 by the year 2020.


April 7, 2005 @ 4:52 am | Comment


Maybe you should. In China you can read all-righteous China Daily, and be totally free from biased US media – all blocked out by the Great FireWall!

April 7, 2005 @ 5:45 am | Comment

Welcome to China! China is changing, although not as fast as some expect. We prefer evolution to revolution, which we have had too many.

April 7, 2005 @ 6:25 am | Comment

Yellow smog. Yeah, that’s what makes my eyes itchy for days. Damn! Itchy again!

April 7, 2005 @ 7:26 am | Comment

This sounds like a job for Captain Planet!

Earth! Fire! Wind! Water! Heart!

GOOOO Planet!

With your powers combined I am Captain Planet!

Captain Planet, he’s our hero,
Gonna take pollution down to zero,
He’s our powers magnified,
And he’s fighting on the planet side

Captain Planet, he’s our hero,
Gonna take pollution down to zero,
Gonna help him put us under,
Bad guys who like to loot and plunder

“You’ll pay for this Captain Planet!”

We’re the planeteers,
You can be one too!
‘Cause saving our planet is the thing to do,
Looting and polluting is not the way,
Hear what Captain Planet has to say:


April 7, 2005 @ 10:10 am | Comment

ps Hailey, update your blog!

April 7, 2005 @ 10:14 am | Comment


Why don’t you start one?

April 7, 2005 @ 10:19 am | Comment

I have toyed with the idea, but I am notoriouslly unresponsible when it comes to updating journals or the like. I like responding to blogs (and prolifically if I can!) because its fun and tickles my interest. If I start a blog, I’ll likely find it more of a chore soon enough (likely within a week) and give up.

April 7, 2005 @ 10:44 am | Comment


I lived in Beijing in 1979. I am well-aware of the limits on personal freedom, the corruption and the censorship of media. I actually write about these subjects frequently.

You do youself no favors by attacking everyone who disagrees with you, particularly when we actually agree about a great deal. I just prefer to see the world in shades of gray, and I look for improvements where I can find them. You seemed determine to apply an extremist perspective to everyone and everything concerning China.

That said, I don’t know that I’d want to live in Beijing again. I’ve spent a fair amount of time there recently. Lots of things I like about it but it’s sooo big, I hate the high-rises for the most part and I couldn’t take the pollution. My next trip, I’d like to visit Qingdao. I’ve never been there but it seems more like my kind of place.

April 7, 2005 @ 11:49 am | Comment


So you save the word ‘extremist’ not for those abusing their power and brutalizing the entire population (you find progress in them), but a powerless bystander. I see your point.

Actually you won’t bother me by hugging China, I mean, good for you. If you look around, the Soviet Union is gone, Fidel Castro is probably on his deathbed, and it’s time to pick up Beijing as your new darling for the potential candidate crushing *evil* US. Why not? I actually agree with you that China is the only viable choice. See, we do have something in common.

April 7, 2005 @ 6:32 pm | Comment

Bellevue, I really like you and I respect your intelligence, but in this case I have to ask you to tone it down. We can’t criticize wild-eyed Japan haters in China if we act like wild-eyed haters ourselves.

April 7, 2005 @ 6:39 pm | Comment


Did I act like wide-eyed or slant-eyed hater? No I don’t think so. But to be honest, I get tired of blame-america-for-all type of ‘liberals’. They are not real liberals in my mind. A real liberal always has a healthy dosage of critism to any power abuses and injustice, but those so-called liberals have double standards and only target America. I wouldn’t mind if one says France or Canada is a choice, but China? Give me a break.

Perhaps I shouldn’t feel disturbed. They have been wrong for all the past 60 years, and they didn’t learn a thing. Not my problem.

April 7, 2005 @ 6:57 pm | Comment

Well, Bellevue, just remember, no one’s perfect. Some say you have a blame-the-CCP-first mentality, but even if it’s true, you are entitled. Live and let live. it’s okay to argue, but your comment was just too hostile for someone so smart.

April 7, 2005 @ 7:05 pm | Comment

I am about to get a little hostile here, and you know, it takes me a while to get to that point. Bellevue, calling me a “hate America liberal” betrays your ignorance both of me and of America. And if you’d bothered to actually read ALL of what I write and not just pick and choose from it, you would notice that I have made plenty of criticisms of China as well. You insist on engaging in personal attacks on anyone who disagrees in the slightest with you. That doesn’t exactly paint you as a lover of freedom and democracy.

April 7, 2005 @ 7:22 pm | Comment

To bring the comments back on-topic:

And a friend last night said, No, Beijing isn’t that dirty. Nyah.

April 7, 2005 @ 8:17 pm | Comment

Andrea, you obviously are another CCP dupe, getting back on topic like that.

April 7, 2005 @ 9:14 pm | Comment


You are too nice to even respond to his accusation. I am trying to ignore him, hopefully he will disappear again.

April 7, 2005 @ 10:25 pm | Comment

JR, I actually wish Bellevue would present his argument in a more reasoned way and not just attack people. And also not hijack threads.

And uh, since I’ve just done that…again…um…

Yellow smog. Is bad. Guess the Inner Mongolian tree planting project hasn’t yet done the job.

April 7, 2005 @ 11:56 pm | Comment

No “Nookie” for Chinese Men

Men in China’s most modern city ageing earlyYahoo News BEIJING (AFP) – The percentage of men showing signs of early ageing in Shanghai, China’s most modern and one of its richest cities, has doubled over the past two decades, state media said, citin

April 8, 2005 @ 12:08 am | Comment

One interesting fact, the dust from the Gobi desert get blown all the way across the pacific ocean to Kansas…Satellite Images of Dust, Possibly China’s Biggest Export to U.S. … Yet “The minerals transported in this manner are believed to provide nutrients for both oceanic and land ecosystems.”

April 8, 2005 @ 12:15 am | Comment

It’s unfortunate that there haven’t been much coverage in the western media on the connection between the raising of goats for the cashmere industry and the rapid desertification of northern Asia as evidenced by the sand storms that hit Beijing with increasing frequency and severity each year. There is a small group of environmentalists in China pushing for a boycott of cashmere but most of the cashmere produced in China are destined for export to the West so even a successful boycott in China probably won’t make a difference.

April 8, 2005 @ 1:16 am | Comment

Hui Mao, I’m very interested in environmental issues and had no idea about the implications of the cashmere industry. Thanks for enlightening us.

A friend in Beijing reports that the dust has been bad but not as bad as those big storms a couple years ago. She said that they had some rain yesterday, which helped a lot.

April 8, 2005 @ 10:26 am | Comment

We should start a “substitute cashmere with camel hair” campaign. With the advent of SUVs for transportation, camels are becoming a rare sight except in tourist traps like Badaling.

April 8, 2005 @ 5:32 pm | Comment

No “Nookie” for Chinese Men

Men in China’s most modern city ageing earlyBEIJING (AFP) – The percentage of men showing signs of early ageing in Shanghai, China’s most modern and one of its richest cities, has doubled over the past two decades, state media said, citing a survey.?

April 8, 2005 @ 7:53 pm | Comment

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