China’s Smog Is So Bad They’re Now Calling It a ‘Nuclear Winter’

Wow. And I thought the smog from Indonesia’s slash-and-burn farms was bad. I’m glad I managed to visit Beijing and the Great Wall years ago, before the country descended into a post-apocalyptic state.

At least it’ll be easy to find the next filming location for zombie flicks. China provided the spectacular scenery for Avatar. Now it can do the same for Silent Hill.

P.S. I think I read somewhere that China and India’s pollution problems aren’t any worse than what the Earth experienced back during the Industrial Revolution. While I can accept that it’s an unfortunate by-product of industrialisation and modernisation, surely more can be done? It’s getting pretty ridiculous.


On Wednesday morning in Beijing, we fitted our two boys with their minimasks and sent them off to school. Air pollution, according to the U.S.-embassy index, had hit a dangerous particulate concentration of 497. (The World Health Organization warns against daily exposure to PM 2.5 — fine particulates above 25.) At 500 on the Beijing scale — which the U.S. embassy has dryly dubbed “beyond index,” because who would think air pollution could climb so high? — school would be shuttered. Three index points were all that were keeping our kids in class.

By the time our children, ages 6 and 4, were starting school, the U.S. air-quality index had hit 512. By 11:00 a.m., it had reached 537. The air is off-the-charts bad. The U.S. embassy cautions that at this level, “everyone may experience more serious health effects.” Even the Chinese government, whose own air-quality monitoring often records pollution…

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