“Under Public Pressure, Beijing Opens up Air Quality Monitoring Center”

They’ve gotten blasted for years for claiming that the air is fine and dandy while the skies look like a mixture of Mordor and Geidi Prime. Now the WSJ reports that the authorities in Beijing are giving in:

Beijing authorities have opened their air quality monitoring center to the public following a wave of online demands for them to measure pollution more accurately by adopting standards used by the U.S. Embassy, according to state media reports.

Beijing authorities have come under mounting public pressure to improve their air quality measurements since 2008, when the U.S. Embassy began using Twitter to publish contradictory readings from its own monitor which measures smaller air particles that experts say cause most damage to the lungs.

Beijing officials admit that they currently only measure larger air particles, and say they plan to adopt the more sensitive standard in the future, but they dispute the accuracy of the Embassy’s readings and say a series of particularly smoggy days at the end of last month were caused mainly by fog, rather than pollution.

My city isn’t exactly a bastion of fresh air… but pictures from Beijing blow away the worst days I’ve ever seen here.

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Filed under environment, pollution

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