Day 82 in Beijing: What a Difference A Day Makes.

84 degrees at 10:32 PM.  Hot and humid.

84 degrees at 10:32 PM. Hot and humid.

"Very Unhealthy" at the Embassy.  "Heavily Polluted" closer to me.

“Very Unhealthy” at the Embassy. “Heavily Polluted” closer to me.

Especially in regards to weather and pollution in Beijing.

I took this screen shot of the weather and the Air Quality Index at 10:32 PM on August 16th, 2013.  The temperature was 84 degrees at that time and the humidity was around 95%.  It was rough.

However, that wasn’t the worst part.  The index showed 204 at the Embassy and 235 closer to my location.

Walking around felt like I was walking through a smoke filled room with no reprieve.

 

"Good" at the Embassy.  "Excellent" closer to me.

“Good” at the Embassy. “Excellent” closer to me.

Dry heat.

Dry heat.

There is only one benefit of incredibly hot and humid weather and pollution of this level being combined:

The next day is usually gorgeous because the rain removes all the pollution from the air.

There were taken almost exactly 12 hours apart.

It was perfect, gorgeous and a breathing was easy.

Such a rapid change and a delight not to have to feel like I was living in a smoke-filled room and going to die.  From what I’ve been told, this is nothing compared to the winters in Beijing.

Interestingly, the Chinese government has recently promised the equivalent of 375 BILLION U.S. dollars over the next few years to help reduce pollution and help the environment.  This has been mostly ignored by the Western media even though it is twice the Chinese military budget and China spends more money on environmental causes than the rest of the world combined.

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