China's low air quality might put an end to its rapid development. Fog and smog have made several airline companies cancel almost 1,000 flights and also affected car traffic on 10 highways in northern regions of the country.
Apart from the hazardous consequences it has on the health of the population, it seems that air pollution found a new way of toying with the nerves and patience of thousands of people traveling by plane or car, Los Angeles Times
As we speak, despite the seriousness of the current situation, China is dismissing the hypothesis involving an alarming level of air pollution, saying the traffic disruptions are nothing but the natural result of a common “weather phenomenon.” Authorities talk about a “light pollution” that apparently has nothing to do with the losses experienced by airline companies.
Even under these circumstances, the U.S. Embassy
in Beijing, benefiting from its own monitoring device installed on its roof, has revealed the unpleasant, dirty truth.
Officials openly admitted they had recorded a worrying amount of fine particulate matter reaching no less than 522 micrograms per cubic meter, representing quite a lot more than “slight” air pollution, since values between 300 and 500 are considered a real threat for the residents' health.
Citizens are bothered by the fact that the government is trying to manipulate statistics and hide incriminating evidence that show the impact low air quality has on their wellbeing. It can't curb greenhouse gas emissions by covering up the activity of major polluters and the people are well aware of this fact.
The new hottest trend is represented by face masks and alarmed residents can't seem to stop purchasing them. So far, they have bought more than 20,000 on Taobao and this line of business appears to have flourished in no time.
On Tuesday only, 370 flights have been canceled. Today airline companies are following the same path, blaming “poor air quality” for their tremendous losses. As a result of this series of delays and cancellation, many people whose business plans have been ruined await for some generous compensations.