Beijing Becomes Giant Dutch Oven As Pollution Hits Peak Level For 2015

Beijing, the city, stills exists but you’d never know because it’s almost completely up to its eyeballs in pollution rn.
So much so that China‘s capital city just issued an “orange level” alert – its highest smog warning of the year, and the second-highest level of four danger levels in the country.

The smog is affecting 23 cities across Northern China, but Beijing is the worst-hit; pollution readings were 17 TIMES the level the World Health Organization considers safe for breathing – a pretty vital bodily function – on Sunday.

The extreme pollution means a bunch of schools have suspended outdoor activities, while factories generating smog and the like either have to shut down completely or quit fucking up the planet by reducing the pollution footprint – you know, just until levels dip back down to not-immediately-fatal.
World leaders – including Chinese President Xi Jinping – are currently gathered in Paris for the U.N. climate talks, which is one of the most critical international meetings to take place in quite some time.
President Xi is expected to use the opportunity to emphasise China’s promise to increase its non-fossil fuel consumption to 20 percent (that’s nearly double current levels) by 2030 as part of a climate deal struck with the US in response to alarming stats like this one: 17% of all deaths in China are related to pollution.
While China’s coal consumption is on the decline in major cities, villagers in regional areas continue to overuse it as an energy / heating source because they can’t ­afford electricity or gas.
It’s hoped air quality will increase to acceptable levels by Wednesday; until then…
Lead image via Getty/Kevin Frayer.