Wanna know how bad Beijing's smog problem really is? If these photos and news reports are accurate, it's bad enough to make the middle of the day nearly as dark as night during a thunderstorm. Holy crap.
Business Insider and Shanghaiist both cite reports from Twitter and Chinese social media site Weibo as evidence that a large storm, coupled with air pollution, has darkened the entire city recently and made it look like the awful future Los Angeles from Blade Runner.
Here's Mark MacKinnon, the senior Beijing correspondant for Canada's Globe and Mail:
More photos of the smog can be found on Weibo, and they're streaming in from Twitter as well.
nareix：北京出现了奇怪的天气，这是中午十一点半！这是不散的冤魂吗？很吓人。 twitter.com/wenyunchao/sta…— 北风（温云超, Yunchao Wen） (@wenyunchao) June 4, 2013
【苍天有眼】今天中午 北京昌平 twitter.com/lvshi798/statu…— 律师刘卫国 (@lvshi798) June 4, 2013
Needless to say, this news is in fact true and you're over there, you may want to stay inside. Here's a CNN interview with a Greenpeace campaigner, who cites China's over-dependence on coal as the main source of China's big smog problem.
There has been rain in Beijing this week and, of course, the ever present smog. If this story isn't real then someone has done a good job faking a story for outrage. The government, of course, can be expected to deny it in any case.