Left: A clean day. Right: Told you it was crazy bad.

The EPA encloses Springfield in a giant dome to contain its pollution.

China’s “Beyond Index” Smog Is America’s Problem

By Robert Cooper | February 20th 2013 08:05 AM

In some Chinese cities, breathing has recently become demonstrably hazardous to your health. According to the US embassy’s monitoring station, air pollution has skipped over unhealthy, exceeded hazardous, and gone straight to ” crazy bad”. No, literally.

A “crazy bad” category was programmed into the system’s automated twitter feed, presumably assuming it would never be triggered. “Crazy bad” has now been rebranded as the more reassuring “beyond index”. Whatever you call it, the extreme smog is not only crazy bad for Chinese, it’s hurting those across the Pacific as well.

You know things are bad when the government gives up calling the toxic clouds “fog”, and instead issues official warnings not to go outside. Such extreme levels make it painfully obvious what damage air pollution actually wreaks. At Jiangong Hospital in Beijing, respiratory admissions spiked 30% in January. Smog-induced asthma and cancer will cause suffering for years to come. Flights were canceled due to low visibility.

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