When you can’t breath, Green becomes a priority

MSNBC/AP report on a change in twitter post by the US Embassy in Bejing.

U.S. Embassy: Beijing air quality is 'crazy bad'

Twitter post later changed to 'beyond index'


Image: A man walks on a pedestrian overpass on a hazy day at Beijing's Central Business District, China

Alexander F. Yuan  /  AP

A man walks on a pedestrian overpass on a hazy day at Beijing's central business district Friday.


BEIJING — Pollution in Beijing was so bad Friday that the U.S. Embassy, which has been independently monitoring air quality, ran out of conventional adjectives to describe it, at one point saying it was "crazy bad."

The embassy, which issues hourly pollution reports via Twitter, later deleted the phrase from a  post, replacing it with "beyond index," and saying it was an "incorrect" description. The embassy said it would also revise the language to use when the air quality index goes above 500, its highest point and a level considered hazardous for all people by U.S. standards

It will be interesting when the health issues get big enough to drive greener behaviors.

"Beijing needs to place more of a priority on the environment. The health of Beijing residents is no less important than the health of those athletes who were here for a few weeks," Ma added. "We can't just expect wind, snow or rain to wipe out the pollution when it gets bad. The city must take pollution more seriously and implement preventive measures."

One Beijing resident said he was suffering breathing difficulties.

"I feel like I'm having some problems with breathing and distress in my chest," said a high school teacher who only gave his surname, Qiao.