Saturday, August 16, 2008

beautiful in beijing

Yesterday was one of the most beautiful days I've ever seen in Beijing. And the data supports it: the API of 17 yesterday is tied for the lowest on record (going back to June, 2000). Here's the data since the car ban started on 7/20:

As of 8/13, the New York Times was already quoting athletes calling Beijing's pollution concerns "massive hype," and proposing, "it may seem that the great air pollution scare is becoming the equivalent of the Y2K computer scare — a nonevent."

While I appreciate the optimism, I'm not quite willing to go that far at this point; I am still tracking the data carefully and will reserve any sweeping "success" judgments until the end of the Games.

Still, though, I suppose if Beijing can survive the opening ceremony with an API of 94 and the two long distance cycling events at 78 and 82, then the odds are pretty good that we aren't going to see any other dramatically different impressions of the air quality than what we have seen already.

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