"For decades, air pollution has threatened the health of people in Beijing. Brown smog hangs over the city. The sun, when you can see it, is tinged a rusty brown, like looking at a flashlight through a piece of paper. City-dwellers wear surgical masks to protect their lungs from the pollutants and other chemicals that float in the air they breathe every day.
But the people of Beijing have had enough. Under pressure from the public and the United States embassy, the city has been forced to acknowledge the problem and provide accurate information about air quality."