I get asked a lot about the pollution in Beijing. Not being particularly outdoorsy and having lived in polluted cities, I’m usually the last person to pay much attention. But there was a day last autumn when walking out of the office, I was reminded of the smell of my grandparents’ old coal fireplace. It was the day the central heating was switched on and the coal-fired power stations were clearly in overdrive. A few months ago I was rather caught by this Foreign Policy photo essay on the Beijing smog. Here are my own days of contrast. Both unedited photos were taken from my office, the smoggy day in March 2012 and the clear day in May 2012.
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