Essay by dml1452B-, November 2014

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Surrounded by hills and plains, a small distance away from the Mongolian Plateu, Beijing suffers from extreme temperature change and deforestation. Every year after battling a brutal winter, that sandstorm from the Gobi desert invades the city as spring approaches. The entire city is swallowed in dust and diminishes visibility. To the people of Beijing it is the most miserable time of the year. Year after year, local residents have adjusted themselves and learnt to deal with this dusty season by covering their head and face with a mask or a scarf. In 2013, the sandstorm and smog was said to be so bad that even the now deceased chairman of the Communist party, Mao Zedong had a facemask painted on his portrait hanging on Tiananmen. The media quickly grasped the severity of this issue and realized that the smog crisis in China's capital has become a serious international issue.

Although some may find the Mao mask comedic, for the people residing in Beijing they are experiencing what is known as an "airpocalypse". According to the municipal environment authorities, the city's population has reached dangerous levels. Beijing experienced its first orange fog warning as smog engulfed the city. Many believe that the seasonal weather is to blame but in reality the pollution. Flights were cancelled as a result to this fog, which forced the official China Daily to admit that Beijing was no longer a livable city. It is believed that the smog in Beijing is caused by various factors such as coal and vehicle emissions and strong dust storms. Rapid economic development in recent years is to be blamed for the climate change as well.

China's environmental disaster can be traced back to the Great Leap Forward in the late 1950's. Mao's dream of turning China into the largest...