A little variety in perspective: an outdoor view, 9am June 20, looking toward the nearly-completed CCTV tower in Beijing's Central Business District. Distance to the tower is roughly half a mile, less than one kilometer, in this shot.

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r96/jfallows/IMG_3834.jpg

I was joking when saying earlier that maybe the factories are running 30 hours a day, 10 days a week, to meet output targets before the expected mandatory pre-Olympic shutdown next month. Now I'm not so sure it's a joke.

Either there is some unusual output surge underway, making the air for the last few weeks the worst I've seen in a year. I have not seen the sun or anything resembling blue in days and days. Or some catastrophic underlying change has occurred, making it all the more challenging to bring the air to acceptable levels in the next 49 days.

Whichever it is, I now get the point and will spend as many of those remaining days out of Beijing as possible. See you at the Games!

Update: CCTV from a nearby but different angle last November, when the building was much further from completion and a strong north wind had just swept through town.

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r96/jfallows/IMG_4092A.jpg

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