Did you know there are benefits to having your country blanketed in smog?

Well, according to China’s government-run media outlets, there are several “surprising benefits” of the smog covering swaths of the country.

China Central Television offered these positives, according to this “Time” story:

  1. It unifies the Chinese people.
  2. It makes China more equal.
  3. It raises citizen awareness of the cost of China’s economic development.
  4. It makes people funnier.
  5. It makes people more knowledgeable (of things like meteorology and the English word “haze”).

The “Global Times” later published an article that said air pollution might help the Chinese military by obscuring sight lines and reducing the effectiveness of surveillance.

These stories came on the heels of news that the polluted air cloud had spread farther south, covering parts of the country usually unaffected by China’s extreme air pollution, according to Time.

As a result of the smog, schools are being closed. Cities are coming to a standstill. And  designer in China is making more fashionable masks – the new must-have accessory.

But yes, let’s look at the positives. Not the major environmental health risks.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

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