Now I know that sounds pretty horrific given that about 1.6-million deaths in China each year are caused by air pollution and, sure, it's going to get worse as that particulate matter embedded in their tissue begins to spawn an epidemic of lung cancer and other diseases, but the Chinese know that every cloud has a silver lining.
A couple of years ago, China Central Television's web site listed some of the pluses most Chinese might not appreciate, including:
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).
And China's military chimed in pointing out that, even as the smog was slowly killing them off, it was also helping defend the Chinese people from foreign threats.
Missile guidance that relies on human sight, infrared rays and lasers could be affected by smog in varing degrees, the article said. It explained that tiny particles in the air contributing to air pollution could hinder missile guidance systems.
The article said that during the Kosovo war, soldiers of the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia used smoke from burning tyres to hamper Nato air strikes. The smoke reduced visibility, hindering reconnaissance efforts, the article said.
Photographic reconnaissance equipment employed by satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles and reconnaissance vehicles would be rendered useless by smog it added.
The article also said that during the first Gulf war, sand storms reduced the identification distances of thermal imaging equipment on US tanks from 2,500 metres to 800 metres, while optical detection of Iraqi tanks was reduced to almost nil.
So there you have it. But, of course, don't take it just from the Chinese not when you've also got the crew from Monty Python: