China Paper: Smog Good for National Security
Bad air can be bonus on battlefield, paper claims
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2013 1:55 AM CST
The Shanghai skyline is somewhere under that cloud of smog.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

(Newser) – As Shanghai and other Chinese cities choke on one of the worst bouts of air pollution ever recorded, a nationalist newspaper has tried to put a positive spin on the problem. The Communist Party-linked Global Times argues that while smog can affect people's health, "on the battlefield, it can serve as a defensive advantage in military operations" by hampering lasers and missile guidance systems.

Drone and satellite reconnaissance equipment becomes useless in smoggy conditions, the paper said, noting that Yugoslavian soldiers used to burn tires to foil NATO airstrikes. Unsurprisingly, the article was met with widespread derision from citizens angered by inaction on the country's terrible air quality, reports the South China Morning Post. "But enemies wouldn’t need to resort to missile attacks if the smog continues to increase," one reader commented. "People will simply be poisoned to death." (In Beijing, meanwhile, the city has decided to get tough on air pollution—by cracking down on barbecues.)