The never-ending saga of Beijing’s noxious air made the front of the home page of The New York Times online this morning. The New York Times reported that Beijing’s government implemented emergency pollution measures yesterday, January 30, in order to wage battle against the stubborn smog. According to their report, more than 100 factories have been ordered to temporarily shutdown, and one-third of government vehicles were ordered off the streets. Apparently the long-term goal is to reduce the density of air pollutants by a paltry two percent.
The article reports other long-term measures like “ordering 180,000 older vehicles off the roads, promoting the use of ‘clean energy’ for government vehicles and heating systems, and growing trees over 250 square miles of land in the next five years.” It’s unclear whether the short-term measures will do much for the city at the moment, as the lack of wind means the pollution isn’t blowing away to become someone else’s problem.
Another issue being debated this week is whether fireworks should be banned this Chinese New Year, as they emit toxic elements like aluminum, copper compounds, mercury, lead dioxide, and more.
Photo by flickr user Hayden Opie