China Considers Banning 90% of All Cars in Beijing for Olympics
There is no question that China's leaders want the Olympics to showcase/enhance The People's Republic's international prestige and power, in that 1936 Berlin kinda way. There's also no question that Beijing's air quality sucks, Big Style. To rectify that politically intolerable situation, The Powers That Be have relocated the city's major polluter (Oy! Beijing Shougang Group! Take your steel plant and piss off!). They've also banned half the city's 3.3m vehicles. Nope. Not good enough. Mother nature is not cooperating, with high humidity, light winds and high temps. As xinhuanet.com reports, China's ready to do whatever it takes to let Olympic athletes gulp great quantities of healthy O2. "A more radical measure would be to allow only vehicles on which had the last number of the license plate matched the last number of the day of the month, effectively banning 90 percent of privately owned cars." Eurozone ministers must be green with envy! Unfortunately… "I cannot ensure whether the government will take these measures," Professor Zhu Tong, air quality adviser to the Beijing Olympics reports, sadly. "Even if the measures are strengthened, the enforcement will last only three or four days." Oh. That's alright then.
I left Beijing 22-July and despite halting construction and shuttering factories, etc the smog was still impenetrable. It was some of the worst I have seen in the summertime. But there is still another week to go and maybe the weather will cooperate and blow that muck out of town.
What a shame. I am shocked that the Chinese are not growing extra limbs by now. It is not just the air, their water is rancid too.
Looks like L.A. did in the late '60's. A lesson not learned. Oh well, China wants their cake (industrial revolution) and to eat it, too (showcase the Olympics). Maybe they'll consider the environment a bit more as they move forward.