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Call this an unexpected result but it seems that Beijing's plans to reduce pollution by banning traffic according to the license plates have not proven satisfactory. According to the city's Environmental Protection Bureau, the skies remained hazy and the pollution levels actually increased.

A top Chinese official affirmed that the reason for this increase was the weather, which was very humid, and the high levels the city already had during the previous days. Nevertheless, the traffic flowed better during the restriction days (Friday to Monday).

However, the quality of the air is quite an interesting story. According to Beijing's Environmental Protection Bureau, the index of particulate matter went from 91 on Friday to 100 on Monday afternoon. On the other hand, Xinhua (the official press agency) affirmed that Moday's index was 95 compared to 116 on Thursday. Add the fact that the Communist Party is ordering to the local press to say how good the measure was and that it is unclear how this index is calculated.

Remember that the International Olympic Comittee is seriously concerned on how the pollution levels can affect the athletes competing in the upcoming 2008 Summer Games. I'm also concerned about the effects on the average citizen and the atmosphere that we all share. I think (and please take this as my sole opinion) that the measure, besides being insufficient for attacking a single pollution factor, was too short to have a real effect. What do you think?

Related:

[Source: The Washington Post thanks to Phil]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      ^ Yeah, then driving the cars would CLEAN the air! Seriously, I heard that PZEV vehicles leave air in places like California cleaner than it was when it went in.

      As for Beijing, how the heck did it get picked in the first place? The Olympic committee should've brought up these concerns earlier.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think if the ban the measures were more than a few days, people would figure out their way around this. Rent a neighbors car with the right license plate number, for instance.
      This year I think there are 3 million vehicles. How many will there be next year? China, (as well as so many other countries) with so many vehicles needs to go to zero emissions. With their current government, it is probably the country most likely to succeed at attaining this goal.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Cars are hardly the only source of air pollution in Beijing. Antiquated power plants, industrial furnaces and home heating appliances all add to the problem. Winds could bring in dust from surrounding farmland.

      PM levels near the sporting arenas could be improved temporarily by keeping major roads wet to keep passing vehicles from stirring up fine dust that has already settled. Some of the NO will also be washed out by the water spray. However, this measure would have to begin at least two weeks prior to the start of the games to have the desired effect.
      • 8 Years Ago
      All media is controlled in China by the communist party, therefore you can not believe anything they report. The only reason they are temporally allowing "capitalism" in Red China is to economically bury the west as they rapidly build up their red army. My question is; “To what end?”
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wounder if the chines economy can afford American style pollution controls for their car. I'm sure that would clean up the air.
      • 8 Years Ago
      They also use a license plate method for reducing traffic in the Philippines, it was great for car sales as a lot of people just bought a second car.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Tim, China doesn't need the "RED ARMY" to do anything to the West. They own 23% of the west... They don't need the army to apply pressure.

      On an other note... CNN VS Communist Party??
      I'm not sure witch one worst.

      As for the air... To little to late. This goes to show how complicated the environment problem is. Running even or odd will not make the problem go away in a week.

      If someone really want to do something about it... he would probably get fired.... That's the world we live in.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This was an interesting test - but it's still just a test, and only in preparation for a limited effort during a short-term event. The fundamental problems will still exist long after memories of the Olympic rings have faded in Beijing.

      I'll be curious to see what happens next summer. The Communist Party can coerce the local press to report only the good news today - but far more international scrutiny will take place during the games.