By Beth Main
In the lamest attempt to shift the focus away from the massive amount of pollution from state industry, Chinese authorities are encouraging people to avoid the traditional letting off of firecrackers during Spring Festival.
Firecrackers are an integral part of New Year celebrations in China, with a history dating back over 2,000 years. One thinks that the huge chemical plants spewing waste into the sky have more to do with modern smog than a child’s cherry bomb.
Following a prolonged period of oppressive smog over many of China’s cities, the government is feeling the pressure from all sides. Last year 74 cities started monitoring levels of PM2.5 and environment minister Zhou Shengxian announced on Thursday that 39 more cities will soon follow suit.
The government assures Spring Festival revellers that not only will economising on firecrackers and fireworks save them money and reduce pollution but it will also help prevent fire related accidents and disasters.
Conveniently the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine has just released findings which say 17 percent of fireworks are substandard and dangerous.
God forbid anyone have any fun amid this Dickensian smog.