Beijing’s latest tactic to combat its Jupiter-evoking smog is to enact emergency measures when heavy pollution lasts for more than three days. So basically, emergency measures every three days, right? SMCP reports:
The city government said yesterday that the strictest measures will take effect when the smog index for fine particulate matter, PM2.5 – the tiny airborne particles considered most harmful to health – is forecast to exceed 300 micrograms per cubic metre for three days running. The World Health Organisation safe limit is 25 micrograms.
Private vehicles will be allowed to operate only on alternating days, depending on the last number of their license plates. Factory emissions will be cut 30 per cent by suspending or limiting production, and construction sites must halt excavation and demolition. Classes will be suspended, a measure likely to cause inconvenience in a city where most parents both work.
However, while we’d like to believe that Beijing’s implementing these measures out of the goodness of their ischemic disease-ravaged heart, more likely they’re trying to get everything tidied up (or as tidied up as possible), before they host the APEC summit next year. Measures include cracking down on both outdoor and indoor cooking, and spending almost 1 trillion yuan on pollution cleanup over the next five years.
But whether or not the motive is pure (at least purer than Beijing’s skyline), these measures sound a lot better than Beijing’s dark(er) ages when they simply pawned off their smog as “fog.” Though we worry that Beijing’s aggressive anti-pollution campaign will only really last until the APEC Summit – like that kid who crams all his toys into his closet when guests are over, but after they leave, he opens it to so they spill all over his room again.