China’s Battle With Smog
China is developing rapidly, the speed is so quick, the nature and environment are barely able to keep up with it. One indication of that is the thick dreadful layer of smog that shadows the city of Beijing all the time. Smog in simple, is thick fog filled with smoke or air pollutants. One can witness it in Karachi as well, where it doesn’t rain at all and the thick polluting particles from the hundreds and thousands of automobiles and industrial area just hang in the air. When our resident sub editor moved to Karachi, he ended up having a chronic cough until he got used to it in few months.
China held a massive military parade on September 4th, marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War 2. For that, Chinese officials started to plan a month before, and one of their main objective was to clear the skies from the dreaded smog. The goal was to reduce the air pollution to as much as 40% in the capital Beijing, and by 30% in the cities around.
China made around 12,000 factories shut down, in and around Beijing, and out of 5 million registered vehicles on the roads, half of them were banned to be driven at all until the parade day. The vehicle and factory ban lasted from August 20th to September 3rd.
The photo you see below is the typical ‘before and after’ photo, but interestingly, the clear skies photo was taken just before the parade and the grey smoggy photo was taken on the next day; the difference 24 hours made is astounding.
Photo courtesy: CNN