Sunday, July 20, 2008

Is this scary to anyone else?

I was reading this article about the steps that Beijing is taking to clear up their air in advance of the Olympics:

BEIJING -- With the Olympics less than three weeks away, Beijing began restricting car use and limiting factory emissions on Sunday in a final drastic effort to clear its smog-choked skies.

Under the two-month plan, half of the capital's 3.3 million cars will be removed from city streets on alternate days, depending on whether the license plate ends in an odd or even number.

In addition to the traffic plan, chemical plants, power stations and foundries had to cut emissions by 30 percent beginning Sunday. Dust-spewing construction in the capital was to stop entirely.

I've never been to Beijing, but I did live in one of the 'dirtiest' cities in the U.S. for a couple of years, Los Angeles. I can't imagine how dirty the air in Beijing actually is for them to take these sorts of steps. And even with these efforts, the article notes that the world's best distance runner will not even participate in the marathon event because of the air.

I will be interested to see what effect these drastic efforts (which could NEVER happen in a democracy, BTW) will have. It just reinforces the call for immediate action on climate change, like that proposed by Al Gore this week...and I'd add the need to support/encourage developing nations to adopt 'green' technologies as they continue to grow.

Also, check out this organization, Green for All ...I just learned about them today.

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