Monday, May 7, 2007

Clean skies in Beijing, if only for a few days

The Chinese government's ability to enforce strict restrictions on its population demonstrate just how quickly a heavily polluted city's air can be cleaned up.
WASHINGTON – Chinese government restrictions on motorists during a three-day conference last fall cut Beijing’s emissions of an important class of atmospheric pollutants by up to 40 percent, recent satellite observations indicate. The November restrictions are widely viewed as a dress rehearsal for efforts by the city to slash smog and airborne contaminants when China hosts the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.
The task now is for democratic societies to find less autocratic, long-term regulatory and technological solutions to solve their own pollution problems.

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