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Beijing Bans 2.5 Million Cars, Residents See Blue Skies For First Time In Ages
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Social Issues6 years ago

Beijing Bans 2.5 Million Cars, Residents See Blue Skies For First Time In Ages

On August 20th, Beijing put restrictions on factory production and car use. Five million cars were forced to drive on alternating days leading up to the 70th anniversary of Japan’s WWII defeat on September 3rd so that the city’s usually smoggy skies would be a picture-perfect blue.

The day after the parade, with the restrictions lifted, Beijing’s air quality index hit 160, a level at which “everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects,” according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“Military Parade Blue is gone; in its place is our ‘Normal Status Gray'” wrote one user online. While the LA Times cites several examples of such commentary on Chinese social media, CNN speculates that Chinese censors have actively removed similar posts from sites like Weibo.

(h/t: inhabitat, latimes, cnn)

5 million cars were forced to drive on alternating days in Beijing

Image credits:  Steven J.

The result is surprising – people could finally see buildings in the distance where there was usually thick smog

Image credits: Steven J.

During the ban, Beijing’s average levels of PM (particulate matter) dropped by 73.2% compared to the last year

Image credits:  Steven J.

40,000 construction sites in and around Beijing were also shut down for the duration

Image credits:  Steven J.

An international standard for measuring the severity of air pollution dipped to a pristine 17 out of 500, signifying very healthy air

Image credits:  Steven J.

This is how the Great Wall should look every day!

Image credits:  Steven J.

Image credits:  Steven J.

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Kate
Community Member
6 years ago

Beijing has instilled these road space regulations since 2008. Only certain cars with certain license plates have since been permitted to drive on a given day - millions of cars cannot legally take to the streets each day. When I lived there in 2010-2012 the blue sky rate was still 17ndays per year. China also seeds the skies with rockets to create favorable weather patterns for visitors such as NATO, Obama, etc. China is still China.

Beans2244
Community Member
6 years ago

I wish we could do that all around the world

SamuelHermans
Community Member
6 years ago

China is still China, they shot all the rain out of the sky during the days before the festivities.... so this blue sky is artificial, but I guess that's our reality today.

QidiJiang
Community Member
6 years ago

Cynicals are still cynicals.

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Kate
Community Member
6 years ago

Beijing has instilled these road space regulations since 2008. Only certain cars with certain license plates have since been permitted to drive on a given day - millions of cars cannot legally take to the streets each day. When I lived there in 2010-2012 the blue sky rate was still 17ndays per year. China also seeds the skies with rockets to create favorable weather patterns for visitors such as NATO, Obama, etc. China is still China.

Beans2244
Community Member
6 years ago

I wish we could do that all around the world

SamuelHermans
Community Member
6 years ago

China is still China, they shot all the rain out of the sky during the days before the festivities.... so this blue sky is artificial, but I guess that's our reality today.

QidiJiang
Community Member
6 years ago

Cynicals are still cynicals.

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