Beijing’s filthy air

China’s ‘showcase capital’ encased in hazardous smog

Photo courtesy of Eco News Australia

Several recent bouts with horrendous smog have prompted the Beijing government to resort to emergency measures.

On Jan. 30, the second straight day the city’s air quality was deemed “hazardous” by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards, the Communist Party temporarily shut down more than 100 factories and ordered one-third of government vehicles off the streets, according to The New York Times.

Beijing sits in the midst of a number of industrial coal-burning factories, and even as Chinese officials have begun reconsidering the importance of environmental protection in recent years, there remains little incentive for coal executives to curb production.

Pan Shiyi, a celebrity real-estate developer and popular blogger, announced he is making a push for the local legislature to adopt a Clean Air Act. A poll revealed more than 25,000 of Shiyi’s readers, or 99 percent of respondents, were in favor of the proposal.