Blog archive
Anti-pollution measures, 5 days after
Friday, 25 July 2008, Written by Julien   
The new anti-pollution measures for Olympics started last Sunday. As you might already know, the main measures are:
  • Reduction of traffic: cars with odd plates are allowed on odd days, cars with even plates on even days, old and very polluting cars have been taken away from roads,
  • Reduction of industrial emissions: heavy polluting industries have to stop during Olympics, others should reduce their emissions by at least 30%,
  • Freeze of construction sites to reduce dust and trucks...

As pollution is generated by human activity, if human activity is reduced dramatically, air pollution should rapidly fade off. However, since 3 days the pollution in Beijing is quite visible: a white smog is covering the city.

Smog come from three main factors: car emissions (nitrogen oxides ), volatile organic compounds and sun. Those three factors react with oxygen to produce ozone and particles . Ozone is a risk for athletes as it can aggravate or reveal asthma and reduce lung capacity by up to 20%. It is maybe not a health hazard, but athletes might find it harder to break records.

One of the reasons for such bad air quality is the really light wind and the absence of rain. There has been no occasion for pollutants that were already in the air to be flushed away. Such weather conditions should last for at least 3 more days and we could  keep the same kind of pollution a bit longer.

All we have to hope is a heavy rain with strong winds to clear the skies in time for Olympics!

fred wrote funny to see:
that a lot of (Chinese) newspapers claim that the sky is blue and the air is better now in Beijing. I personnaly have only notice less cars, and less space for cars with this special "Olympi... [more]
xuedi wrote interesting information:
nice, that you clear up how the Beijing smog is created, the only answer of Beijing people is: "ohh, thats just the natural Beijing frog" ^^
Chris D wrote :
Yeah, I saw a great photo of beijing's sky int he xizhimen area on the China Daily site a few days ago - beautiful blue sky, etc. B.S. Yes, the olympic lane is stupid. For traffic's sake,... [more]
Lee W wrote beijingairquality website:
It looks like the Government's own pollution monitoring website has been restricted. If you go to you now need a username and password to access it... [more]
Asia Society wrote "blue sky days" photo diary:
Check out the new project on called "Clearing the Air: China's Environmental Challenge" A great video provides an overview of the problem and they have a photographer who has... [more]
Pollution speech at Greening the Beige
Thursday, 10 July 2008, Written by Administrator   
Greening the Beige Greenig the Beige (GtB) is an innovative, eco-minded art collective dedicated to nurturing awareness on pertinent environmental issues. It is happening this week-end in Beijing.
The idea is to bring together people concerned about environmental issues, artists, volunteers in NGOs, experts and even me!
I will be giving a speech on Saturday July 12th at Yugongyishan at 8pm. Together with Vance Wagner (an expert on traffic policies) we will explain urban pollution, the impact on health and what we can do ourselves against it.
If you are interested, find out more on Greenig the Beige website !