Wednesday, 24 September 2008,
Written by Julien
Olympics and the Paralympics are over! Most anti-pollution restrictions were lifted last Sunday: traffic jams are covering roads again, tucks are back and factories can produce again... Air quality has remained quite good over the last few days but we can expect pollution to come back to its pre-Olympics levels soon.
However, I believe not everything will be reverted to its initial status. At least one thing changed: residents of Beijing now know that their air is bad and that the current state is not normal. They knew it before, but they had not experienced it. After one month in a city with low air pollution all Beijingers cherish breathing in fresh air.
For example, it is a fairly good sign that a majority of Beijingers were supporting the idea of keeping the car restrictions after Olympics. Even though a majority of Beijingers do not have a car, it shows that they would be ready to accept tough measures for having a better air.
As the Olympics pressure on the government is fading off, people's aspirations for clean air could push environmental reforms forward!