If you ask anyone which city they think is the most polluted in the world, there is a good chance they will say that it is Beijing.
From August 20-September 3, Beijing took a huge step and put restrictions on factory production and car use in an attempt to cut back the heavy smog pollution that fills the air. These steps were made to mark the 70th anniversary of Japan’s WWII defeat on September 3.
The results were more than amazing. The skies, which are usually known as a “Normal Status Gray,” completely cleared to a vibrant baby blue. This was the first time Beijing has seen crisp blue skies in a while.
Buildings were visible in the distance instead of obscured by smog. The average levels of air particulate matter (PM) dropped by a whopping 73.2%. Using an international standard for measuring air pollution, Beijing had dropped to a 17 out of 500 during the ban.
China usually has a fluctuating air-quality of “very unhealthy” and “hazardous” pollution levels according to an air-quality monitoring app. Sometimes that rating is even considered “beyond index.”
Officials are taking action in attempts for cleaner air and have set aside a $230 billion budget solely for pollution control for the next five years. They have also added a tax to gas prices and are adding more than 1,000 electric taxis into the city.
Hopefully clear blue skies won’t be so much of a rare sight in the coming years.