On August 20th, only a few weeks ago, Beijing saw completely clear and blue skies, far from the ordinarily “gray” skies (see top image above). What happened?! Did they invent a miraculous new technology that cleared up fog?! Did they suck it out of the sky with one of those… Giant vacuum cleaners?
No, actually… They very simply (and take a breath for this one…) —-> Stopped polluting it.
You heard that correctly. They turned off their cars for about a week and a half.
So how exactly did this happen… and why?
In a nutshell, China put a ban on 2.5 Million Cars across all of Beijing between August 20th and September 3rd. They did so purposefully to open up the skies and beam bright blue for the 70th anniversary of Japan’s World War 2 Defeat, which took place this past September 3rd.
You heard that right too. They wanted to open up their skies, and show off their military. Smile for the camera!
In doing so, within only a short span of less than 2 weeks the skies became picture perfect, and this happened.
But Alas, As fate would have it, the day after the parade whence the restrictions had been lifted, Beijings Air Quality spiked to 160, a level which is typically regarded as one where “Everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects,” according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Ooooooo…. So close!
Had they held out for another few weeks we likely could have offset climate change, buying us precious time to sort out this global crisis!
However, there is a more fundamental issue that we’re actually facing, as demonstrated by this example.
The people aren’t choosing to stop polluting for the cause of bringing peace to the world, but because some people in charge wanted to flex their muscle a little bit and put on a show. Therefore, it couldn’t be sustainable, and we are left with but a mirage.
Nevertheless, we have a wonderful learning opportunity before us. Look at how quickly the skies cleared up when garbage was stopped to be thrown into it? Little less than 2 weeks, right?
What else might this principle apply to? Our bodies and health? Our relationships? Our jobs?
The pollution of our planet is the same as the pollution of every facets of our lives. At the rate things are going, who knows how things could be different in 10 years even? We are soon going to be faced with a major catastrophe if we do not act decisively and with great care.