- Language Tips
Zhong Nanshan, a medical scientist and academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said that air pollution is even more hazardous than severe acute respiratory syndrome since no one can escape it. That the incidence of lung cancer has risen by 55 percent in Beijing in the past decade vindicates what Zhong said.
The risk air pollution poses to residents' health is real, and it is high time that we took it seriously. True, we do need a long-term strategy to clean up the air we breathe. We need to revise our air pollution control law, which needs to levy even heavier fines on polluters and have more specific stipulations about the measures the government should adopt when the air is seriously polluted.
However, Rome was not built in a day. While a long-term strategy is in the pipeline, we can still do a lot to reduce the hazardous emissions polluting the air.
For example, Beijing has been trying to reduce the number of government vehicles running during the seriously polluted days and some major air polluters, such as cement factories, have been ordered to suspend production.
But to our disappointment, 875 government cars defied the ban on Wednesday and some construction sites still continued their operations despite being ordered to stop on smoggy days, so hundreds of trucks continued to transport uncovered construction waste. Apparently, more work needs to be done to have the bans thoroughly enforced. Those who have defied the bans, including government officials and departments, should be severely punished.
With Spring Festival around the corner, Beijing and some other cities in northern and central China should consider banning fireworks if the smog continues to shroud these areas.
Preparations should be made in advance to convince residents that the ban on fireworks is for their own health and their cooperation is key to the control of air pollution. Even if a cold front comes and strong winds blow the smog away, fireworks need to be banned since the fireworks let off on the early morning of the Lunar New Year always cause serious air pollution.
Making sure air pollution control rules are strictly observed is the first step in winning the battle for breathable air.
(China Daily 02/01/2013 page8)