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Fireworks usage index offers citizens safe choices | Updated: 2013-02-06 21:56

The Beijing Meteorological Bureau for the first time issued a daily "fireworks usage index" for Spring Festival, which this year falls on Feb 10, leaving the decision on whether to set off fireworks to Beijing residents but offering scientific references to aid in their decision, says an article in the Beijing News. Excerpts:

The index is based on meteorological conditions and includes three grades, offering people suggestions on whether weather conditions are suitable for fireworks.

Since the recent spate of haze in Beijing, much has been said about whether fireworks should be banned during the coming Lunar New Year celebrations, for the sake of reducing air pollution.

The launch of a daily fireworks usage index by Beijing's weather authorities is a humane, safe, and scientific addition to the discussion.

It is more reasonable to issue the scientific fireworks usage index to guide citizens' choices than enforcing a stringent ban on all fireworks. After all, lighting up fireworks is a traditional cultural way of celebrating Lunar New Year, and has developed into entrenched customs in the civil community.

However, in the battle against easing pollution, although government shares an undeniable responsibility, citizens also are expected to cultivate awareness of reducing the use of fireworks in a bid to create better air quality.

Undoubtedly, governmental sectors and organizations should take the lead in not setting off firecrackers.

The launch of Beijing's fireworks usage index is a fresh move towards environmental governance. It sets an example for other cities by providing citizens with information to make environment-conscious choices.

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