Monday, September 18, 2006

A little Less Gassy

It's far too late and I'm in the office so this will be a short one. Beijing clearly has a problem with pollution as many of the photos I've posted in the past show. The authorities are doing some things to relocate the problem and some things to solve the problem. One of the things I noted when I arrived here first was that most of the buses here run on LPG, a much cleaner form of fuel. I was even more impressed however to see a fuel cell bus today. In a city choking itself to death this is definitely a step in the right direction. If only they could do something about the number of horrendously inefficient cars and two-stroke carts that buzz around it would be even better but this is still a good step to be taking. The figures when I arrived were pretty worrying: A million cars on Beijing's roads and little in the way of a used car market. This is simply because few people have owned a car long enough for there to be a market. This means that only a small percentage of people can afford cars. Consequently as the market opens up, the already gridlocked runs are going to become a disaster zone unless something is done about the problem.
I believer that Shanghai's solution has been to limit the number of used cars entering the city though I don't know if Beijing will follow suit. I'll look into it...

Right, a quick post indeed. I'm heading home to finish Lee Smolin's The Trouble With Physics which I've been sent to review. I won't give the punch line away yet but it's an interesting read which I'll talk about soon.

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