China has never been a willing participant in the climate change fight. In fact, they were exempt from the Kyoto Protocol. China took advantage of this and has been installing soft coal power stations at a record rate which contributes to the already poor air conditions in the populated areas.
Beijing and the surrounding areas are heavily polluted with particulate matter that can make breathing difficult. Officials have tried to figure out what to do. So it looks like they decided on a path to becoming a better custodian of their own air quality.
The officials have declared open air barbecue grills have been a prime contributor to the particulate pollution. Hey have decided that by banning BBQ grills, they will reduce the PM2.25 particles that will enter the lungs of the people. After all, people have been complaining of the food and wood smell of BBQs the world over and Chinese officials have decided to take decisive action against the evil BBQ.
The government have been going and seizing BBQ grills. They have been cutting them up into small pieces. It is interesting that they are using oxyacetylene torches to accomplish this task rather than a less-polluting saw. Government news has been showing pictures of hundreds of BBQs being torched after being snatched from their owners.
Ma Jun, the Director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, said that although people have been complaining about the BBQ smells, more attention should be paid to diesel trucks and other heavy polluters. Ma said “This action will help local residents, but to deal with the bigger air quality problem we need to have priorities and I think one of the major priorities should still be the motor vehicle emissions.”
In the San Francisco Bay Area the air quality officials periodically declare “Spare the Air Days” where you cannot BBQ or burn wood in your fireplace. Some local radio stations jokingly refer to these times as “Scare the Air Days” where people can turn in their neighbors if they see smoke from a chimney or smell BBQ. They can even fine people who BBQ outside during these days. Fortunately, for now, they have not been seizing BBQ grills from the people.