Currently viewing the tag: "Beijing"

In the spirit of the Olympics, let’s take a look at one of Beijing’s newest Subway Stations…

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Via klm_md11’s Flickr

The Vatican has launched an airline of sorts offering passengers (on a chartered aircraft similar to the one above) seats to key pilgrimage sites. Initial plans call for flights to Spain, Poland, and the Middle East, however talks are in the works to fly to Mexico.

  • Beijing’s plan to limit driving in the capital city during the Olympics to curb air pollution, turned out be a big flop last week during the three day trial period. It goes to show that there is no “quick fix” to the detrimental effects of our oil addiction.

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When Paris unveiled its massive bike-sharing program earlier this month, it was the largest in the world, proving to be the envy of other global cities.

Not for long.

Beijing recently announced its plan to have 50,000 bikes available for share by 2008, when they will be hosting the Summer Olympics. The bike-sharing program is expected to take a bite out of traffic congestion and air pollution, which are becoming increasingly damaging problems as more people drive in the city.

Fifty-thousand bikes in a city of 17 million may seem insignificant, but it’s all part of a larger transportation strategy, which includes expanding the subway system to be one of the world’s greatest. It may also include odd-even day driving privileges, where license plates would be divided by odd and even numbers so that only half of the city’s motorists could legally drive each day. This hinges on the success of a four-day pilot program that was completed with mixed results earlier this month.

According to experts, eliminating 1.3 million cars from the streets of Beijing would translate into a 40% cut in carbon dioxide emissions. How does this relate to Miami? Well, beside serving as another example of a another city implementing bike-sharing, it’s very important in the global context of climate change. If China, which per capita only emits a tiny fraction of carbon dioxide that the United States does, continues to rapidly increase vehicle miles traveled, it will make it almost impossible to stabilize global CO2 levels at 550ppm (the largely agreed upon threshold for stemming the worst effects of climate change). Given the geography of South Florida, we should be very much concerned about Chinese emissions and sustainability.

It’s all interconnected.

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