Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Heating Is On

You might be surprised by the title of this post thinking she’s pretty desperate to post anything on her Blog if she has to tell us that she put the heat on. Well, au contraire, this is BIG news in China. Let me explain:

Officially speaking, Beijing's winter usually starts on November 15 every year.
Mother Nature is not behind this miracle of scheduling. Rather, this is the date that the municipal utility authority is scheduled to start providing heat to all residential quarters. […]
On the morning of November 13, the Beijing-based Legal Evening News reported that roughly 1 million households in the city were connected to the heating system. The temperature in 80 per cent of those homes was no lower than 16 C. Every residences pay a fee to receive heat in the winter. The fee is based on the household's size in square metres. […]
A community coal-fired boiler used to supply the heat in residential buildings and caused some problems.
Industrial and household coal burning, car emissions and flying dust are Beijing's three top causes of pollution, but coal has always been the most serious offender. When autumn arrived, coal was piled in front of the boiler next to the apartments building, while strong winter winds would carry the soot everywhere.[…] Next year will witness a landmark achievement, as every coal boiler and furnace in the city proper of Beijing will be powered by gas or electrical systems by the end of 2007. (Source: China Daily)

That’s not helping with pollution!!!