It’s almost time for the 2008 Olympics, and the Chinese authorities are making sure their coming out party is as green as possible. And what does environmentalism entail? Draconian restrictions, of course. The Communist Party of China can relate to the green penchant for fascist measures to save the rest of us from ourselves.
In a bid to pacify the environmental tyrants of the occident, the communist tyrants of the orient have instituted a ban on cars. Using an odd-even system based on number plates, Beijing residents will be limited to driving only every other day, with the aim of halving the usual 3,3-million cars on the road. Additional restrictions will shut down (and even move out of the city) many major factories.
BEIJING (Reuters) — Beijing will introduce “odd-even” traffic restrictions for two months from July 20 to help ease congestion and reduce pollution during the Olympics and Paralympics, officials said on Friday.
Authorities hope the regulations will take 45% of the city’s 3,29-million cars off the road and reduce emissions from vehicles by 63%, officials told a news conference.
[...] Those affected by the ban will be compensated by not having to pay road or vehicle taxes for three month, costing the city about 1.3 billion yuan ($189 million).
Violators would be punished “according to relevant national and local regulations” and lose the compensation.
Only 70% of government-owned cars will be included in the scheme.
And if you’re sufficiently poor to have an older, high-emissions car (of the kind Britain’s PM, Gordon Brown, unapologetically wants to use as an excuse to super-tax the working class), you don’t get to drive it at all.
Over at the Huffington Post, this measure is considered a mere band-aid. One dreads to think what a real cure would look like.
And while you park your car, and close your factories, and stop smoking, and renounce your right to protest or get drunk, here’s what you shall cheer, the “spiritual civilisation bureau” decrees: “Aoyun! Jia You! Zhongguo! Jia You!”
The offically-approved cheer, complete with “civilised” gestures, is being taugh through official media and school training programmes. Note the faceless face of “civilisation”. Reports the BBC: “Li Ning, president of the Beijing Etiquette Institute, told the Beijing News that the cheer was in line with general international principles for cheering, while at the same time possessing characteristics of Chinese culture.”
Good to know we have international principles for cheering. I’ll confess I’ve been very disturbed by the uncivilised cheering I’ve come across. Granted, this involved anti-social people who even had the temerity to wear individual faces in public. Shameful. Glad they’re cracking down on that sort of thing.
Just when you thought this couldn’t get any funnier, you discover that with beautiful irony, the cheer means, “Olympics! Add oil! China! Add oil!”
Not if you have the misfortune of being a Chinese citizen in Beijing, you don’t.
Our own politicians and 2010 World Cup organisers undoubtedly have luxury box seats at the Beijing Olympics, where they’ll be learning from the masters how to please the world’s eco-fascists.
(First published on my own blog.)