After days of hazardous pollution forced people to wear masks and huddle indoors, residents of Beijing turned their attention to the mayor, Wang Anshun, and his bold vow last year to clear the air. As JapanTimes reports, Wang said, if pollution wasn’t brought under control by 2017, he would cut off his own head and present it to the country’s leadership. So, imagine his relief, when after pollution levels hit 20x WHO's risk limit, a cold front - as caught on tape below - swept away the choking smog (and saved his neck).
The smog surged in northern China on Monday during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Paris, where he vowed to work with U.S. counterpart Barack Obama and other world leaders to stem carbon emissions and fight climate change. The capital raised its pollution alert to orange — the second-highest level — for the first time in 13 months on Sunday, the same day that the Chinese government said it had met pollution-reduction targets for the year.
Late Tuesday, winds began to flush the smog from the region and, by Wednesday morning, PM2.5 levels in Beijing had plunged to single digits. But the skies couldn’t clear before people began mocking local officials who had so frequently vowed to control the pollution.
“The mayor has vowed on his own head to control the smog, but we still have to rely on the wind to control it,” Sichuan People’s Radio wrote on its official Weibo account.