As Beijing continues to fight an uphill battle against the clouds of choking smog smothering the capital, an unlikely collateral target has Chinese web users smouldering.
On Wednesday, it emerged that officials were exploring the possibility of banning barbeque’s as part of overarching efforts to stem the sources of atmospheric pollutants. State media reported that the country’s environmental watchdog had issued draft guidelines advising major cities to adopt legislature which would make “barbecue-related activities” illegal. The report cites an anonymous city official as stating that citizens should all try to adopt a more environmentally friendly way of life.
The official also recommended reducing energy consumption in the cooking process, using food preparation techniques that produce less smoke and less pollution and setting off fewer firecrackers.
Netizens were quick to counter with suggestions that perhaps they banned all cooking, and perhaps human bodily functions too.
To dramatically cut down levels of pollutant output would take years, and could impact the massive economic growth the country has enjoyed over the past decades
It appears that weeks of health warnings, sweaty face-masks and indoor confinement have crystallized into a citywide cabin fever- but government interference with street food loving China’s outdoor cooking culture has pushed many over the edge.
The bulk of China’s pollution is thought to come from coal fired industry, power generation, and sky rocketing numbers of vehicles on it’s roads. To dramatically cut down levels of pollutant output would take years, and could impact the massive economic growth the country has enjoyed over the past decades. Many see the outdoor grill ban as mere tokenism at best, and worst, desperation.