My beloved Paris was totally in smog on Friday, it was that bad that I could hardly see the Eiffel Tower from our office. Since Friday public transport such as metro, Vélibs and Autolibs has been free of charge to use due to the risk to the health by the increased pollution in the air. The number of pollution partculates measured 180 microgrammes per cubic metre which is more than double the safe limit, 80 microgrammes. The same day in Copenhagen the index was measuring 40 while in Shanghai 168, just to give you a comparison.
As from today, Monday, alternate driving is obligatory but to be honest I don’t think people will follow that since the fine is only 22 EUR for the drivers. And after reading comments on different articles in this matter it seems that instead of finding solutions for improving a good quality of air people are trying to figure out how to get around the rule. In a poll at Le Figaro the majority of the people are against this rule of alternate driving. And the head of a driver’s association, 40 Millions d’Automobilistes, finds the measure (that is used worldwide) to be “unfair and stupid”. I’m not saying that cars are the only reason behind this peak, it is the climate changes..and there are many factors behind.
I must admit I’m very surprised over peoples reactions here. If this would have happened in Sweden or Denmark, people would have been trying to find solutions in order to change the situation to the better. What I’m seeing here is that people denies the fact behind the pollutions, some blame that other countries are worse (but WHY compare with the worst countries when you can act and become among the better ones and act like a role model??) they try to find a way around the problem and some frankly just don’t care: “My lungs are already polluted by cigarettes, so I don’t really care” , quote from a 29 year old woman in Paris