Beicology: Can Beijing's New Water Cannons Super Soak the Skies Blue?
Beijing is aiming to super soak its way to clearer skies with pollution-fighting water cannons.
As ridiculous as that sounds, it's actually a serious and scientific method involving muzzles that spew H2O mist at the micron level, microscopically dousing and fending off smog and dust. This pair of new cannons, mounted on the backs of two vehicles dubbed "multi-purpose anti-dust trucks," are an upgraded version of earlier, more limited range models, according to a recent article in the Beijing Morning Post (via ECNS). In fact these upgraded cannons can now shoot "powerful jets of water mist over 120 meters." Just try not to get in the way of one while they're cleaning the streets of questionable pollutants ...
These dust-busting trucks will patrol 35 streets in Chaoyang district whenever PM2.5 level reaches 75 micrograms per cubic meter, unloading their liquid ammunition on apocalyptic looking clouds in a silly-yet-ambitious scene straight out of Ghostbusters. On top of that, the water in those cannons will also be mixed with a dust quelling chemical that will line the pavement and hopefully prevent filthy particles from being stirred up by speeding drivers.
Aside from these aqua-anti-smog cannons, Beijing also recently unveiled a plan to significantly lower air pollution in the next half decade, with measures like making industrial parks more eco-friendly and the auditing of numerous companies to ensure they maintain energy saving standards. Those plans are by no means as exciting as a smog disrupting mist spraying truck, but they may prove to be more effective, as the government's goal for its five year plan is to have 30 percent less PM2.5s in the air by 2020 and 204 annual blue sky days in the same time frame. If that comes to pass, then the "multi-purpose anti-dust trucks," could very well seem even sillier than they do now.