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I can (almost) see clearly now…

29 January 2007

From Reuters:

Welcome to Mexico City in 2007. With car ownership more than doubling over the last decade, the megalopolis once dubbed the world’s most polluted city should by now be almost uninhabitable, its residents gasping through oxygen masks.

The air doesn’t exactly smell sweet. But look up beyond the tops of office buildings these days and the sky is blue.

Over the past decade Mexico City has rid its streets of the most polluting cars and bounced back from the dark days of the 1980s and 1990s, when children painted the sky as black or brown and opaque air sent choking birds plummeting to the ground.

Now, for a couple of days most months, the snow-capped volcanoes that serve as a dramatic backdrop to the city are visible — after decades of being blanketed by yellow smog.

“Things have changed,” said Jose Luis Perez, 70, who has spent 50 years selling newspapers in the ever-more congested city center. “With the new cars and regulations, Mexicans don’t pollute like they used to.”

Jornada photo from October 2006. In the winter, the air is usually pretty clear, too.

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