Chinese City Uses Human Pedal Power to Go Green - All citizens must pedal 90 minutes per day Or else?

"Each citizen of the city will be mandated to provided at least 90 minutes of cycle time per weekday, and 2 hours on weekends." What if they don't, are they taken away and punished and/or tortured?

Source: CBS News

WEIZHONG (CBSBN) - This city in Shaanxi Province, central China, is set to become the greenest city on Earth, according to Cheng Xialong, spokesperson for the mayor of Weizhong Municipal Government.

In a press release dated today, Weizhong city declared that it will source 100 percent of its electrical power from sustainable and renewable sources by 2012. Hydropower from the nearby Fundashen Dam will continue contributing 14.7 percent, wind energy from an experimental turbine farm will contribute 1.3 percent, while the remaining 84 percent will be derived from human pedal power.

The municipal government is building a Citizen Power Station, consisting of 50 gymnasium-sized halls which will house 2,000 stationary pedal-type electricity generators each. Each citizen of the city will be mandated to provided at least 90 minutes of cycle time per weekday, and 2 hours on weekends.

The Weizhong Citizen Power Station will generate approximately 200 megawatts. Chinese homes are smaller than Western homes and consume less electricity, and the Weizhong planners hope that in conjunction with stringent electricity saving measures, the power station will produce enough power for the entire city.

"If people are profligate in their use of power, we will increase the required quota to two or even three hours a day," said a municipal administration official who asked not to be identified. "This will encourage them to enthusiastically save electricity at home."

Citizens who cannot or do not want to contribute pedal power to the city's grid may allow substitute cyclists to take their place. A group of local businessmen have already set up a labor market for citizens who wish to hire non-resident laborers to cycle on their behalf.

Zheng Fubei, a wiry 48-year-old migrant laborer from a rural village, who lost his job at an electronics factory in Guanzhou and has been jobless for eight months, said he looked forward to providing green pedal power to the city.

"It will be my honor to create sustainable and renewable energy for this city which will be the most environmentally advanced city in China and the world," Zheng told members of the press, in what seemed to be a rehearsed statement.

Cheng Xialong, the municipal spokesperson, stressed that most residents would be happy to serve as electricity generators.

"In today's world, obesity is an increasing health risk with many ill effects such as diabetes and hypertension," he explained. "Cycling an hour and a half a day will not only produce green electricity, but also lower health care costs in the city."

"They can also watch educational programs on television while cycling," he added.

The Citizen Power Station is scheduled to start producing power within two months from now

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