How will the Olympics effect China regarding pollution

I have read numerous articles where Chinese citizens on the street have been saying that the smog in Beijing was not due to pollution. Yet, with the air beginning to clear with all the anti pollution efforts going on there, it will be hard for people to deny the role of pollution in their incredibly bleak skies.

BEIJING (Reuters) - Normally smog-plagued Beijing bathed in blue skies and sunshine on Saturday in just the sort of weather the Chinese pray will grace their Olympics and banish athletes' health fears six days before the big start.

Experts attributed a rare day of fine weather in the Chinese capital to overnight rain and -- finally -- the impact of strict anti-pollution measures such as ordering half the cars off the road and closing smoke-belching factories.

"You see, we have done it! You can even see the mountains," enthused one Chinese student volunteer near the magnificent, newly built "Bird's Nest" stadium that is the main venue. . . .

The question is the long run impact. Presumably this change and the change back to pollution after the games will make the role of pollution in causing the smog hard to deny.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did the olymic commitee know how bad the pollution is in China when it was decided to let China host the olympics? Shouldn't China have started their attempts to "clean their air" years earlier? Was their no commitee overseeing the pollution clean up to ensure the air quality would be clean and safe enough for the olympians. I just did't understand there still being that much pollution this close to the start of the games.

8/02/2008 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course they didn't, they're idiots. WHO DOESN'T know that China is the most heavily polluted nation on this bloody rock!? You'd have to be crazy to want to live there. Sewage in ALL their water supplies and rivers, smog and air pollution everywhere.. it's a disgusting place to live, and I did for a year and had a runny nose and health problems the whole time near xi'an.

8/02/2008 5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, I have lived here for 4 years. I have lived in too many countries because of work (my home is Canada) but it is a discusting and filthy country. Face (mainzi) is a tradition lost. Nobody cares, the rich get richer off the abuse of the poor who just get poorer. Pay offs and bribes and copy right infringements are everywhere. But the world's richest people are that way because if no laws. Especially pollution laws. They live in Canada while their factories utilize cheap labor and just crush and kill our environment and planet. I see it everywhere, it is a sick neck of the woods. The world must open its eyes now and stop this massive polluting giant. Now.

8/02/2008 8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because of the smog in Beijing, numerous athletes will be injured, all will be affected, and (I predict) at least one will die because of the Beijing smog. Here is my latest article, and I have been hammering this for about six weeks, especially after the Ethiopian dropped out of the Marathon, and he's the world's record holder! What more does it take to convinece you of the obvious?
Stephen Fox
Only Australia is Cognizant of Beijing Smog Danger, Sending Team from Hong Kong Training Camp for Event Only; Olympics President Asked to Remove Triathlon, Marathon, and Cycling Out of Deadly Smog

[entire article is found here: http://www.transworldnews.com/NewsStory.aspx?id=53481&ret=AccountDtl.aspx]

Because of concern about air quality, most of Australia’s track and field athletes will miss the Aug. 8 Olympic opening ceremonies in Beijing. With events beginning after Aug. 15, one week after the opening, Athletics Australia has chosen to hold its pre-Olympic training camp in Hong Kong. Competitors will then fly to Beijing three or four days before their events.

“As many sports have said, China presents difficulties for athletes going in and being there for a period of time,” Athletics Australia national performance manager Max Binnington. “Anything more than five or six days and they inevitably end up with some sort of respiratory problem. So that was why many of the sports who don’t have to be in there early are choosing not to go in. And the outcome is that it’s almost impossible to go for the opening ceremony.” Australia’s triathletes will also miss the opening ceremonies for similar reasons. “Most of our athletes have accepted the decision straight away."

Sun Weide, a spokesman for the Bejiing organizing committee, stated that nations could be flexible for the opening ceremonies. “Every team can arrange its schedule according to its own plan,” Sun said. “As for the environmental problems, we’ve said many times that we’re confident that we can provide clean air during the Olympic Games.” A plan for Beijing’s notoriously clogged traffic include half of the city’s 3.3 million vehicles being banned each day, using an odd-even system from registration plates.

“Generally those competing of the first day or the second day don’t march, standing up for eight hours a day or so before competition isn’t a medically smart thing to do,” AOC spokesman Tancred said. Australian and Hong Kong physicians have backed this up: see "Medical Experts Say Olympians Face Health and Performance Difficulties in Beijing's Air Pollution from Hong Kong and Australian Physicians: Even Spectators Should Worry!" at:
an article by Tan Ee Lyn.

Despite IOC President Jacques Rogge's "Beijing air pollution cheer" a few days ago from Lausanne, Switzerland, in which he basically dismisses all of these concerns, I would like you to be aware of my latest articles, which we refer to by URL in order to bring you the photo essay on Beijing smog:

[Title: Jacques Rogge and Olympic Committee: Please move Marathon,
Triathlon, and Cycling out of Beijing's Deadly Air Pollution! Carbon
Monoxide, Industrial Pollution,Lead,Particulate Matter, Ozone]


Please also see earlier article:

[Title: Beijing's Infernal Air Pollution Will Kill A Few Olympic Athletes; Most US Athletes Will Wear Masks While Preparing for Their Events]

If you know Olympic athletes, physicians, sports enthusiasts, and
internationally minded people, please forward this to them, and to friends and colleagues. If you comprehend that we could prevent a few athletes from inevitable expiration in the Beijing smog, you can also email Mr. Rogge directly:

Stephen Fox, Contributing Editor Santa Fe Sun News

Photo Essay: Close Up of Bird’s Nest Stadium Engulfed in Beijing Smog:




One by my wise sardonic friend, James Fallows, Washington Editor Atlantic Monthly:

8/02/2008 11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


8/03/2008 12:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Studying in Beijing for the summer, I can say that none of the 7 or 8 Chinese people I've talked to about the pollution problem have contested that the smog is indeed caused by pollution.

And since the pollution measures went into effect last week the air has gotten dramatically better, to the point where it's really not noticeable in daily life.

8/03/2008 11:14 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Thanks, Maxim. Possibly many have been making this claim to the media for saving face type reasons. I would guess that at the very least the recent changes will make it more difficult for them to make these claims to the press. I would guess that the changes will also increase the political pressure to make things cleaner.

8/03/2008 12:20 PM  

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