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Will China get its (environmental) act together for the Olympics?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Featured Debate 25


In honor of the upcoming Olympics (8-8-08, baby), we have this featured debate...will China be able to get its environmental act together for the games? 


Back in April, ABC said China was going green.  In fact...this year they are the "Green Olympics."  But is it enough?


(And just for fun...what sport are you most excited for?)

post #2 of 4

can't wait for the olympics!  huge fan.  favorite summer sports are track, gymnastics, and swimming.  it's going to be great!...


...except i think that pollution in beijing is a HUGE issue.  i was there last summer, and the air is just unbreathable.  the sky is literally a greenish-brown all the time.  by comparison, returning to los angeles (smog capital of california) we were met by stunning blue skies.  literally.


i understand that some athletes (eg. haile gebreselassie, marathon record holder) have said they're unlikely to compete due to the pollution...i've gotta say i can't blame him, as i wouldn't want to breathe in all that crap over 26 miles.


i think it's great that china is using the games as an opportunity/incentive to be greener, and i do believe they are trying to implement more eco-friendly practices toward this end.  but the fact is there's just not enough time to execute such a rapid clean-up, when otherwise unhealthy practices are so deeply engrained.  it's like trying to undo 50 years of bad practices in 5 years...


when i was there, i heard anecdotally about some of the things that they're going to do more acutely around the games (eg. prohibit any chinese natives not living in beijing from driving into the city during the games to reduce pollution).  these are certainly superficial solutions.  other plans i've heard include seeding clouds before the games to induce rain and, thus, clear the skies.  


so, bottom line, i feel like it's a good incentive, good motivation, great to include "green" in the international dialogue..but not sure it'll suffice in time for the games...

post #3 of 4

Unfortunately I think China's air quality is just too bad for any short-term steps to correct the problem by the time the olympics come around.


I do appreciate that they're aware of the environmental issues though.  I read that from about 1980-2000, China had stronger environmental policies than even California, but then the environment took a back seat to economic growth.


As for which sports - I generally like relay races, whether they be swimming or running.  Gymnastics is fun to watch too.

Edited by dana1981 - Wed, 9 Jul 2008 22:06:44 UTC
post #4 of 4

Don't I always here some trumpeted statistic about how china is building on average one coal fired power plant every week? I doubt they're "going green" at all.


I have heard they are doing things to try to improve the air quality in bejing, like banning industry and cars but I doubt that will continue after the games are over.


I don't know about 1980-2000 but I don't think China's been especially environmentally friendly throuout it's communist history. I read that Mao hated sparrows so he had most all of them killed in China, with no sparrows to eat bugs, their crops were completely ravaged and lots of people starved... whoops.

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