Saturday, July 19, 2008

Countdown for clean air (they hope)!

You have to think that perhaps they might have left this detail to the last minute and maybe there just won't be enough time or enough wind currents to pull it off.

Beijing which is set to welcome the world's athletes in three weeks time has officially commenced their much discussed plan to cleanse the air of what seems to be one of the worlds more polluted metropolitan areas.

Starting today, a traffic ban is in effect around the Olympic Games host city, with half of Beijing's 3.3 million vehicles to be taken off the roads and large number of their now infamous polluting factories will be shuttered. Those that remain open have been ordered to reduce their toxic mix of emissions by thirty percent.

It's the final stage of the preparations for the 10,500 athletes who will be calling the Chinese capital home over the seventeen days of the games, which get underway on August 8th.

There are any number of critics who suggest that the plan is one that doesn't make particular sense, considering wind currents that may very well blow pollution into the city regardless of the efforts to reduce the local areas carbon and other chemical footprints.

The main concern is for those athletes that will be performing in outdoor venues including the marathons and track and field competitions, where the prospect of a beige haze over Beijing is a very real possibility.

The Globe and Mail features an interesting look at all the preparations thus far posted on its website today.
We found a few other bits of information on the issue that give us a bit of background on what may be the largest obstacle for the Chinese as they take their step on the world stage next month.

Photo above from Globe and Mail website.

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