Beijing on a smoggy day

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I have been following James Fallows’ coverage of the Olympics with interest, specifically because he has been focused on the air pollution that plagues Beijing.

It is unfathomable that a city would put its people at risk by having air quality so bad that it has to take such drastic steps as eliminate 90% of cars from the road and close most of its factories, in an attempt to clear the air for the games. By all accounts, the effort is not succeeding, and rightfully so. If concern about its people does not move the Chinese government, perhaps embarrassment in front of the world will do the trick.

Fallows had written once that he hopes the Beijing games succeed, because if they fail, foreigners in China will be blamed and their lives made miserable. With all due respect to Mr. Fallows, and with empathy to those who are in China for their jobs, I hope opening day of the Olympics dawns a brown, moggy mess.

Thanks to a link provided by Ryan in comments, an excellent review about a new movie, Dark Matter, and its indirect association to our relationship with China, and the importance of the Beijing games being successful. It gave me food for thought, but hasn’t necessarily convinced me to change my opinion. We’re facing a desperate situation, environmentally, and China’s environmental policy hurts not only the Chinese people, but the rest of us, as well. I find that difficult to overlook.

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