Changing China

Giant on the move


August 2, 2008

With only six days to go before the opening of the Olympic Games, the iconic Bird’s Nest national stadium in Beijing was visible under clear blue skies on saturday (August 2).  Despite last-ditch attempts to turn the smokey and dusty Chinese capital into the promised pollution-free Olympic venue, the Olympic Green is frequently barely visible through the haze.
    The Beijing Ministry for Environmental Protection was still showing the Chinese Air Pollution Index (API) from Friday (August 02), which was API 27. This figure is valid from 1200 the day before until 1200 local (0300 GMT) the present day. This is grade one, “excellent”, and counts as a “blue sky day”. The temperature was forecast to be around 30 degrees celsius with only 51 percent humidity
    The authorities have ordered many cars off roads and halted much construction and factory production in an effort to cut smog before the Games open on August 8.  Pollution has been one of the biggest worries for Games organisers who have said they may reschedule endurance events to prevent health risks to athletes.
See the latest smogwatch video from around the Olympic Green here


Friday in Beijing was one of the nicest I have seen in all my time here. I have lived in Beijing for 18 months in the 90′s and have returned on vacation several times since.

Yesterday you could see the mountains to the west and also the clouds looked just like back home in Canberra.

Saturday is another blue sky day however there is more of a haze on the horizon. The mountains are once more out of site.

I wonder how much is dust and how much is pollution from cars, factories etc.


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