Jump to content

Beijing Olympics Were The Most Polluted Games Ever, Researchers Say


Frenchy
 Share

Recommended Posts

You give a games to a polluted city and you get a polluted games. Hardly rocket science and this research has told us nothing new. Whether that was a real problem for anyone and whether, given our hunger for cheap Chinese exports, we should be too snooty and moral about this, is debatable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
You give a games to a polluted city and you get a polluted games. Hardly rocket science and this research has told us nothing new. Whether that was a real problem for anyone and whether, given our hunger for cheap Chinese exports, we should be too snooty and moral about this, is debatable.

Part of Beijing's pollution problem is a result of it's geography - nearby desert territory and wind currents creating pollution in urbanised areas like Beijing.

It is a problem for some people - marathon WR holder Haile Gebreselassie refused to run in the conditions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We all know that. What we also know is that they weren't as polluted as feared (perhaps because of luck), and as the report says "there was no scientific evidence athletes or spectators suffered health problems during the games. The athletes and visitors were only exposed for a very short time. Millions of other people there face this air quality problem their entire lives. "

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Part of Beijing's pollution problem is a result of it's geography - nearby desert territory and wind currents creating pollution in urbanised areas like Beijing.

It is a problem for some people - marathon WR holder Haile Gebreselassie refused to run in the conditions.

Plus all those islanic Dictators to the west of China burning women and children at friday prays

Jim jones

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We all know that. What we also know is that they weren't as polluted as feared (perhaps because of luck), and as the report says "there was no scientific evidence athletes or spectators suffered health problems during the games. The athletes and visitors were only exposed for a very short time. Millions of other people there face this air quality problem their entire lives. "

and how many world records were set ? THe only events you would really possibly see problems would be long distance running and endurance events like triathon and road cycling.

Hey anything you cast a desenting voice on an Olympics London will not live up to for the pure spectacle of .

Jim Jones

Link to comment
Share on other sites

and how many world records were set ? THe only events you would really possibly see problems would be long distance running and endurance events like triathon and road cycling.

Hey anything you cast a desenting voice on an Olympics London will not live up to for the pure spectacle of .

Jim Jones

London will be great! God save the Queen!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Plus all those islanic Dictators to the west of China burning women and children at friday prays

Jim jones

^^^^^^^^

It's spelled 'Islamic'. I thought you would have known this considering your favourite nation on earth is ruled by Islamic ' Sharia' law?

Anyway, the topic is about Beijing's weather Jim. Can you stick to the topic without mentioning Glasgow 2014, Abuja etc which you do on everyone's threads.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

and how many world records were set ? THe only events you would really possibly see problems would be long distance running and endurance events like triathon and road cycling.

Hey anything you cast a desenting voice on an Olympics London will not live up to for the pure spectacle of .

Jim Jones

This topic is about BEIJING, geddit?

Not London, Beijing.

Edited by Rob
Link to comment
Share on other sites

From the Straitstimes:

Beijing's mixed legacy

After Beijing staged a mostly pollution-free Olympics by virtually shutting down the city of 18 million, the capital's notorious smog came back recently with the return to business as usual. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING - A YEAR after the Beijing Olympics, reminders of the Games' physical impact are visible throughout the capital, but so are signs of the many ways in which the Olympics could not change China.

There are the state-of-the-art venues that announced China's technological coming of age when the Olympic torch was lit on August 8, 2007, and the new Olympic subway lines that now transport millions of Beijingers to work.

But there is also the choking smog that has returned to the city and the dissidents jailed in the past year for speaking out against a government that promised 'tremendous' human rights improvements in bidding for the Games.

'The Olympics were a delightful event with no direct, meaningful impact on altering the way China is run or where it might be heading.' Many Chinese would dispute that, saying China's successful staging of the Games - the near-flawless preparations, dazzling venues and China's topping of the medals table - had a profound impact on society.

But few would dispute that Beijing announced China's emergence as the world's pre-eminent sporting power, a juggernaut now focused on further Olympic glory in London 2012 and beyond.

Yet in other areas, the past year has seen China further renege on key Olympic promises such as on human rights.

Before the Games, some observers expressed hope that they would lead to progress in human rights and an opening-up of political life, hopes that were dashed as dissidents were silenced or removed from Beijing during the Games amid intense security.

And after Beijing staged a mostly pollution-free Olympics by virtually shutting down the city of 18 million, the capital's notorious smog came back recently with the return to business as usual.

The city government says air quality has improved as a result of Olympic-linked measures such as the moving or cleaning up of polluting factories, curbs on driving activity, and the modern new subway lines. But with 1,500 new cars added to its streets every day, Beijing will need to do much more, experts said.

One year on, the Olympic venues are far from being put to optimal use, a problem that has affected virtually every host city.

The two most iconic buildings - the Bird's Nest stadium and the Water Cube aquatics centre - still draw paying sightseers daily but have seen few major events since August 2008. -- AFP

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think he's implying we shouldn't expect too much from Olympic cities. We shouldn't have, as a few clearly did, expected China to become a much more open state because of the games. Similarly, expecting one of the most polluted cities to clean its act up is a very tall order.

You can put down bricks and mortar and change the face of a city but changing its fabric - sporting, social, political, environmental or whatever - is much harder and perhaps raising our hopes too high. I think there's something to be said about being very careful about where the games go in the first place as hearing several members of the Olympic family respond to questions on human rights in China with the stock "The games are an opportunity for China to change" answer became tiring and wasn't entirely believable. They would, in my opinion, have been much better coming out and saying "We've got nothing to do with these issues, it's a big sporting festival and for right or for wrong we've decided to host it in Beijing." End of.

Even that answer, though, isn't entirely satisfactory as it doesn't apply to all situations. Tibet has nothing to do with the Olympic movement so giving that answer in response to a question about the protesters would have been fine by me. But when resources are diverted from rural areas because of Olympic infrastrcuture, the Olympic movement has to tread a little more carefully and has a little more responsibility about the effect their party has.

In other words, you have to try to define what the IOC and the Olympic movement are directly responsible for, what effect they can and cannot have on a city (positive and negative). It was all too easy to question the IOC on everything from Tibet to air pollution as if that's their responsibility and as if they really have any say on these issues. But taking the point of view that it's all a huge party and the IOC shouldn't hold any responsibility for a city's actions is taking it too far the other way.

Edited by Rob
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think he's implying we shouldn't expect too much from Olympic cities. We shouldn't have, as a few clearly did, expected China to become a much more open state because of the games. Similarly, expecting one of the most polluted cities to clean its act up is a very tall order.

You can put down bricks and mortar and change the face of a city but changing its fabric - sporting, social, political, environmental or whatever - is much harder and perhaps raising our hopes too high. I think there's something to be said about being very careful about where the games go in the first place as hearing several members of the Olympic family respond to questions on human rights in China with the stock "The games are an opportunity for China to change" answer became tiring and wasn't entirely believable. They would, in my opinion, have been much better coming out and saying "We've got nothing to do with these issues, it's a big sporting festival and for right or for wrong we've decided to host it in Beijing." End of.

Even that answer, though, isn't entirely satisfactory as it doesn't apply to all situations. Tibet has nothing to do with the Olympic movement so giving that answer in response to a question about the protesters would have been fine by me. But when resources are diverted from rural areas because of Olympic infrastrcuture, the Olympic movement has to tread a little more carefully and has a little more responsibility about the effect their party has.

In other words, you have to try to define what the IOC and the Olympic movement are directly responsible for, what effect they can and cannot have on a city (positive and negative). It was all too easy to question the IOC on everything from Tibet to air pollution as if that's their responsibility and as if they really have any say on these issues. But taking the point of view that it's all a huge party and the IOC shouldn't hold any responsibility for a city's actions is taking it too far the other way.

In depth response Rob.

However, I do differ with your view that the IOC should distance themselves from 'issues' and just stand by their choice for whatever reasons they see fit. China of course is a great example - their abysmal human rights record stood in contradiction to the IOC's humanist principles.

On the one hand Jacques Rogge was saying the Olympics were not for the purpose of creating change in China and then on the other he was hailing the Olympic movement for the progress it made in China with regards the loosening of censorship. That is just confusing!

I do feel there should be an emphasis on 'morality' from the IOC. They are willing to ban athletes for taking performance enhancing drugs as it is immoral but not oppose China hosting an Olympic games due to the fact that they made billions out of China.

I think the Olympics are more than a 2 week party. Naturally, cities are willing to bankrupt themselves due to their egoistic natures and the incentive of showing off to the world - so I agree that the IOC has to be careful what their 'party' does to the host nation!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...