Saturday, July 26, 2008

Beijing's Generating Real Air Pollution, Not Just Food for its Vegetation (CO2)

Peace & Freedom Blog just posted a story about the escalating pollution in Beijing as 888 (August 8. 2008) approaches. Here is an excerpt from Olympics: Air Pollution Reduction Measures Are In Place But (OOPS!) Pollution Is Increasing:

Some Olympic-class runners here for training are heading for home. One told our Hongli Jia, “I would love to have a gold medal. But in this I cannot perform.”

“I wouldn’t expect a world record in the marathon in Beijing,” says Marco Cardinale, a doctor who advises the British Olympic Committee. “The issue isn’t just air quality, but the combination of heat, humidity and bad air.”

Many athletes didn’t come to Beijing to train because of the bad air.

“There is no other reason but to stay out of the pollution. It’s definitely to avoid the air,” said Reed, who if he qualifies will be training with the other U.S. triathletes on South Korea’s Cheju island. “This air [in Beijing] is just so terrible for your body.”

Here is some of the Washington Post’s report by Maureen Fan in Beijing:

While uncontrollable factors such as the weather have worked against the city, many problems are entirely man-made. The largest contributing factor to Beijing’s air pollution is vehicle emissions, Du has said in the past. Thanks to growing public demand and friendly government policies toward car manufacturers, Beijing adds more than 1,000 cars to its streets every day.

Despite the new figures, Du argued that the capital’s air quality was actually better compared with the same period last year because the concentrations of major pollutants — such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide — were reportedly down 20 percent.

Beijing does not make public data on two of the most dangerous pollutants that can harm the respiratory system — ozone and fine particulate matter. The latter has been found to enter the bloodstream and cause heart attacks and strokes in sensitive individuals.

In a last-minute push to help clear the skies, the government imposed a series of Olympic-related restrictions that kicked in Sunday.

In addition to mandating alternate-day driving based on odd and even license plate numbers — which is supposed to remove 45 percent of the city’s 3.3 million cars from the streets — Beijing opened Olympic traffic lanes, stopped all but essential truck traffic, staggered work hours, added 2,000 buses, beefed up subway service and halted all construction work involving earth, stone and concrete.

Since Sunday, the city’s air pollution index readings have been 55, 65, 67, 89, 113 and 110. Last Aug. 8, a year before next month’s opening ceremony, Beijing’s air pollution index was 88.

No wonder the Communist Chinese are not much concerned about carbon emissions, they have literally tons and tons of particulate pollution and ozone to deal with. These are real pollutants that may not warm the planet but threaten to bring millions of Chinese and others to room temperature prematurely.

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