It was sad to read that Beijing is returning to what it was prior to the Olympics – back to congested roads and a pall of smog. Actually, short term it may even get worse than prior to the Olympics as factories scramble to ramp up production to make up for lost time.
Already The Chinese Ministry of Environment Protection website recorded Beijing’s air pollution index as having risen to 88 – 38 points above what the World Health Organization deems as being “good”. In comparison, Beijing’s air in August during the Olympics was overall the best of any month for a decade.
I had really hoped that the Olympics, if anything good were able to come out of such a decadent event, would be a turning point for the city and to demonstrate to the rest of the world how rapid change can be made if the need was there – and sustained. The Chinese were very successful in doing so short term, albeit coming at a cost to some of the local people.
I still have a lot of hope for China, they’ve made some incredible advances in utilizing renewable energy (and making it cheaper for other countries to access – I’ve certainly benefited from their cheap solar panels), however issues such as this and the recent milk scandal just help reaffirm the prejudices that people have about the country and it’s environmental commitment.
At least the Olympics did show people in the West that the Chinese people themselves are just like us, with the same fears, hopes and dreams as we have – but aside from that, as usual, the Olympics was just a massive waste of time, energy and resources – more fiddling while Rome (our planet) burns.