Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Pollution Olympics?

There have been numerous stories discussing China's pollution problems and the Olympics. Many discuss Olympic athlete's worries about air pollution (for example here). Beijing has reacted by taking at least 300000cars off the road.

China's growth has obviously impacted other aspects of environmental quality besides air quality. It appears that high levels of polluted discharges and runoff has threatened Olympic sailing competition. From The International Herald Tribune:
With less than six weeks before it plays host to the Olympic sailing regatta, the city of Qingdao has mobilized thousands of people and an armada of small boats to clean up an algae bloom that is choking large stretches of the coastline and threatening to impede the Olympic competition.
You have to hand it to the Chinese, they really solve problems the old fashioned way - they order lots of people to address the problem!

Media reports estimate that as many as 20,000 people have either volunteered or been ordered to participate in the operation, while 1,000 boats are scooping algae out of the Yellow Sea.
This algae bloom covers more than 5,000 square miles of the Yellow Sea. It appears that, in addition to scooping the algae out, the Chinese will also attempt to wall off the algae. Walls and algae? Sounds like sailing competition will have an added level of difficulty! Now they just need some pirates!

Pictures below are also from The International Herald Tribune. I really like the last picture. Are those wind surfers in the background?

No comments: