China Olympics and Air Pollution

Beijing Air Pollution
Beijing After Rain                  Beijing on a Normal Sunny Day


Last night while my son Michael and I were watching some of the Olympics, NBC showed a photo of Beijing with its morning smog.

It did not look like a healthy place to have the Olympics.

And this is after China apparently closed something like 300 heavily polluting factories and has tried to reduce automobile driving by around 50% for the Olympics.

While it seems that China would like to show the world that it has made major economic progress (which it has), its air pollution is showcasing that it has other problems.

Actually, the air pollution problem in China is so bad, that according to a magazine article I read a couple of months ago, that if it continues increasing its air pollution as it has been, in a few years simply the amount of China’s air pollution that makes it all the way across the Pacific ocean will be enough pollution for the State of California to have unhealthy levels of PM10 (particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter) in its air–even if no human lived or contributed to air pollution in California.

Of course, if it can endanger the health of Californians, this means that this is not healthy for its own citizens.  Those who think that the 21st century will belong to China and not for a while to the Europeans are missing the fact that China has problems.  And while they could possibly fix them, thus far that is not apparent.

About a year and a half ago, LCG’s RC Meredith visited China and made this report:

…The Chinese people are very industrious and, on the surface, reasonably happy. But the poor air quality and the polluted water were obvious in the Chinese cities we visited. Especially in Beijing, the government is trying to put its “best face forward” in preparation for the 2008 Olympics. We found Beijing to be more pleasant than Shanghai, however, because there was a little less air pollution and somewhat less crowded conditions…

the tremendous pollution of the water, air and foodstuffs may bring about massive disease epidemics and other problems for the Chinese…

After seeing these various nations and seeing “God’s hand” in world affairs, I am impressed more than ever to pray fervently, “Thy Kingdom come!” (Meredith R.C. An Inspiring and Successful Trip. Living Church News. May-June 2007, p. 21).

You will notice that Dr. Meredith reported that even well before the Olympics, Beijing was less polluted than Shanghai–which means that Shanghai and other parts of China truly have tremendous pollution problems (and not just air pollution, water and land pollution are also significant problems there).

While China hopes to show itself as a major power in the world by hosting the Olympics and winning a lot of Olympic medals, the fact is that unless it figures out how to reduce its air pollution, its citizens will  have health problems that even its new found wealth will not be able to fix.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 1: Genesis and Chinese Characters This article provides information showing that the Chinese peoples must have known about various accounts in the Book of Genesis up until their dispersion after the Tower of Babel.
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 2: The Sabbath and Some of God’s Witness in China When did Christianity first come to China? And is there early evidence that they observed the seventh day sabbath?
Asia in Prophecy What is Ahead for China? Is it a “King of the East”? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese, Russians, and others of Asia? China in prophecy, where?

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