The Washington Post looks at how the government’s failure to be transparent about pollution figures in Beijing is worrying Olympics planners:
Beijing officials preparing for the Games point proudly to a state-of-the-art control room that measures pollutants at 27 monitoring stations around the city. They say they are adding subway lines and have moved many factories out of town. And in a four-day experiment in August that could be a model for action during the Games, officials eliminated more than a million cars from the city’s streets by ordering motorists with odd- and even-numbered license plates to drive on alternate days.
But critics point to evidence of their own: Beijing does not regularly measure or evaluate some serious pollutants, including ozone and some types of fine particulate matter that can easily be inhaled deep into the lungs. Meanwhile, they have refused to publicly release figures on the amount of pollutants at any given location, such as the Olympic Village or Tiananmen Square, preferring to stick with a citywide average. [Full text]
On a related topic, see CDT’s translation, “China to Start Pollutant Sources Census“.