A new study questions the Beijing government's claims that it can meet pollution targets for the Olympics. From the New York Times:
The study, written by an American environmental consultant, found flaws in Beijing's "Blue Sky" system of air quality monitoring stations and noted that the city changed its method for measuring pollution in 2006. In particular, officials stopped including readings from two stations in polluted areas and began using readings in three other stations in less polluted locales.
Without this switch, Beijing would have fallen far short of its goals in 2006 and 2007 for the number of days that met national air quality standards, according to the study. The study also found that a disproportionate number of days were rated just below the statistical break point that separates a polluted day from one that passes standards. [Full text]
Read an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by Steven Q. Andrews, the author of the study.
[Image: Hostesses for the medal ceremonies for the 2008 Olympics practiced proper posture Wednesday at a school in Beijing, via New York Times]