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For many, the 2008 Beijing Olympics are seen as a “coming-out” party for the world’s most populous nation. China is investing billions of dollars in sports venues such as the Bird’s Nest in Beijing, the modernist national stadium currently under construction; subway-line extensions, and other infrastructure improvements to make the games a world-class spectacle. But some wonder whether air pollution will crash China’s Olympic party and focus world attention on deepening environmental problems that threaten the country’s economic growth.
Read the complete article: Will the 2008 Olympics in Beijing Showcase Pollution as Well as World-class Athletes?
Here’s my favorite part:
Pan Yue, vice minister of China’s State Environmental Protection Administration, summed up the problem when he wrote, in a November 2006 commentary republished in the Wall Street Journal, that “China is dangerously near a crisis point” with its environment. A third of China’s people drink substandard water and a third breathe badly polluted air, according to Pan. “True, China has made the kind of economic advances in three decades that required 100 years in Western countries. But China has also suffered a century’s worth of environmental damage in 30 years.”
Growth at Nature’s expense never succeeds.
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