Beijing officials are again touting the massive improvements in air quality in the last 10 years. This drumbeat of positive news was thrown into question last month by the revelation that officials had changed the rules of the game by moving the measuring stations for air quality to less polluted areas.
But few people mention what would have been the simplest solution for the Olympics: If the powers that be had just moved the games back three weeks, the likelihood of nice weather would have gone up greatly. Anyone who has spent an extended period in Beijing knows that September invariably has many beautiful days with warm weather and crystal blue skies, whereas in early August the city is still trapped under a windless dome of overcast skies and stifling humidity that I believe has something to do with the Asian monsoon. But party officials, far too rational for superstition, had to open the games on the auspicious date of 8/8/08 (at 8:08 p.m.), so that the spirits would smile upon the games, seasonal weather patterns be damned.
Luke @ 12:14 | .(1866) |
Obama says the U.S. has to lead on Global Warming if it expects China and India to get serious about carbon emissions:
Luke @ 16:54 | .(214) |
American Fullbright Scholar "Sustainable John" and his Chinese partner Shane Zhao, are doing a series of videos and blog on the environment in China. In their latest episode they get funky on the topic of transportation in Beijing. I prefer "Rooftop Revolution", the video they did on rooftop solar water heaters, China's most widely adopted green technology. China leads the world by a wide margin in this type of solar power, according to the video. U.S. citizens, your tax dollars at work through the Fullbright program:
Luke @ 12:33 | .(2209) |
Sexy Beijing's latest episode, "Hong Kong or Beijing," is currently featured on the front page of Youtube! Screengrab below:
Luke @ 15:02 | .(1714) |
In Qingdao over the Chinese New Year holiday, I ducked into a movie theater to escape the arctic winds, and was surprised to see that the recently banned movie "Lost in Beijing" (苹果) was playing alongside the latest Stephen Chow and Jay Chow blockbusters. While the hot new movies were occupying the main screens, "Lost in Beijing" was tucked into one the cinema's lu xiang ting (录象厅) a sort of DVD screening room with only a couple dozen seats. The banned film's title and screening times were prominently displayed above the ticket booth along with the rest of the offerings. While certainly not a high-profile defiance of Beijing's ban of the film, it is an indication of how much harder it is to maintain control in this digital era. I wonder how many other theaters in the provinces are still screening "Lost in Beijing" and if the authorities even care. Of course, the uncensored pirate DVD version has been continually available throughout the censorship and banning process, showing that there are many levels to this control game. I didn't buy a ticket to see whether the theater in Qingdao was showing the censored or uncensored version.
For a great summary of the reactions of the filmmakers and critics to the banning of "Lost in Beijing" last month, check out Joel Martinsen's in depth post at Danwei.org.
Luke @ 16:52 | .(1007) |
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