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The question of air quality at Beijing has assumed center stage as the Summer Olympics start in less than 10 days. Athletes are worried that the air quality will affect performance. Every fraction of a second counts for athletes at the Olympics and many athletes are planning to arrive hours before their events to avoid performance issues that may arise due to poor air quality. The Chinese authorities, on their part have closed down air polluting factories and have taken millions of cars off the road and if necessary will take all cars off the road if necessary.
The focus on air pollution at the games will bring attention to air quality issues worldwide and that is a great thing. Some years ago New Delhi’s air was unbreathable and then the Delhi Transport Corporation decided to convert all buses to compressed natural gas (CNG) and things improved dramatically. Taxis, auto rickshaws and many cars also moved to natural gas or the more riskier liquid petroleum gas (LPG) partly because of laws but mainly motivated by significant lower costs.
I guess cities worldwide will take a cue from the Beijing situation as will industry. This is a good time to examine air pollution issues in whatever organization’s buy,produce or sell. Whatever reduction one can do will be good for business and the environment. A Win WIn !
Winning brings us back to Beijing and I am sure this will be a great Olympics as they open at 8.08 pm on 8-8-08 as this blog started counting about a year ago.