Making Beautiful Olympic Memories (cough, cough)

what air pollution looks likeChina has now implemented extra driving restrictions in an attempt to literally clear the air before the start of the Olympic games Aug. 8. This is in addition to both closing and relocating factories, and ordering power plants, chemical plants, and the like to clean up their emissions.

Even so, the U.S.O.C. has issued pollution masks to all 600 U.S. Olympic athletes.

We’ll see how quickly the horrible air quality can be cleaned up based on the Opening Night ceremonies, and outdoor events like the marathon and cycling. Or maybe we won’t, if the Chinese threaten to go all Tiananmen Square on the networks.

Or, maybe, the air really will be clean, after these emergency measures, and the Chinese government won’t have to bother to threaten cameramen and reporters with the Tibet treatment (warning – extremely graphic).

Whichever way this plays out, the generally horrible air quality in places like Beijing ought to open some eyes. And, um, make them really red and itchy. So I’d close them again, if I were you.

Nearly all of the most-polluted places in the world are either in the Third World, or the emerging industrialized world like China and India. This is just a fact, despite what we might read in American newspapers.

So it would really be super keen if those people who constantly complain about American air quality, or American CO2 emissions, or American whatever, could maybe take a look once in a while at pictures like the above. We can see, you know. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that air that looks like volcanic ash might be kinda bad for your lungs.

Our air and water quality is better than ever. And we actually reduced our CO2 emissions in 2006, which will probably make the U.S. the only industrialized nation to do that. Apparently, the act of signing the Kyoto Protocol means, well, nothing. Who knew?

Somehow, this gets turned into “run for the hills, the water is rising, we’re all going to die!”

Mmmm-kay. Listen, you run for the hills, I’m going to cut my grass and then have a nice cold beer when I’m done. Maybe even during. And then I’m going to watch a ballgame.

(via Deadspin)