Beijing Olympics, Air pollution and Human Rights in China

This morning I was following up news in BBC and found one interesting and important article about the protest of around 2000 Tibetans (who knows all of them are Tibetans?) against Chinese policy on Tibet on the eve of the opening of summer Olympic. The activists wanted to attract maximum attention on their demand.

Summer Olympics 2008 is going to be started in less than 24 hours in Beijing, the capitol city of China. In addition to the players and game officials, leaders from the world including George W Bush, president of USA and Musharraf, president of Pakistan with other thousands people have gone to Beijing to see the Olympics games. At least, before the opening ceremony, news about Olympics is in shadow of Human right issue and Air pollution issue in China in international media. George W Bush when was on the way to China has expressed deep concerns over China's human rights record. "The US believes the people of China deserve the fundamental liberty that is the natural right of all human beings, he said in the Thai capital, Bangkok" , according to BBC news.

Along with human right issue, there is a big concern about the air pollution in Beijing. Because of rapid growth of Chinese economy and use of large amount of coal and other fuels for power, pollution in China is a great concern to the people and government of China, other countries and scientists around the world.

Science magazine, a reputed scientific magazine, published a special issue on first August about Beijing's air pollution. This shows the importance of the air pollution in scientific community. Not only in scientific circle but also in common people, its a matter of curiosity how China is tackling to mitigate the pollution. My adviser Prof. Staci Simonich is recently quoted in various print media, radio and television channels. She is in Beijing to collect air samples before and during Beijing Olympics. The result of this research will show how effective was the measures used to reduce air pollution. A comparison will be done on the concentrations of various Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) before the Olympic and during the Olympics. These pollutants are produced from burning coal, wood, vehicular emission. Other main pollutants in Beijing are sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide, and particulate matter less than 10 micrometers in diameter (PM10). Chinese government has done tremendous effort to improve air quality since 2001. They relocated coal fueled factories, coal furnaces in tens of thousands of houses were converted into gas furnaces. This effort has become a big scientific experiment in terms of air quality improvement in the cities like Beijing.

some links about Beijing air pollution during Olympics

USA Today Gazette Times OSU news OPB News


Listen on wbur.org here and now

Wall Street Journal
Associate Press (AP) NorthWest Public Radio

Los Angels Times MSNBC

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