With 999 days to go, the Beijing Olympics’ official mascots have been chosen. There was much debate over who should be the mascot. Hot favourites were the Tibetan Antelope and the Monkey King, with the King finally being cast aside, and the Antelope finally joining the bunch of five.
Like the Five Olympic Rings from which they draw their color and inspiration, the Five Friendlies will serve as the Official Mascots of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, carrying a message of friendship and peace — and blessings from China — to children all over the world. Designed to express the playful qualities of five little children who form an intimate circle of friends, the Five Friendlies also embody the natural characteristics of four of China’s most popular animals — the Fish, the Panda, the Tibetan Antelope, the Swallow — and the Olympic Flame.
Our ever-reliable pals over on CCTV 9 informed us that the mascots were chosen to demonstrate China’s devotion to human harmony with nature. We thought that this was a somewhat bold claim — made just a week after satellite data revealed Beijing as the world’s most polluted capital. The good news is that the Chinese government have pledged an influx of investment into renewable energy.
The Chinese government will raise about 180 billion US dollars to develop renewable energy from now to 2020, said a senior official at the Beijing International Renewable Energy Conference that opened here Monday. By then, the share of renewable energy in primary energy consumption will stand at 15 percent, rising from the current seven percent, said Zhang Guobao, vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission.
Some have scoffed that 15 percent is not enough, as the country will still rely heavily on coal, but we think that it’s a good start, and surely a sign of more renewable development to be made in the near future.