You go first… no you go first! One might imagine this kind of bickering taking place near the swings during recess, but at a gathering of world leaders? According to PBS’s Thirteen/WNET, that is exactly what is happening at this year’s G8 discussions.
China and India say it is up to the developed world — the biggest polluters — to take the lead in the fight against climate change. But President Bush has said that developing nations must also sign on to make any global deal work.
Last year, China was already on track to pass US as the biggest source of greenhouse gases on the planet, so the question of which country is more at fault in the race to melt the icecaps seems like a bit of a moot point.
Meanwhile, with only a month left to go until the opening ceremony, the Chinese officials are almost ready to throw their hands up and surrender to the pollution levels in Beijing.
Du Shaozhong, deputy director of Beijing’s Environmental Protection Bureau, said: “We made a commitment to ensure air quality for the Olympic Games . . . as for whether we have reached the goal, that will be examined after the event.”
Haile Gebrselassie, the world’s leading long-distance runner, is not waiting to find out. Rather than take any chances, he’s already withdrawn from the marathon. The IOC, however, clearly does not regret its decision, claiming that China has set the gold standard in preparedness for the upcoming games. So perhaps this will be the first, but not the last, Olympics held in China. There’s always Shanghai, where at least on many days the sky is bluer.
Photo by Dana Smith