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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Masks at the Olympics?

U.S. triathlete Jarrod Shoemaker has a decision to make at the opening ceremony of the Olympics next month in Beijing: Should he strap on a mask?

Chinese officials insist the notorious Beijing air will be cleaner by August, making such contraptions unnecessary. Concerned about the pollution, the U.S. Olympic Committee is distributing a high-tech mask, developed in secrecy, to its more than 600 Olympians. If athletes deploy it, they risk insulting the hosts. Then there's the dork factor.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121659379072468809.html?mod=loomia&loomia_si=t0:a16:g18:r1:c0

But today's WSJ always has two viewpoints. They never seem to be able to take a position!

Clear skies, light traffic and silence at some of the city's biggest factories marked the first day of Beijing's last-ditch efforts to provide clean air for the Summer Olympics...

In Beijing alone, the city plans to cut automobile emissions by some 60% by forcing Beijing's 3.3 million cars to run on alternating days based on even- and odd-numbered license plates...

Meanwhile, the city has permanently moved dozens of heavily polluting factories and temporarily shut down dozens more in an effort to clear the skies. Chemical plants, power stations and foundries have to cut emissions by one-third. Construction that causes dust has been ordered stopped...

So far it is difficult to gauge the success or failure of these measures, though Beijing's skies have been unusually clear the past few days...
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121658425327068585.html?mod=A-hed

Here's what really is going to happen. The skies stay clear in Beijing but not in commodities as China shuts down for the next two months.

How tough is that?

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