Man vs. Man and Nature at the Beijing Olympics

The Chinese think they can keep it from raining on the National Stadium during the Olympics.

The Chinese Weather Modification Office employs nearly 53,000 people — it would have been simpler to just build the stadium with a roof.

But mandating that the Chinese people cease and desist may prove an easier task for the Chinese government than telling Mother Nature what to do.

To reduce pollution, there will be a two-month construction ban and heavily polluting industries will be shut down — unless the Tibetan monks foil the plans of the Chinese officials by running gas powered leaf blowers in Beijing around the clock.

(HT: Spectre.)


maybe not two months! latest word in beijing is construction hiatus to begin july 20th - twenty days before the start of the summer games. i'll be surprised if construction stops much before august 8th. in 2006 the government said construction would stop as of january 1, 2008. there are a million people in beijing supported by some 400,000 construction workers; that is an awful lot of people put out of work for any longer than necessary. much of beijing's pollution comes from outside the city and collects over the city which is ringed by mountains on all but the south. only a stiff wind will keep the skies "clear" for the olympics.


Hi. Would it be possible for you to release one of your recent photographs into the public domain or under terms and conditions of GNU Free Documentation License for use on your Wikipedia article?




China has a lot of people. Now they know what to do with 53,000 of them for several more months. They were probably less expensive than building the roof and lighting the interior...

Nuclear Mom

OK, what the Chinese are doing sounds amusing, but I'm in Southern California. Remember the '84 Olympics, when L.A. moved heaven and earth (and begged employers to stagger starting times) to reduce traffic? In fact, it worked and traffic was GREAT during the Olympics. That spirit of cooperation to solve the problem didn't last though.

If L.A. can fix the traffic, maybe the Chinese can persuade their citizens to (as I read in the LA Times) stop spitting, cursing and cutting in line.

Hope the no cutting in line lasts longer than the free-flowing traffic in L.A.!


Well, here is another event that the Chinese forgot to take into account in their preparation for the Olympics. Central planning ignores extraneous events like this and works on the assumption that everything can be controlled.