Beijing: Enough snow for 2022 Winter Olympics

Mojca Ogris-Schimberg, a senior manager at Demaclenko, a snowmaking machine manufacturing company, says that the climate and geographic conditions around downtown Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou are good for producing artificial snow. [Photo/CNTV]

Now that Beijing has won the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, talk has moved from the problem of snow in a city distinctive for its arid climate, sandstorms and perpetual lack of water, to the virtues of artificial snow (despite the amount of water fake snow takes to manufacture). Meanwhile, a long-long range weather forecast, conducted by the city’s meteorological bureau, predicts natural snowfall is likely to increase in the areas slated for competition action in seven years’ time.

China’s unspeakable consensus

“The Three Gorges Dam must be dismantled, and China’s political system must be changed,” writes veteran Chinese journalist Xiao Shu in this piece first published by the Taipei-based online news site, Storm Media. “To a great extent,” the author continues, “the Three Gorges Dam is the most apt metaphor for China’s political system.” A significant must-read.

China’s gloomy future

China’s increasing financial and economic assertiveness suggests its star is only set to rise on the world stage and that has prompted some major swagger on the part of its leaders. Swagger the nation’s long-term view doesn’t warrant. Commentary by John Robson.

A taxing new era

As foreign aid dries up in the age of austerity, low-income countries are being asked more and more to generate their own funds for development. One recommendation is taxation. Taxes produce revenue and taxed citizens are more likely to hold their governments to account for how development funds are spent. Developing countries say rich nations need to pay their share of taxes too.

Silence of the dammed

Among the conflicting opinions over hydroelectric development of the Mekong River Basin, one voice seems to be missing, writes longtime development worker and researcher JeeRung: the local communities of Laos directly affected. She breaks down why.