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.
According to Beijing’s bid to hold the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, the environmental impact of the Games will be “ecofriendly” and “sustainable”. Experts say otherwise: providing snow for events will be tough in a city where “it just doesn’t snow” and “a Martian-like plan” will be needed to create artificial cover. Conservationists worry about moves to build Olympic ski resorts in national parks and protected nature reserves. Ski resorts, meanwhile, require water and lots of it but Beijing doesn’t have water.