As Beijing preps for its first ever Winter Olympics, biologists from around the world have started protesting the location of the downhill event, which they claim will be held in an environmentally sensitive preserve that holds rare species of all sorts. Also, critics claim the venue would violate environmental protection laws that the Chinese government agreed to uphold prior to being selected as the host for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Since the wave of comments flooded the Chinese social media platform Weibo, government officials have deleted many of the comments left by protestors.
The reserve in question, The Songshan National Nature Reserve, includes some of the alpine ski venues, which includes the Downhill venue: the biggest alpine skiing venue of the Olympics.
Nature.com is reporting that a one Wang Xi, who works for the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently “overlaid maps from the International Olympic Committee’s evaluation report with those from the reserve’s website and posted the result on his Weibo account: both the start and end of the alpine runs fall within the reserve.”
Of the rare species in the park, three unique orchids thrive in the reserve and are currently under the highest protection allotted by Beijing’s conservation administration.
“I am not against the Olympic games, but they should be carried out in an environmentally friendly way.”– Wang Xi
Social Media Goes Haywire
- Wang Xi’s post garnered 240,000 hits and was shared over 1,000 times.
- Two days later the post was removed from the social media platform Weibo
- An Entomologist by the name of Yun Ji posted details as to what birds and plant species were threatened by the move on the social media site
- His post was shared over 3,000 times and of one of those shares, was reposted an additional 16,000 times
During the selection process, Chinese officials claimed that the events would be held “adjacent to” the protected reserve but now are saying that the borders of the environmentally sensitive area will be “adjusted,” adding “to provide the necessary space for local sustainable development to promote interaction between ecological protection and economic society.”
Is it just me… or does that sentence include way too many BS buzzwords to mean anything significant or true?