Jun 23, 2008

Green Olympics

There used to be a nice little grove of trees near the Wudaokou light rail station. The patch of green trees was a nice contrast to the greyness of the city. I was rather disappointed to walk by recently and see that the city had clearcut the whole bunch of trees down. Take a look:

Before:


After:


Real bummer, isn't it? I can't imagine what was going through the minds of whatever government planning committee is responsible for that particular patch of land. I picture a generic boardroom, filled with anonymous-looking fifty year-old Chinese men, sipping from white ceramic teacups with little white covers, smoking Zhongnanhai brand cigarettes.

I imagine a meeting that probably went something like this:









Some local friends have speculated that the destruction of this patch of trees was a temporary move. They expect that the trees will be replaced soon, after whatever impending construction project is completed. I really hope this is true.

These days, Beijing certainly needs less of some things. It needs less dust, less littering, and less expectorating. However, one thing it doesn't need less of is trees and grass.

[Chinese version of this post]

[Credit: before photo]

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