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Let’s look at the world through Jacques’ window

August 8, 2008

Hopefully this isn’t just the next in a long line of “The IOC are a motley collection of shysters and crooks” posts, but one more won’t do any harm.

According to a BBC report, the IOC head, Jacques Rogge, this morning “praised Beijing’s extraordinary efforts to cut pollution ahead of the Games”.

Meanwhile this picture, taken earlier today, is similar to what will have greeted his eyes when he threw back his curtains this morning.

Mr Rogge, who is clearly an expert in such matters, had more to say.

“The Chinese authorities have done everything that is feasible and humanly possible to address this situation. What they have done is extraordinary,” Rogge told reporters.

The iconic “Bird’s Nest” National Stadium was barely visible from a few hundred metres (yards) on Thursday.

But Rogge cautioned skeptical media not to be fooled into thinking that automatically meant pollution levels were high.

“The fog you see is based on humidity and heat. It does not mean that this fog is the same as pollution,” he said.

Ah, I see. (Or rather, I don’t.) Take at face value the words of the man saying the exact opposite of what your own eyes are telling you. After all, it’s not like he’s endorsing his paymasters. He’s obviously impartial.

He went on to say that “there would be no danger to the health of athletes”.

Which is odd, as the World Health Organization (WHO) said air quality was still far below its standards.

[The WHO] put levels of particulate matter (PM10) at 191 micrograms per cubic metre. This far exceeds the WHO target of 50 micrograms/cubic metre, and also exceeds the WHO target for developing countries of 150 micrograms/cubic metre.

But who are the WHO? Probably just troublemakers.

The eternally optimistic Mr Rogge rounded off by saying that “China’s efforts to clean up the air around Beijing would ‘continue and have a lasting influence on the climate of Beijing. [..] These are not short-term, one-shot measures. This is going to continue and this is going to have a lasting influence on the climate of Beijing,’ he said.”

Hmm. So they’re never going to let traffic back into the city again? And they’re going to extend those 2 month shutdowns in factories around the city to permanent holidays?

Oh Mr Rogge. Gather up what remaining credibility you can muster, and take your seat in VIP section.

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