If you haven’t heard, 2022’s Winter Olympics are just days away at this point. And in preparation, China is making all the last-minute preparations needed to make sure their hosting of the games goes off without a hitch. And like any winter games host, that means ensuring significant snow cover for things like skiing and snowboarding events.
The only problem is that during this time of year, and really at any point during the year, snow is rather rare in the area of Zhangjiakou, one of the major sites of the 2022 Games. In fact, the Beijing-Zhangjiakou region is rather dry, no matter what season it is, but particularly in winter.
And that means artificial snow is a necessity.
According to geographer Carmen de Jong of the University of Strasbourg, who spoke to Bloomberg, China will need to use estimates of about 2 million cubic meters of water to create the required amount of snow to cover the barren and dry slopes of Zhangjiakou. Just to make sure you understand how much water that is, imagine 800 Olympic-sized swimming pools…
And that doesn’t even begin to count the additional “estimated 49 million gallons of water to create the artificial snow” the city of Beijing will need, according to de Jong’s comments in an article for Treehugger.
But what makes this even more of a disaster is that environmentalists from the Hong Kong-based group China Water Risk say that cover of the Zhangjiakou is already “highly water-stressed.” This means that for at least the 1.4 million residents of the city, as well as some 4.1 million who call the wider prefectural metro area home, water is already scarce.
As Bloomberg reported, residents of the Zhangjiakou district of Chongli, on average, have about one-fifth of the water resources that the rest of China has.
And now, their communist government will take a vast portion of those water supplies and use it to make fake snow… a spokesperson for the Beijing Winter Olympics said that almost 10 percent of the already limited water supplies for the region will be diverted to making all that snow.
Oh, and I might also add that additional water will be needed to pump into the ground so that it freezes and is cold enough to sustain the artificial snow.
As de Jong noted to the outlet, there is “bound to be some impacts” both on the landscape and the people who call the region home. For starters, what happens when all those millions of gallons of snow melt and return to its liquid form? How will the surrounding landscape be affected?
Then again, who says anything about it being allowed to melt.
As Bloomberg reports, China has been making moves to make the greater Zhangjiakou area into a winter tourist destination for some time.
Currently, the surrounding area boasts seven ski resorts, all of which have been put up in the last several years. In 2019, a particularly fast train was put in place to allow travelers from Beijing to make the usually hours-long ride to the area in only 50 minutes. This has increased the site’s popularity and its availability for weekend trips.
And according to the State Sports Administration, the area already sees about 3 million skiing tourists annually.
So the 2022 Winter Games are more of an advertising event for the area than anything else…
This means that all the damage done to the area’s water supplies won’t be done just over the next two weeks or so when the games are scheduled for. Instead, this will be an ongoing thing for the area if it is a successful winter tourist destination, as China has planned.
Now, you’d think all of these environmental abuses would have caused at least one or two major environmental groups, particularly woke ones, to start making a ruckus. But so far, they are all interestingly silent.
Neither does the woke and oh-so-green Biden administration seem to have any concerns about the matter. Instead, all Biden has done is institute a ‘diplomatic boycott’ of the games. Basically, it says that no diplomats, governmental officials, or leaders will be traveling to China to attend the games. And that’s not because of the red nation’s environmental abuse. Instead, it has much more to do with the genocide and human rights abuses China continually commits.