Forests and Grasslands

We’ve officially had ten (yes TEN!) sandstorms this spring here in Beijing.  Naturally, with the Olympics coming up–just over two years from now—there is a bit of rising anxiety over what might happen should a sandstorm hit the city during the games.  This has been a topic of concern and conversation in the media here the past few weeks.

But not to worry.  The forests and grasslands are being mobilized.  Today the head of China’s Desertification Prevention and Treatment Department of the State Forestry Administration issued a statement to try to put everyone’s mind at ease.  He released statistics on the results of aforestation projects in the provinces surrounding Beijing, saying that the amount of land covered by forest and grass has increased by 30%. 

Obviously, however, he thinks it’s a matter of will and dedication, not on the part of the people, but on the part of the grass and forests, because he made this statement: "It’s high time for the forests and grasslands to play their roles in the 2008 Olympic Games." Come on, grass and trees.  Get with it.  You’re part of the motherland as well and if you don’t stop the sand, we’ll all lose face!

Politicians say the darndest things.  You can read the entire article here.