Saturday, May 3

Red Dragon Breathes Fire At The Summit Of Mount Everest

The Beijing Olympic slogan proudly proclaims “One World One Dream.” According to them it reflects the essence and the universal values of the Olympic spirit and the core and soul of the three concepts -- "Green Olympics, High-tech Olympics and People's Olympics.”

I have absolutely no problems with what they have stated above, except for a tiny thought gnawing away at my conscience. It has to do with the term “Green Olympics.”

China is pulling out all stops with respect to the massive PR exercise involving a 50 member team that will take the Olympic Torch to the summit of Mount Everest. It is sad to see that most of the newspapers are focusing on the political issue revolving around the ethnicity of the climbers. Does any one care about the fragile ecosystem surrounding the world’s highest peak?

The pristine environment surrounding the peak has been constantly battered by the pollution and garbage left behind the climbers. Since it was first climbed in 1953 by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, Everest has been climbed more than 3,000 times.

Since then it has been reported that about 50 tonnes of rubbish has been strewn across the mountain.

For China it might seem as the ultimate statement to show case grandeur by taking the torch to the summit. But what about the after effects of 50 climbers climbing the mountain accompanied by a huge media contingent. What about all the gas they are going to burn to keep themselves warm in the tents? What about all the oxygen cylinders that are going to be left behind? The very concept of taking a flame to the summit beats the idea of conserving the ecosystem of a niche environment found at the Everest. When they are at it they might even make a huge bonfire at the peak and dance around it, for they care two hoots about preserving the fragile ecosystem.

Did some one say “Green Olympics?” I can only see a giant fire breathing dragon looking down with impunity from the summit of Mount Everest.

Source: The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games,, The Guardian

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