Tonight, on the eve of the long-awaited Beijing 2008 Olympics, grand thunderstorms blanket the uplifted teeth of the city, and rain washes down their soot-stained flanks. Here in Chongqing we are far to the south and west of Beijing, center of tomorrow's festivities, and I am thankful for that. The hoopla that city will undergo for the next few weeks is their fun and their sorrow. I can enjoy it vicariously through the TV, the new articles I read, and the enjoyment or frustrations of my students.
I look out over the darkened city, silvery gusts of rain descending like curtains along the street below my window. People, like beetles, scurry before its wrath. I wonder if this is a natural storm, or if the scientists have seeded the clouds over China with silver iodide to cause this sudden downpour. The officials of the CCP had threatened to do as much, funded experimentation recently into such technologies for weather modification, just in case nature decided to rebuke their attempts at a "most perfect" Olympics. A rainstorm over a Chinese city has the decidedly wonderful affect of clearing the skies over the cityscape of pollution for several days. I've seen this often, here in Chongqing. The day after a thunderstorm usually showing unusually blue, clear skies. Then day after day the smog gradually returns to rule its dominion.
Recent reports of humid, smoggy days settling in over Beijing may well have prompted such actions.
Will a fresh, new day dawn over Beijing tomorrow? Or will darker events ensue. Stay tuned....