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How sustainable are the Olympics amidst artificial snow?

The artificial snow on the hills of Yanqing and Zhangjiakou is emblematic of the discussion about the sustainability of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Amidst barren brown landscapes, slopes and trails shine like a network of laser beams in the pitch black. Beijing may not be the first host city to create snow in winter, instead of shoveling it. But rarely has the political component been so important in the discussion about sustainability as in China’s case.

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