Rio’s ‘Sustainable’ Olympics Are Just Lipstick On A Pig

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Rio, August 2nd 2016, Getty Images

Am I too late to suggest a symbol for tonight’s Rio Olympics opening ceremony?

I do hope not because it’s an absolute cracker which I’m sure will grab attention across the world and capture the mood and spirit of the host city quite perfectly.


OK – so it’s a severed arm floating in a sea of brown, with five dead fish (a red, blue, black, yellow and green one) arranged in the shape of the Olympic rings.

Yes, it may sound like a sick joke. But I fear it’s a horribly accurate one for the various water sports competitors. I gather that the British teams, for example, have spent the last three years ingesting a Mithridatium of increasingly deadly microbes in order to prepare their immune systems for the horrors awaiting them in places like Rio’s Guanabara Bay where the sailing events are due to take place.

“Foreign athletes will literally be swimming in human crap, and they risk getting sick from all those microorganisms,” said Dr. Daniel Becker, a local pediatrician who works in poor neighborhoods. “It’s sad but also worrisome.”

An AP investigation last year found that Brazil’s waterways had microbe levels up to 1.7 million times what would be considered hazardous on a Southern Californian beach.

Copacabana beach, meanwhile – though still an excellent place to pick up a ladyboy while humming your favourite Barry Manilow classic – is perfectly useless if you want to cool off. Only locals have immune systems capable of dealing with seas into which Rio continues to pump its raw sewage.

Wouldn’t this all be embarrassing if Rio De Janeiro were in some way related to the city which hosted the near-legendary 1990 Rio Earth Summit – the event which pretty much launched the entire modern green movement and set the world on the path towards “sustainability” with its Agenda 21?

No, wait. It is.

Brazil has had over six years to prepare itself for these Olympics during which time it appears to have done precisely zilch to bring itself up to vaguely first world standards. It’s what it promised it would do when it applied to become the first South American city to host the games.

In its 2009 bid for these Games, Brazil pledged to spend $4 billion to clean up 80 percent of the sewage that flows untreated into the bay. In the end, the state government spent just $170 million, citing a budget crisis, officials said.

$170 million out of a promised $4 billion? Even by Sochi Winter Olympics or South American banana republic standards, that represents a pretty impressive degree of corruption, wastage and mismanagement.

But the bigger take-home message, for me, is what this tells us about the utter absurdity of the global environment industry and the vast gulf that exists between its stated ambitions and pathetic real achievements.

It’s not often I find myself in agreement with a George-Soros-funded green propaganda sheet. But Think Progress is absolutely right to be disgusted by what has been allowed to happen in Rio.

In its analysis, it blames Rio’s flamboyant, handsome mayor Eduardo Paes for promising so much and delivering so little:

As Paes’ accepts awards, chairs networks, and gives TED talks about sustainability, he oversees a city where, for decades, raw waste has polluted public water and gridlocked traffic has spewed pollution into the air. The 2016 Olympics were billed as “Green Games for a Blue Planet” during the bidding process, aimed at catalyzing the city’s transition into a 21st-century haven of sustainability both environmental and social. Instead, the leadup to the games has become somewhat of a nightmare for organizers, as venues are contaminated with garbage, transit projects remain unfinished, and the state of Rio is in the midst of a financial crisis.

What Think Progress doesn’t understand – how could it? – is that glib shysters like Eduardo Paes are in fact just a symptom of the corruption and hypocrisy inherent in the global environmental scam: all grand gestures and airy promises whose sole purpose is to tell gullible eco-loons in the West what they want to hear while doing nothing to address any real problems.

Here’s a perfect example:

Yep. The Olympic athletes may be swimming in shit. But the important thing is that a cute athlete has put on a t-shirt endorsing a pointless campaign to stop the world’s temperature rising by more than 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels – even though there’s no evidence that this is a desirable aim, still less any evidence that it is humanly possible.

Meanwhile, tourists suffering from the Zika virus and athletes nursing their antibiotic-resistant forms of disgusting lurgey may be encouraged to know that despite Rio’s local environmental problems, its mayor is totally at the forefront of the much more important global struggle to combat climate change.

Paes is head of the C40 Cities initiative – “a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change. C40 supports cities to collaborate effectively, share knowledge and drive meaningful, measurable and sustainable action on climate change.”

You want to know more about this fascinating initiative? Here’s more.

Cities are where the future happens first. The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group connects more than 80 of the world’s greatest cities, representing 600 million people and one quarter of the global economy. Created and led by cities, C40 is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, wellbeing and economic opportunities of urban citizens. Working across multiple sectors and initiative areas, C40 convenes networks of cities providing a suite of services in support of their efforts, including: direct technical assistance; facilitation of peer-to-peer exchange; and research, knowledge management & communications. C40 is also positioning cities as a leading force for climate action around the world, defining and amplifying their call to national governments for greater support and autonomy in creating a sustainable future.

Now do you understand why Rio is mired in raw sewage, swarming with deadly mosquitos and stuck with a third world infrastructure?

Because it’s far, far too busy doing the really, really important stuff. Like facilitating peer-to-peer exchange. And demanding greater support and autonomy in creating a sustainable future. And tackling climate change. Get it?


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