Hugh Pickens writes "With the Olympics due to start in less than three weeks, Beijing is cranking up antipollution measures by yanking cars off the roads, expanding mass transit and staggering work hours in a bid to meet its pledge of a 'green' Olympics. Beijing has gone on a spending spree, relocating factories, seeding clouds, retiring old vehicles, planting millions of trees and halting building construction amid concerns that athletes and visitors could suffer breathing problems. For the next two months, owners of 3.3 million private cars can drive only on alternate days in China's capital, based on whether the last digit of their license plates is even or odd. Environmental and sports performance experts have cast doubt on the effectiveness of the measures taken so far. 'Arguably these are all short-term measures, just designed to control air quality for the time when the Olympics are on,' says Dr Andy Jones. Dr Angus Hunter warned that athletes are at risk for low performance if the air quality cannot be brought down to acceptable levels. 'Average times could be lower and the chances of records being broken become less. It's a bit like trying to exercise in a room when the gym is full of smokers.'"