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China Update

WorldChanging ally Roel Groeneveld links to and updates our post from a few days ago about China's environmental challenge. Groeneveld adds a few more useful and interesting links for those of us interested in China and the environment. Of particular note is a description/review of a four-part series in the Asia Times called The Ruined Land by Jasper Becker, the author of the National Geographic article in our earlier post:

• The Death of China's Rivers
• Peasants Bear the Brunt of China's Energy Plans
• China in an Energy Quandary
• China Awakens to its Devastated Environment

The articles are long; the review link gives good capsule summaries of each. Obviously, these are not inspiring models of doing the right thing. But WorldChanging readers in the West -- particularly the United States -- may be more accustomed to thinking about how bad things are at home, and may not be aware of the scale of the challenge in China. The key 21st century battle to save the planet may well be fought in the Middle Kingdom.

Comments (3)

Stefan Thomas:

Absolutely...and it extends beyond the environment into every facet of socio-economic life here!

Chris Evans:

Anyone interested in more information on China's environmental situation should check out Vaclav Smil, a professor at the University of Manitoba.


Smil has just published a book entitled: "China's Past, China's Future: Energy, Food, Environment" -- he pumps out a tome every year (!), and if this one is any like his others it should be noteworthy.

Alex Steffen:

I read Smil's earlier work in graduate school. He's the leader in the field, alright. Thanks for the pointer to his latest!


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