Blue Sky Olympics

I’m on deadline today and tomorrow, so – barring a self-destructive blogging indulgence – I won’t be posting again until the weekend. For now, allow me to recommend Caijing‘s superb feature on the ongoing effort to clean-up Beijing’s air in advance of 8-8-8, “Beijing Battles for a Blue-Sky Olympics.” This is the best accumulation of…

Jiading’s Buddhists Go Green

One of the more interesting recent developments in Chinese religious policy is an increasingly frequent official acknowledgment that religion has a role to play in the building of Hu Jintao’s “harmonious society.” Interesting because, for the first time since the 1940s, a Chinese government is acknowledging a positive role – albeit a limited one –…

Tons Better? Beijng’s Olympic Air Quality Revisited

Yesterday, with little notice, the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau released its final report on the city’s August 17 – 20 test of traffic and air pollution control measures in advance of the Olympics (mostly accomplished by pulling cars from Beijing’s busy roads). No actual air quality statistics were provided in the Xinhua report published by…

China’s Recycling Economy … Defined! Sort of.

China Daily is reporting that China’s draft “circular economy” law has been submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (danwei reports that the Beijing News is also carrying it). As a translation, “circular economy” is not only awkward, it is also regularly substituted by “Recycling Economy” and “Sustainable Economy.” For the purpose…

Worker’s Holiday, Summer of 2008?

Finally, it seems, the various international and national Olympic committees are beginning to take notice of Beijing’s significant pollution and its likely impact upon the athletes. As James Fallows of the Atlantic has been pointing out in his blog, interested observers have long assumed that the Chinese government has “a last-minute, draconian plan” to deal…

Shouldn’t This Be Bigger News?

A chilling item from Xinhua, the Chinese state-run news agency, reports that flooding along the Yangtse River will soon crest at the Three Gorges Dam. According to the report, current inflows into the dam’s reservoir already exceed the amount of water that the dam itself can disgorge, and those inflows are expected to increase. Can…

Greenpeace Gone Wild.

Since its inception in 1971, Greenpeace has enjoyed an almost unassailable reputation as an environmental crusader that answers to no one but the many individual green-tinted donors who support it. According to the organization’s website: Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organization. We do not accept money from government or corporations. That’s why our financial supporters…

E-Scrap in China: A Personal Perspective

Over the last five years I’ve published several articles that addressed China’s long-standing trade in imported first-world electronic scrap and other high-tech trash. It’s a fascinating topic, with multiple facets, none more interesting (to me, at least) than the willingness of American, Japanese, and European scrap processors to send hazardous materials to China in violation…

With Headlines Like These …

The Pearl River runs through the heart of South China’s manufacturing wonderland, and along the way it not only picks up barge traffic, it also picks up sewer drainage and discharge from hundreds, if not thousands, of factories. Anyone who has ever stood on its banks – and I have, many times – can attest…