Monday, November 18, 2013

News from China about better environmental protection...maybe.

A Reuters article about new China policies on the environment sounds like good news regarding the tension between economic growth and environmental degradation. The government of China has announced reforms to beef up the Ministry of the Environment's oversight and reduce focus on uncontrolled economic growth.  During our travels across the nation on the 38th parallel, we saw some of the serious pollution problems generated by the nation's recent push to grow, grow, grow.
   The article also mentions the tendency we observed to build grandiose national park structures instead of addressing underlying issues with impacts of development (see our blog from April 28, 2011, "National Parks of Yinchuan, Playgrounds or Preserves?"

   We also interviewed an environmental NGO, "Green Camel Bell" in Lanzhou, where staff struggle to address such issues.  University professor, Zhang Songlin, at Northwest Normal University told us, "In old times, the belief was that if you harm the environment, you would be punished.  Now, increased GDP is the belief."  Professor Songlin was not very hopeful, at that time, but perhaps these 2013 reforms are going to help.
See our blog from May 1, 2011:  "Up the Yellow River to Lanzhou's Green Camel Bell."


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