Category Archives: Environment

Privatizing clean air, part II

In an earlier post, I commented on the privatization of clean air as a business model that in effect commodifies what should be a basic right.  Clean air has become the bottled water of China’s 21st century; a once-ubiquitous resource … Continue reading

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Privatizing clean air

As living with toxic air becomes part of people’s mundane daily lives during the winter in northern and central China’s cities, it’s inevitable that the entrepreneurial exuberance of many urban residents will find ways to commodify the right of breathing … Continue reading

Posted in Consumption, Environment, Guizhou, Tourism, Urban China | 1 Comment

As goes China’s coal, so goes the world

The global climate agreement recently reached in Paris establishes a framework for international cooperation on CO2 emission reductions.  It’s an historic step, politically.  Whether or not countries, like the US and China (which together account for the vast majority of … Continue reading

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Photo Essay: choaking on coal

Here’s a remarkable photo essay by Bai Shi and Zhou Yi of a Northeastern coal mining community.  Similarly to The Guardian‘s site featured in my last post, this project reminds us of those who sacrifice the most in maintaining China’s … Continue reading

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The Coal Boom Choaking China

The Guardian has a great website on China’s coal dependence and its consequences.  Check it out here.  Relatedly, the NPC recently passed an amendment to China’s air quality law.  Two somewhat contrasting news reports offer an interesting picture of the … Continue reading

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The fake Olympics redux

Several years back, I wrote a short piece for The China Beat (subsequently revised and published in the volume China in 2008) about all the accusations of fakery that were swirling around the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  … Continue reading

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Another study on the health costs of air pollution in China

Berkeley Earth, a California-based climate science research non-profit, has released a study on the effects of air pollution on mortality in China.  Calling China’s air pollution “the greatest environmental catastrophe in the world today,” the study claims that 17% of … Continue reading

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Under the Dome: China’s ‘Silent Spring’ moment flickers and fades

It seemed too good to be true.  When former CCTV anchor Chai Jing’s 104-minute self-produced documentary “Under the Dome” was initially posted it clearly struck a nerve.  In the first 48 hours of its posting on Tencent, it received over … Continue reading

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More on the ivory trade: China announces a one-year ban

Magnus Fiskesjo (Cornell University and NYU-Shanghai) recently posted this update on H-Asia on the recent announcement of a one-year moratorium on ivory imports in China.  Also, a New York Times report on it can be found here.  The report is … Continue reading

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More on the ivory trade in China: can elephants be saved by shanzhai ivory? Probably not.

The latest issue of the journal Biological Conservation features a study by Gao Yufang and Susan Clark, both of Yale University, on the trends and drivers of the ivory trade in China.  One of their most interesting arguments is that … Continue reading

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