Friday, January 04, 2008


China's environmental degradation has accelerated, and its environmental sustainability index is near the bottom among the countries of the world, say Jianguo Liu and Jared Diamond:
Changing the development model requires changes in attitudes toward the environment. Many people still hope that the path followed by developed countries (pollute first, control later) will work for China, but that hope is risky because China suffers from two new disadvantages: Natural resources are more limited today, and fewer countries accept pollution transfers. Even if pollution can be controlled later, we foresee that many plant and animal species that provide essential ecosystem services to humans...will become extinct. Furthermore, environmental impacts on human health and socioeconomic well-being will be much greater, as China's population is now much larger than the populations of developed countries when they suffered severe air and water pollution.
Part of the good news, they say, is that:
Environmental awareness has been increasing among China's populace. The public demands the right to speak out about environmental issues and to be engaged in environmental actions
-- from Revolutionizing China's Environmental Protection.

See too China, coal, and the U.S. economy.

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