Environment

07.06.17

Industrial Energy Efficiency Can Improve Air Quality

from chinadialogue
Despite extensive efforts by the Chinese government to improve air quality, including the introduction of the State Council’s “Ten Measures” Action Plan and implementation of regional air quality control measures, air pollution recently worsened in...

Environment

11.16.16

The Future of Public Interest Litigation in China

from chinadialogue
China has seen a rapid growth in environmental public interest legal challenges since January 2015, when a revised version of the Environmental Protection Law (EPL) came into effect. Nearly 100 lawsuits have been filed by both NGOs and public...

China Officials Stuff Cotton Gauze into Air Monitoring Equipment to Falsify Results

Neil Connor
Telegraph
The environmental officials had also tampered with computers to alter the results of pollution monitoring in the northern city of Xi’an

China Air Quality Study Has Good News and Bad News

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
PM 2.5 levels in five key cities declined in the past three years, but are still above WHO's upper safety limit...

Conversation

03.11.16

Is China Doing Enough for the Environment?

Deborah Seligsohn, Angel Hsu & more
This week, at their biggest annual session in Beijing, Chinese lawmakers are expected to ratify the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan, which contains many new measures to address rampant pollution of the country’s air, soil, and water. Will the plan be...

Green Space

12.22.15

Nu River Saved, Jack Ma Buys Preservation Land

Michael Zhao
A great piece of news came from China on the night of December 16, that the Yunnan provincial government in southwest China has announced its decision to not develop hydro-electric projects on the Nu River, also known as the Salween (link in Chinese...

Media

12.15.15

The Proletariat Experience of Beijing’s Airpocalypse

On December 8, a Tuesday, a man surnamed Cao piloted his electric scooter along Beijing’s profoundly hazy streets, parking in front of one towering apartment complex after another to deliver packages. Although the government had just issued a “red...

Green Space

12.15.15

China is ‘Rational’ Leader on Climate Change, Says Retired NASA Scientist James Hansen

Michael Zhao
James Hansen, retired NASA scientist and “father of climate change awareness,” believes China, the world’s largest CO2 emitter, will now step up to provide the carbon emissions reduction leadership lacking from the U.S., according to a Guardian...

Green Space

12.11.15

Tiananmen Police Don Smog Masks, Wind Makes or Breaks the Blue Sky

Michael Zhao
Now that Beijing has had its first red alert since institutionalizing its smog alert system in 2013, it was news when the special forces who guard Tiananmen Square were seen, for the first time, wearing face masks to protect them from the smog, too...

Green Space

12.08.15

Smog Strike Round II

Michael Zhao
Not surprisingly, smog yet again strikes back in much of China. Using the automatic weapon of our archive of daily photos of three of China’s major cities, I’d like to share a flashback of Beijing’s air quality throughout the month of November,...

Why Pollution is Good for China

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
I am a member of a martial arts group that performs at annual temple fairs around Beijing. Half of our group are children, and almost without fail they meet at a park on the west side of town at around three in the afternoon to practice fighting...

Green Space

12.03.15

Smog and Imagination

Michael Zhao
The last few days of November, air pollution was back in the headlines and social media feeds of millions of Chinese. Here are a few highlights:The creative WeChat post “Beijing Smog: Use Your Imagination When You Go Out,” shows a series of photos...

China Will close 150 Factories to Make Sure Shanghai Disneyland Has Blue Skies

Steve Mollman
Quartz
What will Disneyland with Chinese characteristics look like?

Caixin Media

03.03.15

Can Market Mechanisms Clear China’s Air?

The Chinese government recently responded to rising public discontent over environmental degradation by introducing tougher rules for industrial emissions.Meanwhile, a non-governmental organization and a state-run newspaper are coordinating a...

Environment

11.26.14

The People’s Republic of Chemicals

from chinadialogue
The name of China is almost obscured by a grey smudge on the title page of The People’s Republic of Chemicals, and this image proves to be apt.  This book examines the crisis caused by toxic&...

Sinica Podcast

10.17.14

China Daddy Issues

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
We’ve all heard about the difficulty of finding good schools in China, and know first hand about the food and air safety problems. But what about the terrors of pedestrian crossings, the dilemmas of how much trust you should inculcate in your kids,...

Sinica Podcast

06.06.14

Rice, Wheat, and Air Filters

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, we're delighted to be joined by Thomas Talhelm, Ph.D. candidate in psychology at the University of Virginia and author of a recent paper proposing a fascinating connection between rice and wheat-growing communities, and...

Sinica Podcast

05.03.14

Shoptalk on Publishing

Jeremy Goldkorn, Alice Xin Liu & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, Jeremy Goldkorn is pleased to be joined by two people navigating the English-language publishing industry as it involves China: Alice Xin Liu, Editor of Pathlight magazine, and Karen Ma, first-time author of the well-received...

Environment

04.03.14

China’s Air Pollution Reporting is Misleading

from chinadialogue
China’s air pollution is being reported in a misleading way, blocking public understanding and enabling official inaction. Outdoor air pollution in China causes an estimated 1.2 million premature deaths and 25 million healthy years of life lost...

China Must Reduce ‘Unbearable’ Smog, Government Adviser Says

Bloomberg
China's air pollution has reached intolerable levels and the country should aggressively cut its reliance on coal, according to the government’s climate-change adviser...

Environment

01.21.14

Real-time Air Quality Data Due from 179 Chinese Cities

from chinadialogue
More than 170 cities in China have now joined a real-time air quality disclosure scheme, initiated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.Launched in 2012, more than sixty cities had started publishing data from their monitoring stations by the...

Carbon Copy: Why China’s Air-Pollution Problem Isn’t Unique

Aaron Reuben
Atlantic
“...in relation to the population density we see in China,” biologist Ramon Guardans says, “the U.S. and Europe did a much dirtier job industrializing.” 

Environment

02.20.13

Air Quality in China: A Snapshot

Nearly five weeks ago, Beijing experienced its worst day of air quality on record: Levels of PM2.5—small particulates that can cause lung, cardiovascular, and respiratory disease—soared to more than thirty times the level considered safe by the...

Video

12.20.12

Stars in the Haze

Joshua Frank
Flying kites is the quintessential Chinese pastime. But “wind zithers” or “paper sparrow hawks,” as they are known in Chinese, also have a long history as tools. Over millennia, Chinese have used them for measuring the wind, gauging distances, and...

"Greyjing"? Air pollution Fouls Beijing's Name

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
With its parks, centuries-old palaces, history and culture, Beijing should be one of the more pleasant capitals of the world. Instead, it's considered among the worst to live in because of chronic air pollution...

Reports

07.20.12

Trends in Global CO2 Emissions

Jos G.J. Olivier, Greet Janssens-Maenhout, Jeroen A.H.W. Peters
PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
Emissions of carbon dioxide, the main cause of global warming, reached an all-time high in 2011. The authors of this report summarize and analyze trends in carbon dioxide emissions on a country-by-country basis, finding that China’s continued high...

Chinese Draft Rule Could Prohibit Citizens and NGOs From Monitoring Air

Charles Zhu
Even as the Weibo account of the U.S. consulate in Shanghai was shut down, the fight for blue skies has continued to gain momentum. There’s the China Air Daily website, which posts pictures and air quality data in cities across the country. But lest...

Environment

06.11.12

The Diplomacy of Air Pollution

from chinadialogue
On June 5, World Environment Day, China’s environment ministry published its annual “state of the environment” report as normal. But this year, the launch attracted unusual levels of attention thanks to a statement from vice minister Wu...

Viewpoint

06.11.12

Dirty Air and Succession Jitters Clouding Beijing’s Judgment

Stephen Oliver & Susan Shirk
Last week the Chinese government accused the U.S. Embassy and consulates of illegally interfering in China’s domestic affairs by publishing online hourly air-quality information collected from their own monitoring equipment. (While the critiques...

Fallows on Bad Air and Soft Power

James Fallows
Atlantic
This is another fascinating installment in the exercise of Chinese "soft power." For my Big Theory on the nature of Chinese soft power, see this essay and this book. For a few previous installments in the Soft-Power Watch, see this, this,...

Environment

06.05.12

Hot Air?

Michael Zhao
It has been a busy season for U.S. diplomatic activity in China. Given the tensions aroused by U.S. involvement in the Bo Xilai scandal and the flight of the blind activist Chen Guangcheng, perhaps it should come as no surprise that even relatively...

China Tells U.S. to Stop Reporting China's Bad Air

Alexa Olsen
Associated Press
China told foreign embassies Tuesday to stop publishing their own reports on air quality in the country, escalating its objections to a popular U.S. Embassy Twitter feed that tracks pollution in smoggy Beijing. Only the Chinese government is...