Friday, March 29, 2013

You've lost how many?

This is a truly  mindblowing story about how some 28,000 rivers have disappeared in China. It's featured in todays Times but as that is behind a paywall and I am reluctant to link to anything in the Daily Mail you have the Aussie press instead.

What I like about this story, and to be honest there isn't much to like, is the role reversal that is present. Usually you (well I) would expect to see the environmentalists claiming it was proof of global warming/climate change/coalition cuts (joking) but here you have the Chinese authorities adopting that argument.

China is still very much a closed book to most of us in the west, I have clients who have close business connections with China and much like any other secret state you could mention the stories they tell of working under constant scrutiny of Government officials sounds like something out of the Cold War. China is running to catch up with the rest of the world and as a result is putting its eco system in danger of overload. Of course with most of the western world being in debt to the Chinese they can pretty much do as they like these days with a certain amount of impunity. The problem is of course that unlike money, which can be printed ad infinitum, once you flood a valley, pollute a river, or cause a water table to become toxic you can't simply wish it away by manipulating your economic statistics.

6 comments:

Span Ows said...

I'd hazard a guess that about 10% or less are due to climate change! (source: made-up stats r us)

You have the world's biggest (amongst other hydro projects) dam etc having the dual effect of making many tributaries disappear underwater and others disappear by draining all the water; you have small rural rivers being used for irrigation and feeding the animal production explosion; you have giant road and house construction programmes that effect the water table etc....etc

Paul said...

That's very true. What I do find fascinating though is that China is actually willing to engage in dialogue about this.

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