Jan 24 (The Independent / by Johann Hari): The world is watching China’s economic surge with understandable awe – while politely and passively ignoring the country’s ecological disintegration.
China’s massive program of environmental destruction has turned whole rivers poisonous to the touch, rendered entire areas cancer-ridden, transformed a fertile area twice the size of Britain into desert – and probably even triggered the worst earthquake in living memory.
Some 69.5 percent of China’s energy needs come from the dirtiest and most planet-cooking fuel of all: coal. At the same time, the Chinese government is significantly increasing funding for renewables – but as an addition, not a replacement. By 1980, 2796 dams had failed, with combined death toll of 240,000 people. The construction of Three Gorges dam soon began to trigger landslides and deadly waves. But the most startling effect followed the Zipingpu dam – which may well have caused the Sichuan earthquake.
Full story: http://ind.pn/gRpmea