Miraculous Economic Growth In China Ending?

Spiegel Magazine Online has recently run a very interesting interview with China’s Deputy Minister of the Environment: Pan Yue. The topic of the interview is the relationship between economic growth in China and the correspondingly rapid increase in pollution and resource scarcity. Is Mr. Yue making the case that the economic growth boom in China has to end in order to avoid environmental apocalypse?

This interview is rather interesting because it looks as if Pan Yue is trying to put out a message to his own government. Mr. Yue states that the unrivaled growth of 9.5% domestic gross product is taking a drastic toll on the environment. In fact he states that by the year 2100 there will be 150 million environmental refugees in China who will need relocation. The rub is that there will be no space for them. It seems as if the ministry of environment within the Chinese government is at odds with the fiscal strategy that the Republic of China is taking.

Of particular concern to Mr. Yue is the growth of deserts and the degree of acid rain falling on the continent. There are towns in China that have been virtually abandonned because a desert expanded into the borders of the town, accompanied by vicious sirocco storms (sand cyclones). The rivers and lakes in the country are tainted by acid and general wastewater pollution, a dangerous precedent for a country with 1.3 billion people.

A big economy like China requires a lot of energy to run factories. One way of feeding energy supplies to the hungry manufacturing complex in China is increased production of Biodiesel. Biodiesel production from crops is a very hot topic these days. It will be interesting to see if China can find a way around damaging the agriculture industry by making biodiesel from food byproducts rather than rezoning traditional agricultural lands into areas where crops are grown exclusively for fuel creation. There is a very intricate relationship of dependency between feeding people with crops and running cars with crops.

Read the complete article here. [www.spiegel.de]

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