Three Gorges Probe

Expert warns of ecological doom

South China Morning Post
October 14, 1999

The mainland faces an ecological catastrophe if the authorities continue to ignore environmental protection, an expert warned yesterday.

Professor Vaclav Smil, of the University of Manitoba in Canada, said blind economic development at the environment’s expense would cause China’s ecology to collapse.

China would face the problems of insufficient food supply, energy shortages and frequent natural disasters if the Government did not act soon, he said in Hong Kong.

"China is losing some of its best farmland to industrial development and that can be a very serious problem," said Professor Smil, 56, author of several books on the mainland environment and an editorial board member of the ecology magazine China Quarterly.

Unlike South Korea or Taiwan, the mainland could not rely on importing food from other countries, given the size of its population, he said. In pursuing high economic growth, the Government had drastically raised its energy consumption, which could trigger further problems.

"In the past, China promoted energy conservation because of shortages," he said.

"Now this policy has been abandoned and some officials think that by raising the power supply they can do without conservation."

He called the Three Gorges Dam an "ecological disaster".

Categories: Three Gorges Probe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s