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