Now that Beijing has won the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, talk has moved from the problem of snow in a city distinctive for its arid climate, sandstorms and perpetual lack of water, to the virtues of artificial snow (despite the amount of water fake snow takes to manufacture). Meanwhile, a long-long range weather forecast, conducted by the city’s meteorological bureau, predicts natural snowfall is likely to increase in the areas slated for competition action in seven years’ time.
The hidden costs of China’s shift to hydropower
Chinese authorities are hoping a large-scale rollout of hydropower can help to reduce toxic smog but, in addition to the high financial and environmental costs, many experts are skeptical that more hydropower means less coal.
China’s unspeakable consensus
“The Three Gorges Dam must be dismantled, and China’s political system must be changed,” writes veteran Chinese journalist Xiao Shu in this piece first published by the Taipei-based online news site, Storm Media. “To a great extent,” the author continues, “the Three Gorges Dam is the most apt metaphor for China’s political system.” A significant must-read.
China: CCP’s ‘profound dread’ behind crackdown on lawyers
The party’s attempts to project confidence do little to disguise its panic: It is beset by economic strife, antagonism between officials and the people, corruption, ecological disasters, unrest in Xinjiang and Tibet, and its own sense of ideological crisis.
In China’s crackdown on rights lawyers, big law says little
Chinese authorities are well aware how governments and bar organizations around the world feel about their fierce crackdown on human-rights lawyers. But the country’s commercial lawyers—including international firms active in China—have been relatively quiet. Why so? The American Lawyer reports.
China’s gloomy future
China’s increasing financial and economic assertiveness suggests its star is only set to rise on the world stage and that has prompted some major swagger on the part of its leaders. Swagger the nation’s long-term view doesn’t warrant. Commentary by John Robson.
Walled nations of the world
No country builds walls voluntarily — yet they are making a comeback for the same reasons they have been familiar features of civilized life for centuries.
A taxing new era
As foreign aid dries up in the age of austerity, low-income countries are being asked more and more to generate their own funds for development. One recommendation is taxation. Taxes produce revenue and taxed citizens are more likely to hold their governments to account for how development funds are spent. Developing countries say rich nations need to pay their share of taxes too.
Silence of the dammed
Among the conflicting opinions over hydroelectric development of the Mekong River Basin, one voice seems to be missing, writes longtime development worker and researcher JeeRung: the local communities of Laos directly affected. She breaks down why.
The impending dam disaster in the Himalayas
Two of the most populous nations—China and India—are building hundreds of dams in a violently active geologic zone.
Patricia Adams: China must free activists who championed environment and the rule of law
China must free Guo Yushan and He Zhengjun and restore confidence in their country.
Chinese authorities crack down on the country’s public interest groups and lawyers
On July 9, more than 100 lawyers in China issued an open letter on the Internet calling for an end to the shuttering of public interest groups and the detention and prosecution of individuals working for the public good.
Greece, the way out
The Greek government has only one sensible choice.
If Greece leaves the eurozone, Russia will enter it, casting a chill over Europe.
The world’s biggest hydropower project may be causing giant landslides in China
A massive landslide this week is only the latest natural disaster critics believe the Three Gorges Dam has caused—even officials admit there have been 70% more landslides and bank collapses in the dam’s reservoir area since it was built 12 years ago. Lily Kuo for Quartz reports.