China may be putting on the brakes for the world’s trash

April 16, 2014

There are more than one hundred thousand people working in China’s recycling industry, and it’s a hard way to make a living—even more so now that China’s central government is implementing stricter environmental laws.

However, trash and recycling are a big business in China. Some estimate that it is a fourteen billion dollar business for a family driven cottage industry.

Long hours of hard work add up to a living wage for the Chinese involved in this recycling business.

According to a recent United Nations report, “China now appears to be the largest e-waste dumping site in the world.”

The collected recyclable material is taken from the city for a few hour drive to factories where the trash is turned into raw material for a second life.

In fact, “We sell this plastic to Foxconn,” a recycle worker says.

And the recyclables just don’t come from China’s cities. It comes from all over the world, since China is the world’s largest importer of trash.

Computers and bottles tossed in recycle bins in the US, often show up in China where they are processed then resold as a new product to Western countries.

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


Reclaiming land from China’s threatening deserts

April 15, 2014

Almost one third of China’s land is desert—a process that has accelerated due to development and human activities. The deserts of China have also become a tourist attraction.

In addition, another third is mountains with an additional 10% covered with hills. Combine deserts, mountains and hills and that accounts for about 70% of the country’s land surface.

One strategy to slow the spread of the deserts was to create a grid of plant growth that will hold the sand in place. Trees have been planted too—all to stop the sand from spreading.

This project started years ago. Together with other planting strategies, this slowed the process of spreading deserts and has reversed the trend.

However, due to natural resources needed to fuel China’s growth and a huge population, northern China has become a boomtown and is attracting millions because of the opportunities to earn better money.

Herders have also been restricted from allowing their animals to graze on the areas that are being reclaimed from the desert.

This has caused a reduction in the size of herds such as sheep and goats.

China has no choice but to win this battle with the desert since there is a shortage of land to use for food production—only 15% of the land that can be cultivated for food crops but only 75% of that land (about 10% of China’s land) is used for that purpose.

Yet, even with these challenges, China still produces more food than any other country.

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


The land of famines and drought: China

April 9, 2014

For more than two millennia, imperial records show that China has suffered from droughts and famines on an annual basis in one or more of its provinces.  This history may explain why China spent several centuries starting long before the birth of Christ to build its thousand mile long Grand Canal that puts the Panama and Suez Canals to shame.

Today, China finds itself water challenged in the north and southwest.  The Daily Mail reported January 2014 that “The largest freshwater lake in China which covers an expanse twice the size of London has dried up because of an ongoing drought.”

Solve Climate News reports that drought had dried up areas of southern China.  Three-hundred-and-ten reservoirs, 580 rivers and 3,600 pools have been baked dry.

Older villagers say reservoirs and irrigation channels are dry for the first time in their lives.

Some blame Global Warming, while environmental activists blame China’s biggest hydro-engineering project, the South-to-North water diversion scheme, which is designed to channel water north to cities such as Beijing and Tianjin.

In fact, this couldn’t be true because the South-to-North water diversion will not be completed until 2050 and due to environmental concerns; the western line is still in the planning stages. Only the eastern and central lines are under construction. Source: Water Link International

CNN reports that drought in northern China is threatening crops in at least 12 provinces where more than 3.5 million people live, including about 2 million livestock. More than 200 million people live in northern China.

The only region of China that’s getting torrential, record rainfall is southeast China where floods have killed many and displaced thousands. Source Accuweather.com

Much of China’s water originates in Tibet. In southwest China, the Mekong River originates on the Tibetan plateau. The Yangtze and the Yellow Rivers comes from the glaciers and melt water of the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. However, the snow and ice in Tibet is melting and the region is turning into a desert.

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


China’s Silicon Valleys (plural)

March 25, 2014

In You Can’t Build a New Silicon Valley Just Anywhere by Margaret O’Mara, writing for Foreign Policy magazine (August 16, 2010), she said, “for many of the would-be silicon cities being constructed by the Russias and Chinas of the world; with their long histories of centralized control, they are still convinced they can order up success.”

O’Mara’s theme is that the success we have seen in California’s Silicon Valley is due to the freedom America’s republic—now a democracy—offers along with loads of money from the government and venture capitalists with no strings attached.

However, there’s evidence that democracy isn’t needed for innovation, because China (ruled by Emperors under an autocratic imperialistic monarchy) was more technologically advanced than any country on earth for almost two thousand years.

In fact, a recent December 4, 2013 issue of the Wall Street Journal reported that “Beijing’s Zhongguancun district is “studying the style, personality, management and funding of (America’s) Silicon Valley. What’s more, they reject China’s traditional top-down corporate model, deference to management and emphasis on size.” In addition, successful high tech companies in China want to branch out to be more than just a Chinese company.

After all, the Chinese invented the stirrup for saddles which revolutionized warfare on horseback, gunpowder, the multistage rocket, the compass, paper, the printing press and pasta along with a long list of other innovations that changed the world.

Without the Chinese, where would the world be today? See Chinese Crossbow and other Inventions

China may not offer the same individual freedoms the West does, but “face”, which is important in Chinese culture, is a strong motivator to improvise and invent so one gains “face” and becomes powerful and wealthy.

Before Deng Xiaoping and the “Getting Rich is Glorious” generation that he gave birth to, I would have agreed with Margaret O’Mara but not now.

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


China Harnessing the Wind

February 12, 2014

China’s goal to go green in the Middle Kingdom moves forward due to the wind and the sea along China’s long coast, which runs about 9,010 miles or 14,300 km.

“China has the largest wind resources in the world, and three-quarters of them are offshore,” Barbara Finamore, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Beijing office, told Scientific American.

China has an estimated offshore wind power potential of more than 750 gigawatts, far greater than the country’s land-based wind potential of 253. Source: UPI.com

There’s an advantage having China’s government when it comes to creating green energy.  In the U.S., the first potential offshore wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts took nearly a decade for approval and still faces potential regulatory and judicial obstacles.

While the U.S. struggles to get clearance for its first offshore wind farm, the world’s largest offshore wind farm started producing energy in 2010 off the British coast, the London Array, and now produces 620 megawatts, which is enough electricity to heat about 500,000 British homes. (London Array)

In China, the first offshore wind farm is near Shanghai and started supplying power to the city in July, 2010 with 102 megawatts being generated today.  The second offshore wind farm is Jiangsu Rudong Inter-tidal Wind Farm generating 150 megawatts. Nine more offshore wind farms are expected to start construction in 2014; when completed it is expected they’ll generate more than 1800 megawatts of electricity. (Offshore Wind China)

Learn more about China Going Green

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,817 other followers