8 Ways China is ‘Winning’ on Transportation

As Donald Trump likes to say, “China is beating us on everything.” While that’s a debatable proposition, there is one area where China is far ahead of the United States, and that’s in resilient transportation systems.
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Dams on the Wild Nujiang

The central government’s seven-year moratorium on dam building in the Nujiang (“Angry River”) watershed is soon to be lifted and China’s last wild river will be wild no more. Last week, the Chinese National Energy Administration announced that hydropower development was now ready to move forward on the Nu.
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Load Shedding or Load Sharing?

During a trip last week to Nepal to attend a workshop on climate change adaptation strategies across the Himalaya, I experienced darkness within darkness for several hours every night. I am not talking about visiting one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world, though poverty and political dysfunction are part of the darkness I mean to describe. The dim conditions I am referring to are both figurative and literal; each night Nepal undergoes “load shedding,” the governments preferred euphemism for what I have always known as a power outage.
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The Spirits of the Dead Meet Big Hydropower

This is the next post in a year-long series written by Ed Grumbine, professor of environmental studies at Prescott College and author of Where the Dragon Meets the Angry River. You don’t need hydroelectric dams, coal-fired power plants, or even solar-cells and wind farms to produce energy for some of the most important tasks that humans engage in. Honoring gods and spirits only requires a bit of paper money, small items of discarded clothing, incense, and a match.
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On the Energy Front, State-censored Chinese Media Trumps U.S. Media

This post is the first in a year-long series by Ed Grumbine, professor of environmental studies at Prescott College and author of Where the Dragon Meets the Angry River. Only five days into a one year stay in China, I’ve already noticed that the Chinese and U.S. media don’t report the news the same way. What amazed me is that Chinese state-run papers describe China’s economic growth and energy consumption more accurately than the U.S. press.
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Vietnam May Revisit Two-Child Population Policy

The government of Vietnam will decide on December 22 whether to penalize parents who have more than two children, reinitiating a coercive population policy it abandoned in 2003. "We are considering an adjustment to our policy appropriate to the circumstances of the country," Truong Thi Mai, chair of Vietnam's Parliamentary Committee of Social Affairs, confirmed on Saturday. "The Parliament Standing Committee will decide the week after next."
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Postcard from Beijing

What do Starbucks and smog have in common? Opportunity. As I walk around Beijing, the signs of the 2008 Olympics fading into memory, I am struck by the fact that every corner has a Starbucks, not to mention other ubiquitous American iconography — Sizzler, Nike, 7-11, Hummers, and CNN to name a few. I'm also struck by the fact that the smog problem remains untamed, despite efforts pre and post Olympics to reduce pollution from traffic and smokestacks. So why do these two forces — American companies and smog — have anything to do with opportunity?