October 28, 2020

U.S.-China Climate Agreement a Circle of Blue High Point

There’s no pretending that providing secure stores of fresh water, and producing adequate supplies of energy and food is confounding the nations of Earth. In the era of climate change most of the world’s prominent energy and food producing regions are either getting dryer or more hydrologically unstable. The consequence Is a growing list of global choke points – the economically and ecologically disruptive confrontations over water, energy, and agricultural resources that Circle of Blue and …

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Earth Pushes Back – Hard

There’s nothing demur about Mother Earth these days. She’s fuming and pushing back hard. Very hard. The Ebola emergency that began in West Africa and has since spread to two more continents has produced 5,000 deaths and is accelerating. Deep droughts engulf Brazil’s largest city and America’s largest state. Hurricanes drowned two major American cities since 2005. The 2013 Philippines typhoon killed 6,250 people. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed 228,000 people. A tsunami in …

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BEIGIN 2013: A Conference That Thrilled Students, Stirred Lifelong Friendship

NEW YORK — Five years ago Linda Ragsdale, an artist and mother from Nashville, survived a terrrorist attack in Mumbai, India that killed 166 people. In a keynote speech at the BEIGIN H2O conference in Beijing, Linda described the orderly persistence of the attack on the hotel where she stayed. Not a soul stirred in the auditorium at the International School of Beijing as she recounted the sound, the smell, the sight of the gun …

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In China’s Coal Belt, A Refinery Drains Water and Life

Qingwei Sun, former Greenpeace campaigner, and lead author of Thirsty Coal, a two-part report on the rising water demands of China’s largest energy sector. Photo/Keith Schneider BEIJING — Qingwei Sun, who investigated and wrote two revealing reports for Greenpeace in the last two years on how China’s giant coal sector uses, and in some cases abuses the nation’s water reserves, is a 36-year-old geographer from Lanzhou, the capital and largest city in Gansu Province. At …

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In China, Responding to Water-Energy Choke Point Now a Government Priority

Jennifer Turner (in red), director of the Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum, introduces the Water and Energy Team to policy experts at China’s Development Research Center of the State Council, the government research group that provides policy recommendations to China’s highest executive agency. Photo/Keith Schneider BEIJING — Almost three years ago a team of reporters and photographers from Circle of Blue, assisted by Jennifer Turner and her staff at the Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum, …

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Back in Beijing

Beijing in summer is hot and a bit less polluted than in winter. Here at Tsinghua University. Photo/Keith Schneider BEIJING — On a hot morning here in China’s capital, the air is grey and the sky dark with pollution. It’s my seventh trip to China and the evidence of industrial overreach is so readily apparent. I’m here to participate in a speaking and convening event organized by Jennifer Turner, my colleague and director of the …

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Hope For China’s Deep Shale Gas Development Impeded by Technical Reality

Wei-201H3, the first deep shale, horizontally-drilled, hydrofracked natural gas well in China. Photo/Keith Schneider Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are climbing, in large measure because of China’s production and combustion of more than 3 billion metric tons of coal annually, or nearly four times as much coal as the United States produces and burns. One of the solutions — though it is attracting rigorous opposition in the U.S. — is replacing coal with cleaner-burning natural …

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China Is Whipping Boy In Presidential Debates

It’s not like the Chinese aren’t listening when President Obama and Mitt Romney accuse them of stealing American jobs, subsidizing exports to the U.S., and cheating on the real value of the yuan. They hear the critique and they’re annoyed for good reasons. But if the president and Romney really want to address China as a threat to the U.S., they ought to be talking about a different set of issues, like the resource-wasting, pollution …

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Urumqi’s Bus Rapid Transit Lines Are Steps In Right Direction

Urumqi, the largest city in the Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region, last year opened a 42-kilometer bus rapid transit network, fueled by natural gas and composed of three lines and 55 station stops. It’s a beautiful thing in a traffic-jammed city with risky levels of air pollution. Photo/Keith Schneider URUMQI — The first time we boarded the bright orange articulated Line 3 buses of this desert city’s year-old Bus Rapid Transit network, we got lost. As an …

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China’s Marine Aquaculture Shellfish Industry: Really Big and Apparently Safe

On a still Aoshawei Bay, lines of marine shellfish bouys stretch shore to shore. Photo/J. Carl Ganter, Circle of Blue QINGDAO — At dawn the surface of Aoshawei Bay is a grid of black spots, line after line, straight as the rays of the rising sun, from one shoreline to the other. The spots are bouys that support the submerged platforms and thick netting that grow scallops and clams, oysters and mussels, and enclose immense …

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