May 29, 2020

In China Every Square Meter Counts

XINXIANG — The fields of Henan Province, one of the important centers of global wheat production, spread beyond this city’s high-rises, a prairie of dusky grain in every direction to the horizon. Every meter, every mu, a Chinese measurement of land expanse — 15 mu fit into an acre — is taken with ripening wheat. The harvest has begun. Workers cut stalks with long blades and haul the wheat out of the fields on their …

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Choke Point: China

Circle of Blue, the Traverse City-based global news and science organization, where I serve as senior editor, last week opened a compelling new series on the commanding threat to China’s modernization posed by water scarcity. Choke Point: China is the product of more than a month of reporting by four teams of writers and photographers that spent most of December 2010 in China. The first article prompted a nice flurry of good responses including a …

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Memo to Hu and Obama: Water and Energy Choke Points Merit Time at the China-U.S. Summit

Washington’s foreign policy community is all aflutter anticipating the meaning and outcome of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s three-day summit with U.S. President Barack Obama, which starts today. But while the two heads of state focus on resolving what pries them apart, both nations share a dangerous confrontation within their borders over energy demand and water supply—offering a matchless opportunity for new kinds of cooperation on policy, technology, business, and trade. The collision between rising energy …

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Obama, His Shorthand, Energy, and the Frustration of Self-Interest

SAN FRANCISCO — A couple of people I know out here in the Bay Area attended one of the San Francisco fundraisers more than a week ago, during which Barack Obama talked about white working class Americans in Pennsylvania and the Midwest who “get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them.” The comment attracted no attention at all among the liberal, well-heeled Democratic donors gathered in the  …

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