May 25, 2020

New Wind and Solar Sectors Won’t Solve China’s Water Scarcity

JIUQUAN, China-Business for wind and solar energy components has been so brisk in Gansu Province-a bone-bleaching sweep of gusty desert and sun-washed mountains in China’s northern region-that the New Energy Equipment Manufacturing Industry base, which employs 20,000 people, is a 24/7 operation. Just two years old, the expansive industrial manufacturing zone-located outside this ancient Silk Road city of 1 million-turns out turbines, blades, towers, controllers, software, and dozens of other components for a provincial wind …

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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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North Dakota’s Bakken Shale Oil Boom and Risks To Water

Over at Circle of Blue, where I serve as senior editor, we’ve been working on Choke Point: U.S., a series of original articles about the tightening contest between rising energy demand and diminishing supplies of fresh water. In our latest chapter, we explored the big boom in oil and gas production on the northern Great Plains, where energy companies are tapping the “unconventional” Bakken Shale. Two miles beneath North Dakota, and below parts of Montana …

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