China has become the world’s largest CO2 polluter, emitting close to 10bn metric tons of greenhouse gasses each year. The environment crisis is no longer a Chinese tragedy; it’s a global fiasco.
“I hope the day will come when all you can see from Tiananmen Gate is a forest of tall chimneys belching out clouds of smoke,” Mao Zedong said in 1949, as he gazed out at Tiananmen Square. Mao subscribed to a simple image of humanity and nature and, as with everything in his life, he was ruthless in putting it into practice. Between 1958 and 1961, he had millions of small blast furnaces built to press ahead The world may be wringing its hands and it may be dawning on the leadership in polluted Beijing that it’s time to change things. But, every day, the black monster out in the country’s coal belt eats its way more deeply into a landscape that, in Inner Mongolia, already looks like the surface of the moon.
Bao Que, 27, drives his s 40-ton truck back and forth between ween the Hainan opencast mines s and the