A young migrant worker shovels heavily polluted mud and water from an almost dried up river bed. Image source: AFP.
On BBC World these last few days, I’ve been watching China Week with interest – a special feature on the consequences of rapid growth in this country. One clip that particularly caught my eye was the one on the disastrous Three Gorges Project, which I have written about before in this blog. What worries me is that while you do get the odd snippet of good news coming out of China regarding sustainable development, the simple fact of the matter is that if the Chinese live like North Americans, we’re in big trouble. To get some idea as the stresses and strains Chinese consumption at American levels would cause, I recommend the latest Eco-Economy update written by Lester Brown (reproduced below if the link is broken). As a student of international political economy as well as ecological economics, in my darker moments I ponder about the geopolitical consequences of the Chinese not being able to feed themselves.