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The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China's Future (Council on Foreign Relations Book) ePub download

by Elizabeth C. Economy

  • Author: Elizabeth C. Economy
  • ISBN: 0801489784
  • ISBN13: 978-0801489785
  • ePub: 1419 kb | FB2: 1472 kb
  • Language: English
  • Category: Humanities
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (February 24, 2005)
  • Pages: 368
  • Rating: 4.2/5
  • Votes: 631
  • Format: doc txt lrf rtf
The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China's Future (Council on Foreign Relations Book) ePub download

The River Runs Black" by Elizabeth C. Economy is an intelligent analysis of contemporary China and its burgeoning environmental crisis.

The River Runs Black" by Elizabeth C.

With global warming, there is a focus on air pollution worldwide.

The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China's Future. by. Elizabeth C. Economy. Be forewarned: this is a Council on Foreign Relations book so may be wonky and not get into the day to day environmental issues as experienced by your everyday Fu Ping. I am plunging in I pulled this 2005 book off my bookshelf and decided I had better take a look at it before it was out of date. Books about China tend to be out of date within five years. The river that runs black from pollution is the Huai River in eastern China in 1974. With global warming, there is a focus on air pollution worldwide.

In The River Runs Black, Elizabeth C. Economy examines China's growing environmental crisis and its implications . Economy examines the historical, political, cultural, and bureaucratic issues that will affect China's ability to meet the needs of its people and its environment. Economy examines China's growing environmental crisis and its implications for the country's future development.

The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China's Future (2004) By All Means Necessary: How China’s Resource Quest Is Changing the World (2014) The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State (2018). Elizabeth Economy is the C. V. Starr senior fellow and director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a distinguished visiting fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. She is an acclaimed author and expert on Chinese domestic and foreign policy, writing on topics ranging from China's environmental challenges to its role in global governance.

The River Runs Black. The Environmental Challenge to China’s Future. Foreign policy analyses written by CFR fellows and published by the trade presses, academic presses, or the Council on Foreign Relations Press. Book by Elizabeth C. Publisher – Cornell University Press. Release Date – Apr 2004. Selected by the Globalist as one of the top ten books of 2004, The River Runs Black is the most comprehensive and balanced volume to date on China's growing environmental crisis and its implications for the country's development.

Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2004. impact on China’s environment (p. 14). The River Runs Black presents a complex picture of China’s environmental. ISBN: 0-8014-4220-6 (hc). Culturally, China is portrayed as lacking a legacy of. Economy examines China's growing environmental crisis and its . Economy is C. Starr Senior Fellow and Director, Asia Studies, at the Council on Foreign Relations

In The River Runs Black, Elizabeth C. Starr Senior Fellow and Director, Asia Studies, at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China's Future (Council on Foreign Relations Book). by Elizabeth C.

A Council on Foreign Relations book. Bibliography, etc. Note: Includes bibliographical references and index. Formatted Contents Note: The death of the Huai River A legacy of exploitation The economic explosion and its environmental cost The challenge of greening China The new politics of the environment The devil at the doorstep Lessons from abroad Averting the crisis. Geographic Name: China Economic conditions. Rubrics: Environmental policy China Economic development Environmental aspects.

China's spectacular economic growth over the past two decades has dramatically depleted the country’s natural resources and produced skyrocketing rates of pollution. Environmental degradation in China has also contributed to significant public health problems, mass migration, economic loss, and social unrest. In The River Runs Black, Elizabeth C. Economy examines China’s growing environmental crisis and its implications for the country’s future development.

Drawing on historical research, case studies, and interviews with officials, scholars, and activists in China, Economy traces the economic and political roots of China’s environmental challenge and the evolution of the leadership's response. She argues that China’s current approach to environmental protection mirrors the one embraced for economic development: devolving authority to local officials, opening the door to private actors, and inviting participation from the international community, while retaining only weak central control. The result has been a patchwork of environmental protection in which a few wealthy regions with strong leaders and international ties improve their local environments, while most of the country continues to deteriorate, sometimes suffering irrevocable damage. Economy compares China’s response with the experience of other societies and sketches out several possible futures for the country.

"The River Runs Black" by Elizabeth C. Economy is an intelligent analysis of contemporary China and its burgeoning environmental crisis. This engaging book helps us understand how globalization is reshaping China and issues an urgent plea for international cooperation to help monitor and rectify an increasingly worrysome situation.

Ms. Economy tells us how China's environment has been steadily deteriorating over the past centuries due to wars, political power struggles and overpopulation. However, today's problems

are attributable to specific policy decisions by China's government that has favored rapid economic development through engagement with the international business community. Unfortunately, the particular kinds of economic development favored by China's rulers has led to myriad environmental problems including deforestation, desertification, and air and water pollution. The collusion of local government and business interests has made it difficult to obtain reliable data or to implement solutions where it is feared that plant shutdowns might

result in mass unemployment and social unrest, making difficult problems seem untractable.

Environmental consciousness in China has increased as the problems have become more visible and as the country has engaged with the world economy. Ms. Economy profiles some of the courageous and inspirational individuals who have struggled for conservation, urban renewal and grass-roots democracy such as Tang Xiyang, He Bochuan, Dai Qing and others. While environmentalists have achieved some successes (such as protecting endangered species of monkeys and antelopes), the author believes that the government's championing of highly destructive projects such as the Three Gorges Dam proves that much more needs to be done.

Ms. Economy recounts the experiences of the former Communist nations of Eastern Europe to gain insight into how China might resolve its environmental problems. The Chernobyl disaster catalyzed local environmental groups into pushing for political reforms that brought down the Communists in the USSR and elsewhere. Recognizing that China's Communist Party is a "patronage machine committed to rapid economic development" and devoid of any ideological purpose other than self-perpetuation, Ms. Economy believes that increasing democratization in China could easily undermine the country's single Party system. Of course, China's leaders are keenly aware of this threat and consequently have tightly circumscribed the activities of environmental organizations, but the author is hopeful that the contradictions between increasing environmental degradation and the lack of a meaningful democracy will eventually force China's political system to change.

In the last section, Ms. Economy speculates about the manner in which China may develop in the future. The author envisions three possible scenarios: China goes green; inertia sets in; and environmental meltdown. Ms. Economy thinks that the U.S. should take the lead in encouraging China to develop its regulatory system and implement green technologies so that the country can embark on an environmentally sustainable path. Indeed, the unpredictable consequences of a Chinese environmental meltdown should give the international community pause to consider how it might help China -- and by extension all of us -- to avoid a worse case scenario.

I highly recommend this superbly written book to everyone.
Previous reviewers have said good things about this book, and I can only agree. It is notably superior to other recent books about the Chinese environment, which (though often scholarly) are long on polemics and short on comprehensive vision.

Dr. Economy focuses on politics and policies. These have been notoriously awful under Communism, but there is now a realization of the damage being done, and thus some hope. Dr. Economy is as optimistic as one could reasonably be. Incidentally, interested readers should also look up her very fine chapter in Kristen Day's worthy edited volume CHINA'S ENVIRONMENT AND THE CHALLENGE OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.

I am not so optimistic. One reason is that my training is more in biology, and I am aware that the devastating damage China has done to its environment will not be clear for 50 to 100 years. It takes that long for pollution and environmental degradation to show themselves fully.

As Dr. Economy says, China wanted to be "first rich, then clean" (that's the literal Chinese; she actually phrases it more academically). They thought that the west had done this. No, the west started conservation and scientific management long ago. The United States' golden age of conservation was under Theodore Roosevelt, when the US was still poor and rural. The US and western Europe never allowed anything close to what China has done. There was much degradation, but reaction always came eventually. China, like all Communist-led countries, missed this lesson. Marx had spoken: production is all, and top-down control is the way to do it. This has led, everywhere, to dismal environmental records, though much good has come from distributing food, health care, housing, etc., more evenly (this may no longer be the case). It is now too late. The white-flag dolphin, once common and resilient, is extinct, the Three Gorges are dammed, and much else has gone beyond possibility of repair.

Dr. Economy does not draw as sharp a contrast as I would between traditional management and Communist excess. Traditional China had major Malthusian problems, but they were caused more by imperial policy than by environmental mismanagement at the riceroots level. The peasants and workers created a system based on harmony and balance. The system was full of problems, and never got as harmonious as we would now wish, but it worked; it kept hundreds of millions of people alive in spite of a premodern technology, and it managed the key resources--topsoil, water, forests, and so on--sustainably enough that there was quite a bit left by 1950. Recent books trashing the old system have titles significantly featuring elephants and tigers instead of people. Even if you prefer the charismatic megafauna, note that China had some elephants and a lot of tigers in 1950.

So a flawed, antiquated, underproductive, but still well-designed and eminently functional system was sacrificed, and the result has been a royal mess. Yields of food are way up, thanks to modern technology (some of it developed in China by the Communists--to their credit), but the future is cloudy indeed.

If you want the best account of what can be done and what is being done, look no further than this book.
This book documents pollution issues in China that are identical to those in the USA. Their political obstacles to dealing with the public health problems caused by water and airborne pollutants are very similar to ours. It is worth studying their situation for clues to our future.
This is the most systematic and complete overview of Chinese environmental problems, status, challenges and policies in the recent batch of books published in English on the subject. While reading other books on the same topic, I noticed that all had Economy's book as a reference and upon reading the book, I figured out why. The author starts with a very brief introduction to Chinese culture and history and their relationship with the environment. Her basic point is that the current Chinese leadership (be it government, business or civil society) does not have long-term traditions to think of ways to deal sustainably with the environment. Then she moves on to describe the largest environmental problems, the current governance, the importance of the interaction between China and the international community and three scenarios about the future. What I learned most was that right now the biggest challenge for China is in its governmental structure, whereas technology is not really the issue. A new and more efficient regime must be built and strengthened through stronger institutions, larger enforcement, a better and clearer legal apparatus and a more robust system of sticks and carrots. Finally, Economy concludes with three possible scenarios for the future. Although I believe all three of them are quite simplified versions of what the future may hold, I come up with a very clear sense of China's challenges and how they require complex solutions.
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