Unfortunately, what is good for the American economy is not good for the environment, and this is especially the case when it comes to China and the rest of the developing world.  A newspaper article, entitled “Joy Global mines Chinese market,” illustrates the problem.  The article states:

Given robust demand for coal, copper, iron ore and other raw materials, especially in developing nations, mining equipment sales have soared in the last couple of years.  That’s good news for Joy Global and its competitor, South Milwaukee-based Bucyrus International.  The two companies dominate the market for electric mining shovels and draglines, which are some of the world’s largest machines.  Much of the sales growth has come from Asia, with China alone consuming about 3 billion tons of coal a year for power generation, compared with 1 billion tons in the United States.  China plans to build more coal-fired power plants as it brings electricity to rural areas. India burns 500 million tons of coal a year and is increasing coal consumption at a faster rate than China.  “It’s momentum that no one can stop.” Sutherlin said. “China, for example, isn’t going to stop industrialization in its western provinces. They want their share of the prosperity.”

The future of environmentalism rests on at least two prongs, (1) the change of the consumption culture of the Western world, and (2) helping the developing world reach the same level of prosperity through sustainable means.


The Vermont Journal of Environmental Law with the U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law present
China’s Environmental Governance: Global Challenges and Comparative Solutions

One of the great parts about being a Fulbright Scholar in China was meeting the recipients of the Fulbright student fellowships.  These American graduate students were all fluent in Chinese and had extraordinary research projects planned.  One such student studied the Chinese tea industry, but also found himself doing some fascinating environmental/public health journalism.  Here’s his fascinating (but disgusting) article about the China’s sewer-oil problem.

Preliminary Schedule of VJEL 2011 Symposium:

China’s Environmental Governance: Global Challenges and Comparative Solutions

This year, the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, in collaboration with U.S.-China Partnership, will be hosting our annual Symposium, entitled China’s Environmental Governance: Global Challenges and Comparative Solutions.  The Symposium will take place on Wednesday, March 2, 2011.  It will bring together scholars from China, the United States, and the local community, with panels on Comparative Solutions to Climate Change, Enforcement Remedies to Environmental Issues, and Adjudicative Remedies to Environmental Issues.  John C. Nagle of the University of Notre Dame will be the keynote speaker.

9:00 AM          —        Breakfast

9:30 AM          —        Welcoming Remarks by Professor Siu Tip Lam (Vermont Law School)

9:45 AM          —        Panel One: Comparative Solutions to Climate Change

Including: Adam Moser (Vermont Law School), WANG Mingyuan (Tsinghua University), Jennifer Turner (Woodrow Wilson Center), LI Yanfang (Renmin University)

11:10 AM        —        Coffee Break

11:20 AM        —        Panel Two: Enforcement Remedies to Environmental Issues

Including: WANG Canfa (China University of Political Science and Law), Jingling Liu (Vermont Law School), Patricia McCubbin (Southern Illinois University School of Law)

12:45 PM         —        Lunch

2:10 PM           —        Panel Three: Adjudicative Remedies to Environmental Issues

Including: Robert Percival (University of Maryland), Honorable Merideth Wright (Vermont Environmental Court), LI Zhiping (Sun Yat-Sen University Law School), ZHANG Jingjing (Public Interest Law Institute)

4:00 PM           —        Keynote Address by Professor John Copeland Nagle (University of Notre Dame)

A friend sent back this photo from China.  He says that see saw this van parked out front of his building, with (among other services) “home appliance recycling” offered on back window.   (It is reported that one of goals of national program is to eventually force such informal recycling activities, which can have severe environmental impacts, into the formal (regulated) sector).

Can any readers provide a full translation?


Over at Vermont2China, my partner has a great post on the future of Hong Kong.  See here.

Today, due to the generosity of contacts at WWF in Hong Kong, we received a tour of Mai Po Nature Reserve in Hong Kong’s New Territories.   Mai Po is a large wetland reserve filled with very cool flora and fauna, and really is a bird lovers’ paradise.  Mai Po is protected by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and our visit was truly a treat.   We saw mangroves, traditional shrimp ponds, fish farms (right outside the reserve), and beautiful flowers, and, with fancy digital binoculars and scopes, saw beautiful birds: spoonbills, herons, egrets, and ducks.

I’m off to China in less than 13 hours for a relatively long trip packed with events.  I’m meeting with environmental NGOs and academics in Hong Kong, including a much anticipated tour of Mai Po Nature Reserve.  Then off to Guangzhou for a series of lectures on climate change at Chinese universities, attending collaborative American-Chinese student research presentations as part of the Vermont Law School’s US-China Partnership in Environmental Law, meeting with public and private environmental officials, and doing some “public diplomacy” for the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou.  Also on the agenda is a friend’s Chinese wedding in Xi’An and as much Chinese food as I can eat.  I’ll be exhausted by the time I arrive at the AALS Annual Meeting in San Francisco on the way home.

Asks Green.

The Vermont Journal of Environmental Law invites you to its 2011 Symposium:

China’s Environmental Governance: Global Challenges and Comparative Solutions


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