Under the Dome article

Dear MCLC members,

My new article, Chai Jing’s Under the Dome: A multimedia documentary in the digital age, has just been published by the Journal of Chinese Cinemas. The press allows 50 free e-print downloadd, if you are interested in using Chai Jing’s film and this article in your course teaching materials. I composed the article with students in mind. Here is the link will take you to full article:


Shu-chin Tsui <scui2@bowdoin.edu>
Bowdoin College

Wang Jiuliang’s Plastic China (4)

Those two Youtube links in the previous posting in this thread point to an early, incomplete, 23 minute clip from Plastic China. It’s called a “media version” whatever that might mean. But the film wasn’t finished until last year, and its complete running time is 82 minutes.

Shelly Kraicer <shellyk@me.com>

Qing environmental protection (1)

I visited the Tianchi (Heavenly Lake) of the Changbaishan in 2006 when the area was not yet widely visited. Sleet and rain prevented us from having a glimpse of the beautiful lake. This is not only considered the birth place of the Manchus but also of the Koreans. Even in those early days, SUV-loads of South Korean visitors were transported to the top of the crater and they knelt, kowtowed and wailed when they saw the body of water said to be the birth place of their nation.

Lily Lee <l.lee@sydney.edu.au>

Qing environmental protection

Source: Sinosphere, NYT (1/6/17)
How the Qing Court Sowed the Seeds of Environmental Protection in China

Rogue trappers and poachers. An imperial court battling corruption. Border guards defending a giant wall and patrolling a vast wilderness beyond.

This is not “Game of Thrones,” but “A World Trimmed With Fur: Wild Things, Pristine Places, and the Natural Fringes of Qing Rule,” a new book by the historian Jonathan Schlesinger that analyzes the complex relationships among the exploitation of natural resources, environmental regulation and ethnic identity under the ruling Manchus of the Qing dynasty, China’s last. Continue reading

Poem in praise of smog

Source: Sinosphere, NYT (1/6/17)
A Poem Praises Smog, and Why Not? It’s From Cancer’s Perspective

BEIJING — For millions of Chinese, the new year opened under an oppressive shroud of smog that has closed highways, delayed or canceled hundreds of flights and shut down schools, forcing some students to follow their lessons from home through online streaming.

The toxic air has also drawn attention to a poem written by a Chinese surgeon from the viewpoint of an ambitious lung cancer that revels in the “delicious mist and haze.” The poem was first published in English in the October issue of Chest, the journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, under the title “I Long to Be King.” Excerpts from the poem were posted in Chinese this week in The Paper, a news website, and widely reported on by other Chinese media. Continue reading

China has made strides in addressing pollution

Source: Sinosphere, NYT (12/16/16)
China Has Made Strides in Addressing Air Pollution, Environmentalist Says


The Qian’an steelworks of the Shougang Corporation in Tangshan, a leading steel manufacturing city in China, in January. Credit Xiaolu Chu/Getty Images

In his offices in central Beijing on a recent afternoon, Ma Jun, the director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, a nongovernmental organization, moved his mouse over a computer screen showing a map of real-time air emissions from more than 4,600 Chinese factories. The red rectangles, one for each factory, overlapped one another like badly laid mosaic tiles. Continue reading

Messages getting lost in Chinese smog

Source: BBC News (12/15/16)
The messages getting lost in Chinese smog
By BBC Trending

Qing Xiaojuan took part in the online protest campaign. The board she's holding reads: "I love Chengdu. Please let me breathe!"

WEIBO/QING XIAOJUN. Qing Xiaojuan took part in the online protest campaign. The board she’s holding reads: “I love Chengdu. Please let me breathe!”

It’s winter in China, and that means smog – and it also means a cat-and-mouse game between online protestors and Chinese censors who feel touchy about air pollution.

Chengdu is a huge city and the capital of Sichuan province in south western China. It’s particularly known for its giant pandas. But this week it appeared in a list of top censored searched terms on the website Free Weibo – because of its high levels of smog. Continue reading

About-face on coal mining

Source: Seattle Times (12/3/16)
China’s about-face on coal mining bodes badly for carbon emissions

A lack of stockpiles and worries about electricity blackouts are spurring Chinese officials to reverse curbs that once helped reduce coal production. Mines are reopening. Miners are being lured back with larger paychecks.

A crew works at a coal plant in Jinching, China, that recently resumed production to meet increased demand before winter snows arrive. (GILLES SABRIE/NYT)

A crew works at a coal plant in Jinching, China, that recently resumed production to meet increased demand before winter snows arrive. Coal still produces almost three-quarters of China’s electricity. Its use in China also… (GILLES SABRIE/NYT) More

JINCHENG, China — America’s uncertain stance toward global warming under the coming administration of Donald Trump has given China a leading role in the fight against climate change. It has called on the United States to recognize established science and to work with other countries to reduce dependence on dirty fuels like coal and oil. Continue reading

Environments and the Ecological Self–cfp

CFP: 11th Visual and Cultural Studies Graduate Conference
Environments and the Ecological Self
11th Visual and Cultural Studies Graduate Conference
at the University of Rochester
April 6th-7th, 2017

Keynote: Rosalyn Deutsche, Barnard College

An environment, by definition, denotes the surroundings in which we and other organisms live and develop. This conference invites interrogations of what an environment is while anticipating alternative understandings of the concept and its physical referent. Our current failure to effectively respond to the planetary crisis is in part due to an antiquated notion of the environment. Moreover, it also results from the available ways in which we can represent and experience an environment. Rooted in Western imperialism and capitalist modes of production, the anthropocentric notion of nature and the environment needs to be interrupted in order to accommodate and sustain new futures. Continue reading

Documentary on smuggling of rhino horns and ivory

There is a new shocking AlJazeera undercover documentary just out, on the ongoing mass killing of rhinos and elephants in Africa to supply the market in China and Vietnam (which acts as a smuggler’s route for China), with Johannesburg-based Chinese “businessmen” giving details on camera, about their smuggling of these animal parts to China (even via Beijing airport) — it is quite amazing as an undercover film revealing how the local Chinese middlemen, as well as dealers in Fujian, actually talk about these crimes, how difficult it is to commit them, the prices, the members of the latest Chinese presidential delegation also buying these things in SA, etc.:


The network’s description:
“An Al Jazeera undercover team penetrated the network of dealers, agents and traffickers who profit from the multi-million dollar trade in Rhino horn. An illegal business that is decimating the Rhino population close to the point of extinction.”
Continue reading

China Environmental Stewardship Awards

2017年度中国未来之路环保奖 公告
China Environmental Stewardship Awards

Simple Version:  极简版本:

2017 China Environmental Stewardship Awards
(environmental protection, risk management and sustainable development)
申请截止日期:2016 年12 月31日 Deadline: December 31, 2016
支持资金: 每个项目总额不超过25,000美元
Upper limit of USD 25,000 for individual grant
项目公告:http://www.iie.org/Programs/China-Environmental-Stewardship-Award Continue reading

Living in China’s expanding deserts

Source: NYT (10/24/16)
Living in China’s Expanding Deserts
People on the edges of the country’s vast seas of sand are being displaced by climate change.


Map of Chinese deserts.

IN THE TENGGER DESERT, CHINA — This desert, called the Tengger, lies on the southern edge of the massive Gobi Desert, not far from major cities like Beijing. The Tengger is growing.

For years, China’s deserts spread at an annual rate of more than 1,300 square miles. Many villages have been lost. Climate change and human activities have accelerated desertification. China says government efforts to relocate residents, plant trees and limit herding have slowed or reversed desert growth in some areas. But the usefulness of those policies is debated by scientists, and deserts are expanding in critical regions.

Continue reading

Chinese religion and environmental protection

Source: Sinosphere, NYT (10/17/16)
On the Role of Chinese Religion in Environmental Protection
点击查看本文中文版 Read in Chinese


A view of Maoshan, a sacred mountain in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu. Credit Visual China Group, via Getty Images

Prasenjit Duara is one of the most original thinkers on culture and religion in Asia.

A 66-year-old historian of China, he was born in Assam, India, and educated at the University of Delhi, the University of Chicago and Harvard. He later taught at the University of Chicago, Stanford and the National University of Singapore and now teaches at Duke.

Professor Duara began his career with a pioneering study of Chinese religion: “Culture, Power, and the State: Rural North China, 1900-1942.” This work, published in 1988, helped redefine how many people thought of Chinese religion, showing it to be one of the most powerful forces in traditional Chinese society. His subsequent books reflect a broadening of interests to include topics such as nationalism and imperialism. His latest work, “The Crisis of Global Modernity: Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future,” brings many of these strands together, along with issues such as climate change. Continue reading

China’s ecosystems healthier, study finds

Source: China Real Time (6/17/16)
Study Finds China’s Ecosystems Have Become Healthier
By Te-Ping Chen

BEIJING, CHINA - Chinese people gather in an overlook at Ritan Park in Biejing in the evening on June 9. Ritan, meaning 'sun altar', is considered an oasis of green space in a sprawling city of skyscrapers, air pollution, and a population of over 20 million people. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

BEIJING, CHINA – Chinese people gather in an overlook at Ritan Park in Biejing in the evening on June 9. Ritan, meaning ‘sun altar’, is considered an oasis of green space in a sprawling city of skyscrapers, air pollution, and a population of over 20 million people. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images) PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

China’s skies may be toxic, and its rivers fetid and prone to sudden infestations of pig carcasses. But according to a new study, the country’s environmental battle has also been making quiet, measurable progress.

The paper, a collaboration between U.S. and Chinese researchers published in this week’s issue of Science, found that China’s ecosystems have become healthier and more resilient against such disasters as sandstorms and flooding. The authors partly credit what they describe as the world’s largest government-backed effort to restore natural habitats such as forests and grasslands, totaling some $150 billion in spending since 2000. Continue reading