Third of the New York Times’s environmental series this year, and multimedia package along with this installment:
Lake Tai, the center of China’s ancient “land of fish and rice,” succumbed this year to floods of industrial and agricultural waste.
The outbreak confirmed the claims of a crusading peasant, Wu Lihong, who protested for more than a decade that the region’s thriving chemical industry, and its powerful friends in the local government, were destroying one of China’s ecological treasures.
Mr. Wu, however, bore silent witness. Shortly before the algae crisis erupted in May, the authorities here in his hometown arrested him. In mid-August, with a fetid smell still wafting off the lake, a local court sentenced him to three years on an alchemy of charges that smacked of official retribution. [Full Text]