Searching for Local Heroes in China – Jen Lin-Liu

An op-ed in the New York Times looks at how urban Chinese diets are changing to be more like their Western counterparts, which may be contributing to environmental destruction:

I’ve also become worried that China’s newfound eating habits are contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. While there are movements in America and Europe to reduce carbon footprints and eat locally grown foods, the Chinese are too enthralled with all the new choices to think much of the damage they are doing to the earth.

But in China’s rural heartland, away from wealthy urban centers, evidence suggests that is already beginning to disrupt harvests: at a village near the Great Wall where my fiancé and I spend weekends, the corn farmers complain that the summer rains came six weeks late this year, while the winters are steadily becoming warmer. A stream that runs just beneath the crumbling watchtowers of the Great Wall has dried up, and the farmers say less snow is falling on the jagged brown peaks nearby. [Full text]

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