Cobra II And The “Tuskonomics” Of Ivory In China

China Cobra
2014 has been an auspicious year so far for elephants. In January, the Chinese government crushed -- the technical term for destroying -- a whopping 6.15 tons of tusks, equivalent to one-sixth of the illegal ivory seized worldwide in 2012. The following week, Chinese officials worked with Kenyan authorities to apprehend the Chinese kingpin of a Kenya-based ivory ring.

Tree 1, Crane 0

Tree topples crane
A 700-year-old tree in Shifang, Sichuan province withstood the efforts of a crane trying to secretly knock it down. Check it out. That's what happens when an immovable object is actually immovable: 30 meters tall, 2.4 meters in diameter, apparently.

Jiangmen Protest Successful As City Scraps Plans To Build Uranium Plant

Jiangmen protest of uranium power plant
Hundreds of residents staged a not-in-my-backyard protest in Jiangmen, Guangdong province on Friday to oppose plans to build a uranium processing plant. SCMP reports that the protest, a restrained and civil affair, was largely organized via social media. The uranium complex, featuring three 30-hectare plants, would have been the nation's biggest, reports NY Times.

1,177 Tons Of Fish Dead Of Oxygen Deprivation Near Yunnan Hydroelectric Dam

Dead fish in Yunnan tilapia hypoxia
Thousands of fish have been dredged out of a reservoir near Sinan River Power Station, a hydroelectric dam in Yunnan province. How many thousands? Whatever 1,177 tons comes out to -- about half a million, give or take many thousand. The deaths began on May 20, according to Yunnan Net. Five days later, 1,177 tons of fish, mostly tilapia, were dead, including 3.6 million fry. The economic losses are estimated at 13 million yuan.

Good Morning, Beijing. You Look… Different

Hudson Lockett picture Beijing Snow
The rain began yesterday afternoon, turning into ice by the late evening, continuing through the night as snow. And behold, the above picture via BJ Reviewer. Josh Chin is also calling for photos at the hashtag #BeijingSnowWSJ / #BeijingSnowWSJ# (for you Weibo users), so do that if you want to see your picture on Wall Street Journal,... Read more »

Environmentally Conscious Chinese Rally For Arbor Day

Arbor Day in China
Did you know that Tuesday, March, 12, was Arbor Day in China? On Zhi Shu Jie (植树节), literally Plant-A-Tree Day, people celebrated by planting anything they could. As Sina Weibo user @粮仓一鼠 put it, “Although there is no land to plant a tree, we can grow a pea in a flower pot.” Like him, many... Read more »

The Farmer Responsible For Dumping 6,601 (And Counting) Swine Carcasses Into Shanghai River Has Been Detained

Pig asks WTF
Seriously, now: forget the jokes, forget about water safety concerns, forget everything until this question is answered: what possibly could have gone through the mind of the homicidal pig farmer who dumped more than 6,000 pigs into the Huangpu River? Did a pig farm explode? Does circovirus cause pigs to go mad and jump in... Read more »

900 Dead Pigs Found In Shanghai Waterway [UPDATE: Swine Count Now In The Thousands]

Dead pigs in Shanghai 2
People in Shanghai never stop complaining about Beijing, and with sandstorms sweeping into the capital, the people in this country's Second City have been growing quite smug about their marginally healthier air. Well, now… Shanghai isn't exactly environmentally pristine. This weekend, more than 900 dead pigs were found added to the aquatic ecosystem in the Songjiang section of Huangpu River.

NPC Delegate Zhong Nanshan: What Good Is The World’s Highest GDP If The People Can’t Breathe?

Zhong Nanshan featured image
Although the skies were conveniently blue for the first day of the National People’s Congress on March 5, by the next day the AQI was already creeping back above 300. In an interesting twist, a prominent member of the National People’s Congress has criticized the Chinese government for its anti-pollution efforts. In an interview with... Read more »

Reporter Asks Emotional Three-Minute Question About The Environment, Receives No Response From NPC Delegates

Reporter asks about environment at NPC featured image
The environment is everyone's concern, because we all live under the same sky -- in Beijing, often a dark, dirty one, rife with health hazards. It's our collective duty to take care of it, but what can anyone -- an individual, particularly one with power -- do to spur a collective response against man-made threats to our natural world? What would they do?

Chinese Politicians Who Advocate For The Environment Risk Career Setback: Report

Pollution over China
For years now, people have claimed that being green is profitable. For even longer, however, companies and countries have engaged in greenwashing, the act of deceptively marketing oneself as environmentally friendly to gain public trust and consumer karma. What exactly is the difference between a truly green institution and one that pretends to be? The... Read more »

Beijing Finally Gets With Times, Will Use AQI Index That Measures PM 2.5

AQI
After a year of public demands, Beijing’s municipal government has finally agreed to measure air pollution using the Air Quality Index (AQI), which most pollution-watchers should be familiar with thanks to the US Embassy’s air quality monitor. Reports Global Times: Beijing is tossing out its hazy Air Pollution Index and replacing it with a new... Read more »

Like In The Fable Of Yu Gong, Developers In Lanzhou Moving Mountains To Build New City

Developers In Lanzhou Moving Mountains To Build New City featured image
A Modern Parable They told the Old Man the mountain, with its head as white as his, would not move, but he feigned deafness. They mocked him, shaking their fans and leaning forward so he could better see their sneers, but the Old Man wagged his head and flashed a toothy grin. The townsfolk gossiped behind his back and marveled at the futility of the endeavor, but the Old Man, rocking away his days on a hand-woven bamboo chair, knew that one day the steadfastness of his pursuit would coalesce with a dream so that in their sameness he'd wake to see the mountain gone, carried off to the shores of the Bohai Sea.

Villagers Clash With Police Over Proposed Power Plant, Flip Over Vehicles [VIDEO]

Wenzhou protest 1
Sources are saying that scattered protests involving “more than 1,000 villagers” (SCMP, via Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy) in Wenzhou, Zheijang province have resulted in either “hundreds” (SCMP), “200” (Want China Times) or “more than 10” injuries (Radio Free Asia). It began in Longgang township on Tuesday, where villagers were unhappy about... Read more »