We know a good deal about the devastating effects of China's full-speed development, but the New York Times has assembled some excellent experts for an enlightening Q&A; series at its "Choking on Growth" site, the centerpiece of which is this week's lengthy piece on the topic (there's also an audio slide show, a video on "Green GDP," an interactive map, and (wow) an mp3 summary of the article in Chinese). The gist: despite the efforts by some high-level officials to get more sustainable, the Middle Kingdom can't stop its toxic rise, thanks largely to numbers-driven local officials, inefficient construction and industry, and a serious coal fix. But the public, which suffers most from pollution and which may be most capable of policing it, is becoming a stronger force than ever. For more on that, and on issues covered previously on Treehugger, like alternative energy (including hydroelectric), climate change, the role of a media censored by both the market and the government, environmental entrepreneurship, poor regulation, post-Kyoto scenarios, and the role of Western countries, check out the Q&A.
The answers are coming from some of the heavyweights of the Chinese environmental scene. Check out the interesting responses from China environmental journalist Orville Schell and Zhang Jingjing
, the director of litigation at the Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims in Beijing. Also on hand are Elizabeth C. Economy
, the author of "The Great Leap Backward?
" in the current issue of Foreign Affairs, Yang Fuqiang
, the chief representative of the Beijing office of the Energy Foundation, Today, biodiversity expert Lu Zhi, head of the China
office of Conservation International, enters the roundtable. Submit your comment or question for her here
, and post your own questions, answers and thoughts in the comments below.