When A Billion Chinese Jump: How China Will Save Mankind Or Destroy It by Jonathan WattsWatts evocative title is taken from his childhood prayer begging god to prevent the Earth being shaken from its axis by the force of the worlds largest population landing in concert. His book offers no prospect of avoiding an equivalent catastrophe for the biosphere; China has jumped he states, and we must all rebalance our lives. Region by region, he examines the activities pushing Chinas ecosystems beyond their limits.
The global consequences are stark. The rich, minority world has exported dirty industries and actual waste to China, where an ever bigger mess has to be swept under an ever shrinking rug. Western governments have claimed carbon savings without counting the exported emissions. Watts interviews with Chinese people in all sorts of social positions reveal a prevailing preoccupation with economic growth and increasing affluence. Often despite serious impacts on their lifestyles, environmental concern is worryingly far from most interviewees minds.
Maos Great Leap Forward, which instituted reckless hydro-engineering and foolhardy agricultural experiments, and caused a population explosion, is blamed for much of the develop now, clean up later attitude, but Watts is quick to point out that Euro-American economies industrialised with as little thought for wider impacts, if not less.
Filthy coal power emissions and desertification are major problems, which impact strongly on what I find the most disturbing problem; increasing pressure on water resources. Chinas waterways are under stress and in many cases too polluted to use. Himalayan glaciers, which provide a steady supply for the lands below, are being steadily depleted. Talk of redirecting waterways from India to irrigate Northern China hint at major conflicts in the future. Both countries have areas of severe shortage. Watts points out that China is buying land in Africa to feed its citizens. Dark shadows of carbon wars hang in the future...
Watts searches hard for the seeds of hope, investigating Chinas much-vaunted green investments and conservation programs, finding many serious flaws. Throughout the book, he contrasts Confucianism, which focuses on human society, with Daoism, which focuses on harmony with nature. His conclusion draws on these roots: science must help, but it cannot be the solution. In China the limits to growth are being hit now. The global economy will have to restructure. In order for this to happen, Watts claims, there must be a shift from humanist Confucian to holistic Daoist values: a lesson from ancient and modern Chinese culture for people everywhere.
'When the Chinese move in, Hong Kong stability will be destroyed'
Why Aircraft Carriers Are The Most Cost-Effective Way Of Containing China's Military
Now, the quiet standoff appears primed to enter a new phase. Last month, for example, a top U. In May, the U. Even France and the United Kingdom are talking openly about becoming more active in the region. The U.
Here's a guide to how that potential war might play out. “China can now destroy the United States repeatedly. As the war raged on, China could sneak its best hardware out of hiding, launch more surprise attacks and try to.
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For more than two months, Hong Kong has been beset by protests. Also read: How Hong Kong clashes could wallop the U. And they have been reflected in the response from the police, which has been deploying rubber bullets and tear gas with rising frequency. Yet, far from being deterred, the protesters are challenging the Chinese government with increasing resolve. Perhaps counter-intuitively, this radicalization has come alongside broadening support for the movement, with members of the middle class — such as lawyers and civil servants — openly joining the cause. Not only does it lack the manpower; its officers may refuse to use deadly force. After all, there is a big difference between firing rubber bullets at a crowd and murdering civilians.
So it is there that America and its allies intend to block aggression—starting at the first island chain off the eastern coast that includes Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines. Air Force assets based as far away as Guam could be brought to bear against a Chinese threat, as could Army units deployed to the island chain with long-range missiles, and various naval assets in the U. Pacific Fleet. A persuasive case can be made that the most cost-effective tool for deterring or repulsing Chinese aggression is provided by the 11 large-deck, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in the U. But being survivable and being cost-effective are two different things. To be cost-effective, a military solution must connect capabilities with affordability, which is what I propose to do below.