It’s been quite some years since The Bad Earth by Vaclav Smil was published – in 1980s. Painted a grim picture of China’s environment. At the time, Chinese officials said Smil was wrong; but since then, has been official recognition of worsening environment. Now, as this thread shows, things are increasingly serious: even as China’s economy booms, its environment goes downhill. (Tho yes, there are a few bright spots.)

From article just in China Daily:

The environment situation in the country is reaching a “critical point,” the head of the environmental watchdog said over the weekend.

“More and more environmental problems are beginning to pop up,” Zhou Shengxian, director of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), told the annual meeting of the China Council for International Co-operation on Environment and Development (CCICED).

“In some places, environmental problems have affected people’s health and social stability; and damaged our international image.”

More than half of the country’s rivers are severely polluted, and about a third of the territory affected by acid rain, Zhou noted.


Also, signs that China has been stung by recent criticism of its impacts on environment within and outside the country:
The Western media have neglected the positive impact China has on the environment outside the country, according to a report released by a high-profile think tank.

The report “Review and Perspective of the Environment and Development of China” was presented by a special task force of the China Council for International Co-operation on Environment and Development (CCICED) at its annual meeting over the weekend. The task force consists of leading experts from home and abroad on global environmental and affiliated sectors.

“Too much stress on the negative environmental externality will limit China’s rights to development,” the report said.
Green impact ‘ignored by media’