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China, Lurching Giant

Honors Seminar Presentation on Chapter 12 of Collapse by Jared Diamond

Suzana Tesla

on 26 October 2012

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Transcript of China, Lurching Giant

By Suzana Tesla and Natalia Wojciaczyk China, Lurching Giant Overview Habitat Destruction Biodiversity loses Megaprojects Food and Agriculture Current Situation (Fixing or Creating a Problem?) -World's highest mountains
-Many lakes, long coastline, large continental shelf
-Northern China: highly variable rainfall, simultaneous winds and droughts
-Southern China: wet, heavy rainstorms = erosion
-World's largest population
-Growing number of households
-Rapid urbanization (from 1953-2001; 13-38%)
-largest producer/consumer of coal, fertilizer
-2nd largest consumer/producer of pesticides
-largest producer of steel; largest user of
agriculture, 2nd largest producer of
electricity & chemical textiles •Deforestation: contributor to soil erosion,
floods, and drought (along w/ climate change)
•Destruction and degradation of grasslands and
•Grassland degradation: overgrazing, climate change, mining
•Increased frequency of floods and dust storms
•Spreading of weeds and poisonous grass species
•Wetlands decreased -> converted to farms
•Degradation of freshwater and coastal marine fisheries
•Over-fishing and pollution
•Native species endangered, •Rare species at risk of extinction •Rise in invasive species •Low coast for environmental resources (ex. Water)
•Land owned by government and leased to farmers
•Zoos, botanical gardens, wildlife breeding centers, museums
•Raising fish in irrigated rice fields
•Gives grain subsidies to farmers who
convert croplands to forest or grassland
•Dams = high economic cost an
associated with soil erosion and disruption of major ecosystems

•South to North Water Diversion
Project = spread pollution and
cause water imbalance •Increased demand of beef, lamb, chicken
•More agricultural waste: 10-20lbs of plant for 1lb of meat •Environmental protection laws and policies
= not effectively implemented
•One child policy = reduce population growth
•Ending logging nationally in 1998
•Joining World Trade Organization = increase importation of cars, textiles, & other
commodities (also garbage) -> force China to
adopt environmental policies?
•Import oil and natural gas
= dec. pollution from coal (cc) image by nuonsolarteam on Flickr •Air•Water•Soil•Habitat destruction•Biodiversity loses•Megaprojects Environmental Problems (6) Air pollution• •Face masks
•Rise in nitrogen oxygen and carbon dioxide due to increased number of motor vehicles and coal-dominated energy
•Acid rain increase: ¼ of
Chinese cities Water Quality •Poor and declining•Industrial and municipal waste water discharges•Agricultural and aquacultural runoffs of fertilizers, pesticides, manure= eutrophication (nutrient runoff=excessive algal concentration)•Aquifers becoming depleted = land sink under cities •River show cessation Soil •Erosion
•Decline in quality, quantity and fertility
•Long-term fertilize use•Decline in soil-renewing earthworms
•Salination: increase in concentration of salts in soil which are soluble
•Desertification due to overgrazing,
deforestation, & inappropriate agriculture
•Domestic and industrial trash dumped
onto fields Transportation • Increase in railroads, motor roads, airline routes
• 3rd largest vehicle manufacturing industry
• Conversion of land into roads and parking lots Technology/Energy •Outdated, inefficient, polluting technology
•Irrigation = water wastage, soil nutrient
losses, river sediment loads
•Coal= causes air pollution and
acid rain Current Situation (Fixing or Creating a Problem?)
Full transcript