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Where China goes, the rest follow in the global neighborhood

EAST LANSING, Mich. Globalization is making it a small world, after all, and the costs of this newfound neighborliness are high.

Two internationally acclaimed scientists present sweeping evidence that China's challenges from polluted air and water to making and consuming goods to family life already are making a big impact on the environment and human well-being in China and other parts of the world, including America and Europe.

The developed nations must take a more active role with policy, with aid and through business to assist and support developing countries and recognize that the only real borders are drawn on paper.

"The world is increasingly connected," said Jianguo "Jack" Liu, the Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. "If we want to make the environment in China better and there are many important reasons for us to the whole world needs to do something about it."

Liu, University Distinguished professor and director of the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability at MSU, has joined with Pulitzer-prize winning author Jared Diamond, professor of geography and physiology at UCLA, to write "China's Environment in a Globalizing World How China and the Rest of the World Affect Each Other" in the June 30 issue of the international science journal Nature.

In the cover-story feature article, Liu and Diamond outline the striking changes to China's environment, including:

  • Much of China's rapidly growing economy, coal mining and cement, paper, and chemical production, still rests on outdated, inefficient, or polluting technology. Industrial energy efficiency overall is much lower than that of the developed nations.

  • Almost all coastal seas are polluted.

  • Freshwater fisheries are being severely degraded by pollution and overfishing.

  • Environmental damage has caused severe econom
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Contact: Jianguo "Jack" Liu
jliu@panda.msu.edu
517-355-1810
Michigan State University
29-Jun-2005


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