Response to article on China building a new city

I wonder where China thinks it will get the wood to build this new city. Or rather what south east Asian country will allow the Chinese to buy forest concessions and throw the original inhabitants off the land to end up in shanty towns or dead? As the forests of Asia (and everywhere else) disappear, this urge to build cities to spur growth will be come a less and less useful model. I know, we do not build wooden buildings in big cities. But today I walked by a typical urban downtown construction site, and while i do not believe a stick of wood has yet been incorporated into the actual building, there are vast quantities of wood being used on the site. You can not build cities without vast quantities of wood. Nor provide all the paper. And the loss of forests is making wood harder to come by, more expensive, and more valuable standing alive in the forest than cut down.

Ironically, according to the World Bank leaving the forest in the care of the original inhabitants instead of selling off concessions creates stronger local economies and generates more tax revenues for the various levels of government than do the concessions. And it is much less dangerous for the planet as intact forests are critical for moderating the climate., providing clean water, and maintaining biodiversity.

China, and every other place on the planet with rural migrants expanding the cities, is going to build cities as long as it thinks it can, but the slowdown in growth in China is already suggesting it is bumping up against ecological limits, and not only that they can not breathe the air. And this time it is not only in the neighborhood, it is global. The loss of forests is telling us we need a new approach to economic development.

One thought on “Response to article on China building a new city

  1. because my sister-in-law s from China I usually read about modern China, but I’m not sure what new city this is referencing.
    However, underyling the need for new cities, regardless of resources, is population growth. China at 1.38 billion people is said (by Wikileaks) to be growing at 0.47%/year, relatively low, but since .47% of 1.38 billion is almost 6.5 million more people a year. They have to be housed and since cities take up less space per person that rural areas do, and many Chinese metro areas are overwhelmingly large, I can see why they might want to build new cities. What materials to build them with is another question, what do you recommend?
    Like just about all environmental problems, this one (deforestation) won’t be solved unless we find a way to limit the relentless human population growth.

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