China Watch, Food, Renewable Energy, News, Natural Disasters & Peacemaking, e2 - Eye on Earth

Renewable Energy Markets Show Strong Growth - REN21 Releases "Renewables 2005: Global Status Report"

Global investment in renewable energy set a new record of $30 billion in 2004, according to a report released today by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21). Technologies such as wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and small hydro now provide 160 gigawatts of electricity generating capacity, about 4 percent of the world total, the report finds.

Think Twice Before Opening the Door to Exotic Plants

As disposable incomes rise in China, the desire to alter the landscape is intensifying. City authorities, tired of the same old surrounding flora, are eager to revitalize streets and parks with new and exotic greenery. Meanwhile, desertification researchers, faced with worsening sandstorms from China’s barren deserts, are keen to find more permanent methods for holding back the drifting sand.

PVC Food Wrap Has Caught Chinese Government's Attention

Concern about the widespread use of carcinogenic polyvinylchloride (PVC) food wrap in Chinese supermarkets has caught the attention of both the media and the Chinese government in recent weeks. While most food wraps sold for home use in China are made of safer alternatives, PVC plastic is still used to seal vegetables, fruits, meat, and other cooked food in supermarkets nationwide.

China Faces Grim AIDS Threat

A public health official warned on Saturday that China will likely see a widespread AIDS pandemic if timely counter measures are not adopted, according to Xinhua News Agency.

New Outbreak of Avian Flu Reported in Inner Mongolia

A fresh outbreak of avian flu is reported to have taken place at a poultry farm in Tengjiaying Village, Inner Mongolia, killing 2,600 birds, Xinhua News Agency reported on October 19. China’s national bird flu laboratory confirmed it was the H5N1 strain, which is potentially lethal to humans.

Human Activities Contribute to Drying Up of Major River Headwaters

As temperatures and human pressures have increased in China’s mountainous west over the past decade, the headwaters of two major river arteries, the Yellow and the Yangtze, are drying up at an alarming rate. The Chinese government has poured in money and other resources in an attempt to reverse or mitigate this trend, but observers remain pessimistic about finding a long-term cure.

Nearly 300 Chinese Cities Lack Sewage Treatment

As of late June, 297 cities in China had not yet built adequate sewage treatment plants, an official with the Ministry of Construction reported on October 10th. Of these nearly 300 cities, 63 are larger urban areas, including 8 with populations of more than 500,000.

Environmental "Tipping Points": Ecosystem Health and Community Vitality Go Hand In Hand

Washington, DC— In places as diverse as the Philippines, India, and New York City, people are addressing complex environmental problems by finding their positive "tipping points"—a point where catalytic action can set off a cascade of positive changes that tip the system towards sustainability. "We don't have to solve an entire problem at once. We make a few key changes and let a system use its self-organizing powers to mend itself," write Gerald Marten, Steve Brooks, and Amanda Suutari, authors of Environmental Tipping Points: A New Slant on Strategic Environmentalism.


Washington, D.C. — Today the Worldwatch Institute launched its China Watch news service ( reporting on developments in energy, agriculture, population, water, health, and the environment in China. This new online feature is a joint initiative of Worldwatch and the Beijing-based Global Environmental Institute (GEI), made possible through the support of the Blue Moon Fund.

China Ranks Third Hardest Hit by Disasters

Over 70 percent of China's big cities, more than half of its population of 1.3 billion, and 75 percent of its key industrial and agricultural areas are located in regions prone to weather-related and geological disasters, according to Xinhua News Agency.
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