Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Pulse of the Planet #8

The next op-ed in CounterPunch's ongoing "Pulse of the Planet" series is Shannon May's "Ecological Crisis and Eco-Villages in China." The series is derived from conference papers that were delivered at the "Pulse of the Planet" panel during AAA's 2008 annual meeting in San Francisco.

In her article, May evaluates an initiative to construct a carbon-neutral sustainable housing development in rural China while bridging the urban-rural economic divide. Her research highlights how government leaders and designers failed to consider the ways in which local rural populations subsist. As a result, income generated from aquaculture and cashmere fiber suffered under the project. A substantial portion of income was also wasted on heating homes during winter, a season when local families have time to provide heating for themselves. May writes, "There is no environmental policy that is not at the same time an economic policy." Global sustainability and development goals can be reached without reinforcing the urban-rural divide, but, in order to do so, eco-friendly projects must first take into account the needs, values, and livelihoods of local populations.

Prior Pulse of the Planet Articles:
"How Dow Chemical Defies Homeland Security and Risks Another 9/11" ~ Brian McKenna
"The Inequities of Climate Change and the Small Island Experience" ~ Holly Barker
"What the Next President Must Do to Save FEMA" ~ Gregory V. Button
"The Clean, Green Nuclear Machine?" ~ Barbara Rose Johnston
"Carbon Offsets: More Harm Than Good?" ~ Melissa Checker
"The Human Right to Eat" ~ Joan P. Mencher
"Dam Legacies, Damned Futures" ~ Barbara Rose Johnston

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