“Balancing Economic Development and Environmental Sustainability”

Monday, August 4  
Dr. Thomas Gold China in 2014: Historical and Political Context (PDF)
Summary: To establish background for the following presentations, Dr. Gold presents three major concepts. First, China is not a monolith. It is extremely diverse and complicated in terms of geography, ethnicity, language, traditional beliefs, economic development, and economic class. Second, the political system is shaped by the central role of the Communist Party. Third, China’s current quest for wealth and power began in the 1840s and is characterized by the struggle to find a development model that adopts western technology while retaining Chinese essence.
Dr. Roselyn Hsueh Policy Analysis: Prospects for Chinese Monetary Policy in the Xi Jinping Era (PDF)
Summary: Dr. Roselyn Hsueh gives an overview of Chinese economic policy during the Xi Jinping era.  She explains that Chinese economic policy is diverse rather than monolithic, and cannot be separated from China’s political concerns.  She states that in China national security issues equal internal security concerns. Her talk includes an analysis of the goals of the Third Plenum of the 18th Communist Party Congress, and the possible reforms the party might make in strengthening market forces, private property, administrative reforms, decentralization at the local level, and Internet security. She explains that the government will continue to intervene in industries that the Chinese Communist Party feels are most important in order to maintain its control.
Dr. Thomas Fingar Role of United States in China’s Modernization Strategy (PPT not used)
Summary: Dr Fingar looks back to the 1980’s and shows how US played a very big role in helping China become a more modern country.   Because both countries were more concerned about Soviet Union than about each other, they adopted the attitude that the enemy of my enemy is my friend and in less than a decade, moved to a remarkable trading partnership with each other.  Mao’s death cleared the way for policy change in China and Deng looked for a new way to modernize and seized the opportunity offered by Carter administration to open up free world system to China’s participation.  Thus, China’s rise is inextricably linked to US;  US assisted China for self interest; this was an  overwhelmingly win-win situation for both countries.
Geng He Despair and Hope: China’s Energy and Environmental Challenges in its Great Social Economic Transition (PDF)
Summary: Geng He, a native of Hunan province in China and a graduate student in UC-Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group, provides an overview of China’s energy and environment challenges that includes valuable photos, charts, and graphs.  Among the points he discusses are that nearly 25 percent of China’s current carbon emissions result from manufacturing for exports that are consumed in other countries, that the movement of some 300 million people from the countryside to cities in recent decades has intensified energy needs, and that coal plays a large role in energy generation. He notes that China is making progress in developing renewable energy sources, mass transportation infrastructure, and market-based programs to curb carbon emissions.
Monday, August 5  
Dr. Thomas Gold China’s Environment, Domestic and Global Considerations (PDF)
Summary: Prof. Thomas Gold gives an overview to China’s Current Environment Issues, both domestic and global concerns, such as air, water, soil, food safety,  waste disposal.  He points out that China’s experience is not unique, as most industrializing nations undergo the tradeoff between economic development and environment sustainability,  but China’s scale is much larger.  China’s traditional view of nature is that Nature is much greater than humanity, yet humans can control nature, for example, by controlling floods with damns. Unlike India, the Chinese government is acknowledging.
Dr. Kristen McDonald Solving China’s Pollution Crisis from the Grassroots Up (PDF)
Summary: Dr. McDonald’s organization, Pacific Environment, helps grassroot groups in China solve environmental problems in their own community by giving them training and legal advice.  Grassroot efforts promote environmental awareness and education.  Though the central government focuses on environmental issues, uniform and rigorous application of environmental laws has been lacking and thus presents a key challenge.  China’s major environmental issues are water pollution, particularly ground water pollution, soil pollution, and air pollution.
Mr. Thomas Klitgaard The Law & Environment – If you protect the green mountains, you need not be afraid of running out of wood (PDF)
Supplement (PDF)
Summary: How the Chinese government addresses the environmental issues in China can be summarized in the phrase “Bu pa man, jiu pa zhan (不怕慢,就怕站)” which means one should not be afraid of going slow, but rather be afraid of standing still.  Mr. Klitgaard, who has been working with China since 1979, pointed out the fundamental differences between the Constitution of the United States and China and how that explains the Chinese government’s response, or seemingly lack of response, in dealing with the byproduct of her rapid industrialization.
Mr. Wei-Tai Kwok Who Will Act First on Climate Change, the U.S. or China? (PDF)
Summary: Wei-Tai Kwok presents updated information from Al Gore’s Climate Change Initiative, beginning with a bubble chart of 2011 global carbon emissions that illustrates the leading role that China and the United States play in both causes and solutions to global warming. The presentation includes a dramatic time-lapse photo showing global temperature changes from 1884 to the present and explains the connection between global warming and recent extreme weather events around the world. It concludes with suggestions for how teachers can use upcoming international meetings to engage students in discussions on the topic.