The New York Times is running a three-part special report, “Choking on Growth,” which describes the current environmental crisis in China. Part I is about the crisis in general. Part II is about the groundwater crisis. The third part concerns Wu Lihong, an activist who was recently sentenced to 3 years in jail on trumped-up charges because he drew attention to factory pollution in Lake Tai, a source of food and water for several million people about 100 miles west of Shanghai. The lake, pictured above, is being choked by pond scum fed by factory effluents.
In about a month, I will asking my students to read Arundhati Roy on the problem of Indian dams, and Ishimure Michiko on the mercury poisoning in Minimata, Japan. I am sad that they will now be reading about Wu Lihong as well.