A New Environmental History of Socialist States

Review of: Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro, Socialist States and the Environment: Lessons for Ecosocialist Futures (London: Pluto Press, 2021), 288 pages, $26.95, paperback. Starting in the late 1970s, a narrative emerged about the extreme levels of environmental damage in the Soviet Union and, by implication, most state-socialist countries. The explosion and initial cover-up at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 did much to crystallize this image of the environmental record of socialist states as being worse than those of their capitalist counterparts. Instead, over the past twenty years, environmental historians of the Soviet Union have largely come to the opposite conclusion. As … Continue reading A New Environmental History of Socialist States

China is building world’s first commercial land-based Small Modular Reactor

China is building the “Linglong-1,” a small modular reactor (SMR) in the country’s southern island province of Hainan. It’s the world’s first of this type of reactor to be approved by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and it intends to … Continue reading China is building world’s first commercial land-based Small Modular Reactor

China chairs UN Convention on Biological Diversity

China currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biodiversity (CBD). This is the first time China has overseen a major UN intergovernmental negotiation on the environment. The first meeting in the current … Continue reading China chairs UN Convention on Biological Diversity

China’s power supply, energy structure tested in extreme drought amid transition to cleaner energy future

Galvanizing energy tests As the rare triple-dip La Nina treks the globe leaving behind it extreme weather phenomena and disasters, some regions in southern China are experiencing a severe drought that only happens once in decades, which has challenged the country’s power supply and storage system. Southwest China’s Sichuan Province, which largely relies on hydropower, has been facing the severest difficulties in history in ensuring power supply in recent weeks due a triad of challenges of extreme high temperatures, record low precipitation, and high power demands in the same period.  Moreover, by mid-August, about 12.32 million mu (821,333 hectares) of … Continue reading China’s power supply, energy structure tested in extreme drought amid transition to cleaner energy future

Blaming China and other developing countries for climate change ‘is simply racist’

‘Time to call a spade a spade ….’ In response to our article posted on another Facebook environmental site commenting on how China leads the world in green energy, a US reader from New York in the USA commented: “It … Continue reading Blaming China and other developing countries for climate change ‘is simply racist’

Emerging technologies to hasten China’s renewable power revolution

Electricity generation remains China’s major source of CO2 emissions. China Daily reports: Digital technology will play an important role in Chinese power generation enterprises’ transition to a low carbon world by enabling emissions reductions, according to a recently released report. Digitalization tools, including the internet of things, 5G, smart grids and distributed energy resources, along with the electrification of end uses, will play a vital role in the power sector’s structural change from a system based on fossil fuel-powered generation toward one based on variable renewable energy modalities, according to a white paper on the net-zero digital transformation of Chinese … Continue reading Emerging technologies to hasten China’s renewable power revolution

Environmental noise affects mate choice in animals: Chinese study

Chinese researchers have discovered that noise influences mate choice based on visual information in animals via cross-sensory interference, according to the Chengdu Institute of Biology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Animal communication is often hampered by noise interference, while little is known about its cross-modal effect and how animals weigh unimodal and multimodal courtship cues in noisy environments. Using tree frogs as experimental objects, researchers from the institute presented unimodal signals (sound or vocal sac) and multimodal signals (sound and vocal sac) to female frogs by using audio or video playbacks to test the female frogs’ ability of processing … Continue reading Environmental noise affects mate choice in animals: Chinese study

China commissions first phase of 200 MW ‘vanadium flow battery’ – scale dwarfs anything else in the world

Energy Storage News reports that China has commissioned a 100MW/400MWh vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) energy storage system in Dalian City’s Shahekou District, which is in Liaoning Province in northeastern China. A vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) is a type of … Continue reading China commissions first phase of 200 MW ‘vanadium flow battery’ – scale dwarfs anything else in the world

China’s plan to clean up ‘new pollutants’

“This is a significant step forward for China’s chemical regime.” Liu Jianguo, Associate Professor, Peking University Hopes are high that a Chinese action plan will help control chemicals with ongoing harmful effects. In 2014, China declared a “war on pollution”. … Continue reading China’s plan to clean up ‘new pollutants’

China launches national soil survey to protect arable land

After rapid development and intensive farming, China is to carry out a new national soil survey to help with its food security and carbon targets. China Dialogue a few days ago published an article by three Chinese scientists. The authors are soil science experts – Chen Nengchang and He Xiaoxia are with the Guangdong Institute of Eco-environmental and Soil Sciences of the Guangdong Academy of Sciences, while Lin Dasong is with the Agro-Environmental Protection Institute of China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Many soil scientists have been calling for a new survey, particularly those who are representatives to China’s … Continue reading China launches national soil survey to protect arable land