New York Times special Report on Pollution and Economic Growth in China

You can find a fascinating 10-part report on the dramatic environmental impact of China’s miraculous economic growth in the New York Times. The report, Choking on Growth, provides readers and viewers a multimedia perspective on growth and pollution. From the perspective of comparative politics, it is important to note that some scientists and other scholars in China are trying to estimate the impact of environmental destruction on the general welfare of China’s citizens. They have begun to use a new measure of well-being, “green GDP”, arguing in effect that GDP itself is not an accurate measurement of a society’s well-being. In PLSC240, we will analyze other indicators of well-being, including HDI, the Gini Index, etc, when we study Political Economy (Chapter 4). From an IR perspective, we can ask ourselves what right or responsibility those outside China (whether IGOs like the UN, or other states like Japan and the US) have to intervene and attempt to reverse the damage China is causing to its own and the planet’s fragile ecosystem. Here is a link to a compelling video and some images below from the New York Times:

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