Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Stunning Visualization of China's Air Pollution

From The Atlantic:

A Stunning Visualization of China's Air Pollution (By Michael Zhao)
"The air in Chinese cities is getting worse, and these animations show just how severe the problem has become."

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Well this is bad...

"Data indicate China's carbon emissions could be 20% higher, prompting fears Earth is warming at a much faster rate"

Climate change rate could be faster than thought, study suggests

Monday, June 11, 2012

Time to fly!

China to build 70 airports by 2015

"China will build 70 new airports within the next three years, the head of the country's aviation watchdog has said, as part of ambitious expansion plans in the industry despite an economic slowdown."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Invitation: China Energy Systems 2012 student-made documentary film - Thu May 24

Dear China Energy Systems colleagues and friends:

Our students will to share what we experienced and leaned from our 12-day blitz through China over Spring Break, visiting 6 cites, and 10 energy facilities, traveling by bus, train, plane, and boat.

This year they have produced a documentary-style film, which we will screen on Thursday May 24, 7:00-8:30 PM in Y2E2 Room 111, followed by a reception with some refreshments.

See attached flier!

We would love to have you join us if you are available.

If you are unable to attend, we hope to post the film (not quite done yet) where you can watch it online.

To help us estimate headcount, please indicate whether you plan to attend using this simple Doodle survey link.

Hope to see you there!


Karl E. Knapp
南凯乐 博士

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

“Eating Bitterness” - China’s Great Urban Migration (Monday, May 7)

Dear everyone,

I'd like to invite you all to a lunchtime talk next Monday, May 7 about urbanization in China and the massive flow of people from the rural interior to the cities. The urban hotspots we visited in China -- Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing -- are also some of the biggest magnets in this migration. Remember our tour guide in Shenzhen talking about her own story? She packed up, moved to the city without a job, and searched for work, hoping to find employment before her savings ran out.

Journalist and author Michelle Loyalka recently published a book called "Eating Bitterness," chronicling the stories of these migrants -- the challenges they face, and the perseverance they show against the odds. (She is also a friend of Rachel Enslow, the China Energy alum who helped arrange our Goldwind visit!)

"Eating Bitterness" shines a light on a population that is often forgotten, both at home and abroad, even as migrants are powering China's rapid rise: laboring in factories to churn out goods, peddling wares and groceries to households, even constructing the very fabric of cities.

Michelle's talk is an opportunity to better understand a major driver in Chinese society today. Though economics and politics are most often featured in the news, we must also recognize that the story of China is fundamentally about human beings. Hope to see you there!


“Eating Bitterness” - China’s Great Urban Migration
Michelle Dammon Loyalka

Monday, May 7
12-1 PM
Old Union Room 215

Sponsored by FACES (Forum for American/Chinese Exchange at Stanford) and the Center for East Asian Studies.

Every year, over 200 million peasants flock to China’s urban centers, providing a profusion of cheap labor that helps fuel the country’s staggering economic growth. Award-winning journalist Michelle Dammon Loyalka will discuss her newly published book, which follows the trials and triumphs of eight such migrants—including a vegetable vendor, an itinerant knife sharpener, a free-spirited recycler, and a cash-strapped mother—offering an inside look at the pain, self-sacrifice, and uncertainty underlying China’s dramatic national transformation. At the heart of their stories lies each person’s ability to “eat bitterness" or 吃苦, a term that roughly means to endure hardships, overcome difficulties, and forge ahead. These stories illustrate why China continues to advance, even while much of the world remains embroiled in financial turmoil. At the same time, "Eating Bitterness" demonstrates how dealing with the issues facing this class of people constitutes China’s most pressing domestic challenge. More info at:

About the author

Michelle Dammon Loyalka is an award winning journalist who has lived in China since 1997. A sought-after speaker, she has spoken on issues related to China’s migration and urbanization at the United Nations, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the National Committee on US-China Relations. Her work on the psychological repercussions of China’s rapid development has earned her both an Overseas Press Club scholarship and the O.O. McIntyre Fellowship. She has written for publications such as The New York Times, Fast Company and BusinessWeek.


“A thorough and insightful examination of the gritty, arduous side of the Chinese economic miracle.”
—Publishers Weekly
“A vivid portrait of the migrant experience in the burgeoning western Chinese city of Xi'an. . . . An insightful look at the hard lives of real people caught in a cultural transition.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“What Loyalka finds is fascinating. . . . Details . . . make the book read like an ethnography, with a lot of first-hand discovery, and give it lasting power as a historical record of the biggest, fastest urbanization
in human history.”
—San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

China & EVs: A closer look at the 'dream'

There’s a great piece this week from the Associated Press, highlighting how electric vehicles have failed to catch on in China, despite grand plans from the government and the efforts of automotive companies like BYD, which we visited in Shenzhen.

“China's Dream Of Electric Car Leadership Elusive”

"China's leaders are finding it's a lot tougher to create a world-beating electric car industry than they hoped. In 2009, they announced bold plans to cash in on demand for clean vehicles by making China a global power in electric car manufacturing. They pledged billions of dollars for research and called for annual sales of 500,000 cars by 2015.

Today, Beijing is scaling back its ambitions, chastened by technological hurdles and lack of buyer interest. Developers have yet to achieve breakthroughs and will be lucky to sell 2,000 cars this year, mostly taxis. The government has hedged its bets by broadening the industry's official goals to include cleaner gasoline engines."

This has occurred despite government plans calling for "paying buyers rebates of up to 60,000 yuan ($8,800) per car the following year in five cities including Shanghai."

The article also touches on issues of intellectual property and the conditions under which international vehicle manufacturers enter the Chinese marketplace. For example, the government "strained relations with the United States and other trading partners by rolling out rules limiting access to its auto market unless foreign developers shared technology to Chinese partner."

One manufacturer, Daimler, "said it formed its venture with BYD not due to official pressure but because it wanted to create a low-cost brand for China." However, "other manufacturers such as Nissan Motor Co., maker of the electric Leaf, and General Motors Co. have chosen to pay the higher taxes required to import electric and hybrid vehicles rather than disclose expensive know-how to Chinese partners that might become rivals."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Saving China's Capital ... from itself

A post today from EMBARQ (WRI's sustainable transportation research organization).

China Transportation Briefing: How to Save China’s Capital?

"In February 2012, the number of cars in Beijing exceeded 5 million. Given the problematic levels of traffic congestion and air pollution in the Chinese capital, few people hailed the milestone as an 'achievement.'"

The article cites congestion and air pollution among the hazards of the situation, and then suggests a few potential fixes.