Tag Archive for China

what is freedom of religion for?

There is hardly a truth more sacred to the contemporary American imagination than that religion must be free from interference by the state and that the state must be free from interference from religion. Neither of these ideals holds true in China, and this fact is an enormous thorn in the side of Chinese-American relations,…

sustainable economic decisions

On Sunday the New York Times published a report,  China Outpaces U.S. in Cleaner Coal-Fired Plants, which documented China’s transition to cleaner forms of energy. Although much of China’s energy needs are still met by inefficient coal-fired power stations with poor track records in terms of emissions, China has begun to invest heavily in cleaner coal technology…

is democracy good for sustainability?

I’m teaching a course in religion and the environment this term, and my students are preparing to debate this very question: is democracy good for sustainability? By way of background, they have been reading Judith Shapiro’s book Mao’s War Against Nature, which forcefully details the way that Maoist ideology trumped scientific reason in charting China’s…

did china’s dams trigger the sichuan earthquake?

China’s massive system of hydroelectric dams and water distribution has come under fire once again. Right after the devastating Sichuan earthquake of May 12, 2008, in which over 70,000 people lost their lives, officials rushed to deny that the massive Three Gorges Dam complex hundreds of kilometres downstream could have played any role in triggering…

religious traditions and the future of east asia

Here’s three reasons why China’s traditional religions and cultures will play an increasingly important role in the East Asian political scene.  In mainland China, more people than ever are turning to religion. An interview with Arrianna Liu, who works in a Beijing-based NGO, reported that it’s not just the government’s attitudes that have changed. Ordinary…

what has become of china’s eco-cities?

There has been much news lately that the project to design a massive eco-city on Chongming Island near Shanghai may finally have fizzled out. The project, designed by the British engineering firm Arup, would have created a low carbon-footprint city called Dongtan, just a thirty-minute boat ride from Shanghai. In its first phase, to have…

china’s confucian revival

By James Miller In a recent article entitled Two Big China Stories You Missed This Year Jeffrey Wasserstrom, a respected professor of Chinese history at UC Irvine, highlighted the rehabilitation of Confucius as one of the most significant trends in contemporary China. As a historian, his main point was, well, historical. To outsiders it may seem perfectly…

i’m dreaming of a green christmas

By James Miller Christmas, as we all know, is the grand festival of the religion of consumerism. We pay homage to our saviour Santa Claus in the vast cathedral of the shopping mall. There we make a sizeable donation to the faltering economy and, just because it’s Christmas, cheerfully pay the GST to our non-existent…

closing the religion deficit

By James Miller An editorial in Friday’s Dallas Morning News argued that Hillary Clinton, the incoming U.S. Secretary of State, should move to “close our diplomats’ religion deficit.” The argument was that in order to succeed in international relations, it’s vital for the state department to understand the role religion plays in shaping the politics…

pan yue’s vision for ecological civilization

By Mary Evelyn Tucker In a world where eco-systems are unraveling and where water, soil, and species are rapidly diminishing, there are few places on Earth where environmental problems are of greater concern than China. The sheer size of the population, over a billion people, and the rapid speed of modernization are creating a collision…