Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Chinese leaders have struggled with an age-old problem: how to feed a growing population with a small amount of arable land. Despite the country’s agrarian beginnings and the ideological importance of the farmer in Maoist thought, nagging concerns about efficiency, food security and sustainable agricultural development have never been fully resolved. Even as China has dazzled the world with its technological progress in cutting-edge fields like artificial intelligence, renewable energy and bioengineering, to the government’s dismay, China has been slow to make similar advances in farming despite boasting the […]
Is It Wishful Thinking to Expect the U.S. to Return to the Paris Climate Deal?
In his staunch defense of multilateralism delivered to the U.S. Congress earlier this week, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his hope that the United States would not in fact leave the landmark Paris agreement on fighting climate change, as President Donald Trump has declared. Macron’s appeal to the need for active American leadership underscores only one of the obstacles to an effective global response to this urgent environmental threat. Some of these challenges are inherent in the mechanics of a long and overdue transition to lower-carbon forms of energy. Others are due to political decisions made by global economic powers, […]
In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, and associate editor, Omar H. Rahman, discuss the state of trans-Atlantic ties, against the backdrop of Washington visits by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. For the Report, James Borton talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about how networks of “citizen scientists” are using technology to help raise awareness about the environmental costs of development in Vietnam. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read on WPR, you can sign up for our free newsletter to get […]
Can ‘Citizen Science’ Save Vietnam’s Environment From Unchecked Economic Growth?
In early April 2016, fishermen in Vietnam began noticing something alarming: Dead fish were washing up on the shores of several provinces. Days turned into weeks, and the dead tuna and mackerel kept coming, joined by clams and even one whale. It turned out to be the largest environmental disaster in Vietnam’s history. Fishermen lost their livelihoods, and some people fell ill after eating fish that had apparently been poisoned. But at first the government kept quiet about the cause of the mass fish kill. Authorities limited coverage of it on state media and arrested hundreds of people who participated […]
On April 5, the French government announced it would provide about $1.35 billion over the next five years in state-backed credit and financing from the European Union to the country’s organic agriculture sector. The announcement was part of French President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts to reform France’s agricultural sector—including a pledge in February to invest more than $6 billion to make the industry more environmentally friendly, among other things—and follows signals from Macron that he would consider changes to the EU’s Common Agricultural policy, or CAP. For years, French farmers have been among the main beneficiaries of the CAP, which provides […]