Archive for the ‘Current affairs’ Category

People’s Climate March September 21

On September 21st, 2014 people from around the nation will come together in an unprecedented citizen mobilization for the People’s Climate March in New York City.

As world leaders meet at the United Nations climate change summit, hundreds of thousands of marchers will demand the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities. Other marches will take place around the world as we collectively call on our leaders to act on climate change.

To change everything, we need everyone on board. Here’s how you can help:

  • Take a pledge to reduce your carbon footprint and JOIN US at a march (marches happening all over the world)
  • Help Spread the word on Facebook
  • Get involved with promotion, constructing visuals, logistics, and more

For inspiration: Watch Bill McKibben’s invitation to the PCM in Rolling Stone in the video below:

People’s Climate March

 

China’s Solar Valley Shines Brightly

Himin Group's Sun-Moon Mansion

Himin Group’s Sun-Moon Mansion

This rabbit recently hopped over to the city of Dezhou, in Shandong Province, to partake in some Earth Day festivities with a few friends. While there, I learned more about the greening of China and the significant role Dezhou plays in this cleantech movement. The future certainly looks bright for 德州!

Did you know that Dezhou is one of the leading global players in solar technology today? The city boasts a thriving research and development, manufacturing, and tourism center and those in the renewable industry often refer to Dezhou as China’s Solar Valley. The Chinese government has supported the cleantech movement in this region through preferential tax benefits and other various policies that helped attract top firms to Dezhou. In just a few short years, China has become the leading manufacturer of wind turbines and solar panels around the world. It appears China has really stepped up in a significant way to promote sustainable technology.

According to the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA), there were 1.12 million renewable energy jobs in China, as of 2008; the association believes more than 100,000 new jobs will be added each year in China going forward. The solar industry in China is very robust and is currently experiencing a growth rate of nearly 30 percent a year. It is China’s stated goal to have 8 percent of their electricity generation come from solar, biomass, and wind by the year 2020. The government plans to subsidize renewables to the tune of $450 billion over the next five years to help meet this goal.

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The Bund 2.0: Rebirth of a Shanghai Icon

Bund Ah, spring is now upon us, and this rabbit enjoys the greenery all around; it is a time for rebirth! In Shanghai, one of the most iconic symbols of the city—The Bund—experienced a rebirth of its own. On March 28th, after nearly three years of renovations, the Bund reopened to the public. On that Sunday, scores of locals and tourists alike took their first stroll along the renovated 2,000-meter riverside promenade.

The project wrapped up just in time for the 2010 Shanghai Expo. Visitors will surely experience a more functional Bund as they marvel at the aesthetic buildings built in the early 20th century. This certainly is not a cheap venture either; the restoration is part of Shanghai’s overall RMB 300 billion World Expo investment.

Han Zheng, the mayor of Shanghai, pointed out some of the more notable changes to the riverfront:

  • Area for public activities increased by roughly 40 percent; the Bund can now accommodate up to 800,000 visitors on peak days.
  • Six-lane tunnel built beneath the Bund to mitigate traffic congestion on surface streets.
  • Improvements to the public transport network and the flood-control infrastructure.
  • Tree plantings along the banks of the river and installation of 2,000 park benches.

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Google in (and out of) China

nochinamapMoments ago Google decided to close its China-based search service and redirect Web searchers to an uncensored portal in Hong Kong. (See this MarketWatch article for more info. Likely this move will be blocked by China so let’s wait to see what happens.)

As it continues to develop more and more into a super world power, China’s impact on the world is growing, effecting everything from the stock market, Internet, international business, to the value of the dollar. Chinese culture continues to submerge with other cultures worldwide, especially in America, where we are so very connected by the Internet and world trade. (See our earlier post, The Asian Hot Pot That is America.)

This dragon figures it’s time to brush up on the home country so began digging on the Internet in America (where the Internet remains mostly uncensored, even to dragons)!

Though written for college students, check out this great resource on China: 50 Lectures to Learn about the Past, Present, and Future of China. Got a greater understanding about what makes China tick! Even this Chinese dragon learned a lot from this resource!

So what’s your favorite resource for news on Asia? And how do you feel about Google getting out of China? How do you feel this decision will impact the Internet world?

 

Yeah to Google in China

This dragon applauds the stand Google is taking over censorship and hacking in China. This is what Google said in their recent blog (yeah to the power of blogging)!

“We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all,” the world’s leading search engine posted on its official blog yesterday. “We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.”

This dragon is especially shocked by the possibility that the Chinese government might have been hacked into Google to monitor the email accounts of human-rights activists.

What would it truly be telling the world if the Chinese government resists Google’s demands for an impartial search engine, or if the implied accusations against the government that it hacked into Google are true?

Even the White House on Thursday backed Google’s decision to no longer submit to China’s Internet censorship:

“We will be issuing a formal demarche to the Chinese government in Beijing on this issue in the coming days, probably early this week. It will express our concern for this incident and request information from China as to an explanation of how it happened and what they plan to do about it,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters.

And from China (not very meaningful in my opinion):

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Thursday at a regular press conference that “China welcomes international Internet companies to conduct business within the country according to law.”

Google is in a tough place. It knows that bad things are happening to its service in China (such as hacking and censorship), and it thinks it may have to pull out of China. But is that the right thing to do? What do you think?

 

Liu Bolin, The Invisible Man

Camo Man

This dragon has often envied the ability of my distant chameleon cousins to camouflage themselves. (Check out this amazing cousin in camo… If I’m extra good in this life, perhaps I’ll come back with that camo skill in my next life. This could a really useful skill for a big dragon!)

Speaking of camouflage, while surfing the net today I discovered an amazing Chinese Da Vinci named Liu Bolin. Some call him the “Invisible Man” and for a really good reason! (Yes, dragons do surf the net, despite our difficulties in using a mouse.)

This very talented dude’s photos have people painted to appear to be invisible or disappearing. It’s his way of showing how he feels Chinese citizens are being treated by the Chinese government.

“It is not so much the body that is concealed in the environment,” says the Invisible Man, “as the surrounding world that swallows up human beings, without giving them any option.” What a cool and a unique way to make a political statement!

See if you can find the invisible people in following pictures! Kudos to the artist and the patient people in these pictures!

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