Environment

Environment

Fungus fan’s videos an online hit in China
Zhou Qingfeng has become a sensation on Chinese social media for posting time-lapse videos of fungi and mushrooms. The 30-year-old microplant enthusiast spends days camping in remote areas to get closer to the tiny organisms that fascinate her. Zhou has even rented a house deep in the woods to get closer to nature and spend more time observing and capturing images of the organisms to post online.  
China’s electric car market is accelerating. Can makers keep us charged?
The world is returning full circle to the electric car, as concerns about gaseous emissions and their impact on climate change compel global governments to find alternatives to gas-guzzlers. Iowa was the global hub for electric vehicles more than a century ago, with more than 30,000 horseless carriages produced in Des Moines at the industry’s peak in 1912. William Morrison, a Scottish immigrant and chemist, had invented a self-powered electric carriage – known as the auto-mobile – using lead-acid battery cells that could carry 12 passengers at a top speed of 20 miles per hour for 50 miles (80km) before recharging. In the century since, vehicles running on oil-guzzling internal combustion eng
Pangolins face extinction despite trade ban
Pangolins continue to face the threat of extinction despite tightened protections on the wildlife trade put in place by China and many Southeast Asian countries. During the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity on September 30, 2020, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson drew attention to the plight of the scaly mammal in a call for more action to save the species.
China, US trade barbs at UN General Assembly
Tensions between the US and China overshadowed a high-profile United Nations meeting after Beijing hit back at US President Donald Trump’s fierce accusations over China’s coronavirus response and environmental record. Zhang Jun, China’s ambassador to the UN, said on Wednesday the US had abused the organization’s platform to spread “groundless accusations.” The comments were a response to Trump’s address at the General Assembly calling for accountability after China “unleashed this plague onto the world” and slamming the World Health Organization (WHO) as being “virtually controlled by China.” Zhang said China held an “open, transparent and responsible attitude” during the outbreak, while the
Rare pink dolphin makes comeback as Covid-19 quiets Hong Kong waters
Border restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic have apparently paved the way for a comeback of a rare creature in Hong Kong waters, the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, also known as Chinese white dolphin or pink dolphin. Seas off southern Lantau Island have been quieter than usual with fewer high-speed ferries crossing the marine mammals’ natural habitat. Researchers say that sightings of the dolphins are up by as much as 30% and the animals they see appear to be less “stressed”
China Trends: WeChat ban clouds iPhone use in China and closed mines continue to pollute
Every Tuesday and Thursday, China Trends takes the pulse of the Chinese social media to keep you in the loop of what the world’s biggest internet population is talking about. WeChat or iPhone?  After US President Donald Trump ordered fresh restrictions on the Chinese messaging super-app WeChat on Friday, many in China wondered whether it meant they would have to part ways with Apple. Trump used the power of executive orders to block all US transactions related to WeChat, beginning 45 days later. The order would bar Apple from listing WeChat in its App Store. With US-China relations in their worst state since the two countries restored diplomatic relations in the 70s, technology companies tha
China buys more from Australia despite rising tension
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. 7%: The increase in Chinese imports from Australia in June.  China is importing more goods from Australia despite rising diplomatic tensions between the countries. The rise in Chinese import of Australian materials crucial for China’s infrastructure projects made up for drops in other products Australia exports to China. In May, Beijing slapped tariffs on Australian barley and suspended imports of Australian beef from four producers. The tariffs came after Australia called for an independent probe into the origin of the coronavirus in April, leading some to speculat
Are China’s dams causing droughts in its neighbors?
Chinese dams aren’t the problem causing droughts for downstream nations along the Mekong River – they are part of the solution – says a Chinese study released in July. The study is an attempt to pour water on claims by a rival US-backed investigation that blamed dams in China for water shortages suffered by Southeast Asian countries on the river’s lower reaches. The Chinese study, a collaboration between Tsinghua University and China’s Institute of Water Resources, argues that the dams help alleviate the problem by storing water from the wet season and releasing it in the dry season. The claim has sparked an academic discussion about the root cause of shortages so severe that Vietnam declare
Rare sighting of sea lion on China’s coast
A rare sighting of a Steller sea lion was reported at Dandong port on the coast of China’s northeastern province of Liaoning on July 13, 2020. The animals are usually more active in the northern Pacific Ocean, but several have recently been seen in China. Listed as “near threatened” by conservation groups, the creatures are the largest species in the sea lion family.