Xinhua News Agency Interviews Schwerin

A dozen years ago, when my wife and I took the first of our five trips to China, talking about the environment was almost forbidden. Economic development, no matter what the cost, was the government and peoples’ sole focus. This position was short-sighted but understandable given the hundreds of millions of Chinese living in poverty. In the dozens of lectures I made over the years, I tried to convince a wide variety of audiences that they would pay a steep price for this myopic approach, but very few were listening. Fast forward to 2013 and read the words of an editorial in The Global Times, an arm of The People’s Daily: “Recent atmospheric pollution has really sounded a warning to us. . . .The public should understand the importance of development as well as the critical choice between development and environment protection should be made by genuinely democratic methods.”

It is no surprise, therefore, that when I was recently interviewed by the Xinhau News xinhuaAgency, China’s largest news organization, the correspondent’s questions focused largely, although not entirely, on the environment. For a link to the article click here

An excerpt from the translation of the article follows:

“Business enterprises have enormous influence and power that transcend geographic borders. In fact, some large transnational companies have revenue that exceeds the GNP of many countries,” Schwerin said. “The policies established by companies affect its employees’ living standards, the surrounding community’s strength and vitality, the health of a region’s ecosystem and the quality of its air, water and soil. Decisions made by executives in the oil, coal, agriculture and heavy manufacturing industries can determine the level of pollution in the community in which it operates and the well-being of its citizens.”

For a full translation of the article click here


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One Response to Xinhua News Agency Interviews Schwerin

  1. Barbara Good says:

    Great news! It is difficult to be patient with so much at stake, but finally the seed idea takes root.

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