Breathing Badly in Beijing

Beijing pollution

The air quality is Beijing qualifies the city as one of the most polluted in the world. (Photo credit: beijingstory/E+/Getty Images)

Very few people who watched the 2008 Olympics in Beijing will forget the pageantry and spectacle of the event. Prior to the competition, however, a great deal of news coverage focused on the cleanup efforts that the Chinese government made to clean up the air surrounding Beijing. [Read more…]

Points of View: The Three Gorges Dam

China’s Yangtze River is the third longest river in the world after the Nile and the Amazon. The Yangtze River flows through the Three Gorges region of central China, which is famous for its natural beauty and historical sites. For thousands of years, the area’s sheer cliffs have inspired paintings and poems. This idyllic region seems like the sort of place that would be protected as a park or reserve. But in fact, it is the site for the Three Gorges Dam—the largest hydroelectric dam project in the world. Now that the dam is fully operational, the Yangtze River forms a reservoir that is 595 km (370 mi) long—as long as Lake Superior. In other words, the reservoir is about as long as the distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco!

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