China's Environmental Movement: Under the Dome
"Under the Dome: The climate film taking China by storm"
Renowned investigative journalist Chai Jing has been widely praised for using her own money - more than 1 million RMB ($159,000: £103,422) - to fund the film, called Under the Dome. She first started the documentary when her infant daughter developed a benign tumour in the womb, which Ms Chai blames on air pollution.
Standing in front of an audience in a simple white shirt and jeans, Ms Chai speaks plainly throughout the 103-minute video, which features a year-long investigation of China's noxious pollution problem.<br><br> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kHXaW88yhs<br><br>The video is long (1h 43m), and in Chinese -- non-speakers will likely find it less accessible. Its appearance is something of a cross between a very long TED talk and a documentary. <br><br>But it's chalked up _100 million views in two days,_ which is a powerful message of two things. One is the awesome size of _anything_ involving China, with over a billion souls. The other is that the phenomenal economic growth the country has seen in only 15 years has come at tremendous cost. China has more than doubled its net energy consumption in that time, much of it coal, and has not emphasized environmental or pollution controls. Environmental economists such as Herman Daly suspect that the net effect has been a _loss_ of wealth when overall environmental impacts are factored in. <br><br>The West learned the lessons of environmental pollution with smog and air alerts in the 1950s, and birthed its own modern environmental movement in the 1960s, on rising with the crest of the Baby Boom. China's own environmental movement will be emerging into a country that's had a one-child policy for the past 35 years, quite a different dynamic.<br><br>Interesting times.