After the 'Airpocalypse': Imagining an Ecological Civilization in China
Photos of Beijing’s thick, toxic smog — or ‘airpocalypse’ — and pig carcasses choking Shanghai’s Huangpu River have branded China as one of the world’s most polluted and environmentally challenged countries — a leading villain in the global climate change crisis. Since 2013, however, China’s government has attempted to set China in a new direction. The slogan of “economic development at all costs” has been replaced by calls “to build an ecological civilization” echoed in government documents, official speeches and state media. Gardner will discuss the meaning of an “ecological civilization” as well as the motivation for Beijing’s pursuit of it, the steps being taken to realize it, and the major challenges standing in the way.
Professor Gardner is the Dwight W. Morrow Professor of History at Smith College and specializes in the intellectual and cultural history of pre-modern China and China's environment today.
The event is sponsored by Princeton Environmental Institute and the Program in East Asian Studies.