>Harmony with nature?


Harmony with nature as a westerner might think of it, is not very evident in China. Parks are well controlled and structured. Culturally there is also a strong emphasis on technical solutions.

For example, when I was giving lectures, I talked about the problem of pig production in North Carolina–the amount of pig manure was out of sink with the acres of land that could absorb it. Someone asked–couldn’t they just ship it to Iowa?

When I talked about climate change and threats to water supplies from droughts, someone asked, couldn’t you just take water from areas with water and build a huge pipeline that would take it to drought areas?

In Shanghai, one of the curiosities was the trimming of the trees. Every season they are cut back with great effort and vigor. It would be like cutting off the top of a maple tree each year so that it would sprout from its main trunk. An American had asked people about why this was done and gotten one response that involved the trees being too messy and dropping leaves. Perhaps it is to keep them from interfering with the wires. Also the number of large trees was said to be few because of famine and people cutting down the trees to use them so none are over 25 years old. I can’t say what the reason is for all this. I am curious and wish I understood.

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