Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Earth Power Science

China to Build a Zero-Carbon Green City 620

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the tired-of-getting-whined-at-for-beijing dept.
gormanw writes "Just outside Shanghai, there is an island about the size of Manhattan. China is going to build its first-ever 'green city', complete with no gasoline/diesel powered vehicles, 100% renewable energy, green roofs, and recycling everything. The city is called Dongtan and it should house about 5,000 people by the end of 2010, with estimates of 500,000 by 2050. The goal is to build a livable city that is energy efficient, non-polluting, and protects the wildlife in the area."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

China to Build a Zero-Carbon Green City

Comments Filter:
  • by Aardpig (622459) on Monday August 11, 2008 @11:39PM (#24563593)
    ...red and green should never be seen!
  • Good Luck... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iamwhoiamtoday (1177507) on Monday August 11, 2008 @11:40PM (#24563599)
    I hope that this pans out, but the manufacturing of said Renewable energy will probably offset the whole "Green" side of things... Well, hopefully it will all work out for the best. The question is, apart from Government financing, is it possible for Normal People to buy a Green Home / Car / Life?
    • Re:Good Luck... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Monday August 11, 2008 @11:46PM (#24563641) Homepage Journal

      The question is, apart from Government financing, is it possible for Normal People to buy a Green Home / Car / Life?

      Move close to your work (or get a job you can telecommute to), use a bike / walk / public transport wherever possible. Insulate. Put in a water tank.

      There - not that hard & no need to go whining to the government for a hand out.

      • Re:Good Luck... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dAzED1 (33635) <brianlamere AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday August 11, 2008 @11:55PM (#24563723) Homepage Journal
        you left out:

        become vegan, or at least vegetarian (the cattle industry is extraordinarily destructive to the planet

        fix things, instead of replacing them

        wear studier clothes, longer

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Kell Bengal (711123)
          The GP said "Normal People" - vegetarianism and veganism are, for most of the world, unusual. I'm not going to enter into the debate as to whether they are desirable modes of living or not.

          I think the real question we should be asking wrt to diet is 'How can we make farming and agriculture a green process?'

          • Re:Good Luck... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by NevermindPhreak (568683) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @12:37AM (#24564033)

            Ah, but riding a bike to work, if you don't live in an area where it is common, is unusual. You're becoming unusual by trying to be more green than the rest of the population around you. Why would becoming a vegan be different?

            For the record, i'm a meat-eater. Just like to present other sides. ;)

            • That's a nice tautology you got going there... doing ANYTHING, if you don't do it in an area where it is common, is unusual :)

          • Re:Good Luck... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by amRadioHed (463061) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @01:03AM (#24564183)

            The practices may be uncommon at this time, but I assure you that all of the vegetarians I know are completely normal humans. Anyone can do it.

            And for those who don't have the willpower to completely cut out meat from their diets (such as myself) eating less meat is always an option. It is really unnatural the amount of meat the average American eats anyway.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Abcd1234 (188840)

              The practices may be uncommon at this time, but I assure you that all of the vegetarians I know are completely normal humans.

              Normal humans... with a vitamin B12 deficiency, unless they really know what they're doing.

              Seriously, go vegetarian/vegan if you like, but don't do it without the help of someone who really knows what they're doing (like a doctor or dietitian). Remember, humans weren't built to be vegetarians, so it takes some special care to live on a diet like that.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by dAzED1 (33635)
                humans (sans perhaps Eskimos and such) also weren't meant to eat the amount of low-quality meat that the average American eats these days, either. There is a middle ground. That being said, eating meat isn't necessary anymore; I haven't for 7 years (and vegan for 3), yet I still run 7 miles regularly, work out, get sick once a year if that, etc.
                • Re:Good Luck... (Score:5, Informative)

                  by Abcd1234 (188840) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:47AM (#24568549) Homepage

                  humans (sans perhaps Eskimos and such) also weren't meant to eat the amount of low-quality meat that the average American eats these days, either. There is a middle ground.

                  Completely agreed, but that doesn't change my point one iota.

                  That being said, eating meat isn't necessary anymore;

                  Nope, it's not. With the advent of vitamin supplements, it's possible to eat a balanced vegetarian/vegan diet and still consume the necessary vitamins and minerals. But, once again, that doesn't change my point. You shouldn't just flip a switch and start eating vegan. It's something you should carefully think about and research before making the switch, because it's *not* a trivial change and you *do* need to work hard to ensure you're getting a balanced diet, because humans are simply not designed to survive on a pure-vegetable diet.

          • Re:Good Luck... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by umbra_dweller (797279) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @01:15AM (#24564279)
            Veganism and vegetarianism are certainly unusual for most people, but one can still try to "eat green" if they really want to by just eating less meat. These days I am experimenting with buying half as much meat as usual, but buying better quality cuts/dishes when I do eat it.

            I just watched a presentation from TED where New York Times food journalist Mark Bittman said that the average American eats 1/2 pound of meat per day (3.5 pounds/week), which is twice the amount recommended by the USDA. He suggests Americans could try eating 1/2 - 1.5 pounds per week instead - which could mean eating smaller amounts of meat with each meal, or eating the same amount of meat on fewer occasions.

            I experienced this when I lived in Asia for a year. Most of the meals I ate used vegetables, rice and eggs - big pieces of meat like burgers, BBQ and steaks were only eaten occasionally. But on the flip side, most of the vegetable and rice dishes were flavored with meat and fish broth or sauce, which gave meat flavor to each meal without actually including much meat.
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by T.E.D. (34228)

              I just watched a presentation from TED where New York Times food journalist Mark Bittman said that the average American eats 1/2 pound of meat per day (3.5 pounds/week), which is twice the amount recommended by the USDA

              If you see Mark Bittman again, tell him to leave me alone. Its tough enough to eat with an audience. Having somone from the Times show up and give a lecture about my selection is just downright rude.

          • Re:Good Luck... (Score:5, Informative)

            by spydabyte (1032538) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @01:34AM (#24564403)
            So most of the world now means the United States?
            Veganism in China and India (two of the worlds most populous countries) may in fact be a majority [wikipedia.org].
          • Re:Good Luck... (Score:5, Informative)

            by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @02:34AM (#24564691) Homepage Journal

            vegetarianism and veganism are, for most of the world, unusual.

            Hmmmn - I believe you meant 'USA' instead of 'World'.

            It's hard to get good figures, but I'd say 1/2 a billion Indians are vegeterian (but eat eggs, dairy)

            Billions more eat very little meat. A diet low in meat is normal for most of the world & something easy you can do if you want to be green.

            • by kabocox (199019) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @09:18AM (#24567083)

              Billions more eat very little meat. A diet low in meat is normal for most of the world & something easy you can do if you want to be green.

              Yeah all you have to do is be dirt poor and all you'd be to afford would be veggies with meat maybe once a month or so on a special occasion. The greens think that's a great thing though so they should all try it themselves.

          • Re:Good Luck... (Score:5, Informative)

            by utnapistim (931738) <dan...barbus@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @04:03AM (#24565029) Homepage

            I think the real question we should be asking wrt to diet is 'How can we make farming and agriculture a green process?'

            It's not hard to achieve and most ways are known, but don't fit with the industrialization of agriculture:
            - rotate the grown cultures every few years to keep the land from loosing nutrients for the crops
            - do not use chemically-produced fertilizers
            - do not use genetically engineered crops (there may be exceptions to this)
            - recycle everything you can: bio-gas, animal waste (for fertilizers)

            There are others, that don't come to mind right now. Ask any farmer in eastern Europe and they'll tell you more than enough.

            There still are villages in that region that do this (unfortunately they are on the way out as they can't compete with industrialized agriculture and GM crops).

          • by g0dsp33d (849253) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @06:14AM (#24565641)

            I think the real question we should be asking wrt to diet is 'How can we make farming and agriculture a green process?'

            One word: Soylent.

        • Re:Good Luck... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by j. andrew rogers (774820) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @01:12AM (#24564259)

          become vegan, or at least vegetarian (the cattle industry is extraordinarily destructive to the planet

          The "cattle industry" is essential to the ecology of places like the American West, where they replaced the critical role of vast herds of wild bison. A major percentage of the American cattle herd is raised on the range, marginally arable land, where bison used to roam. If you remove the cattle, you either have to replace them with bison (in which case there is approximately zero net benefit) or you can collapse the ecosystem -- your choice. In either case, you are neither adding to the amount of plants that can be reasonably grown nor mitigating damage to the environment.

          The idea that all cattle farming is necessarily destructive to the environment is ignorant nonsense. Sure, some of it is, but there is a large percentage that is not only non-destructive but actually allows us to produce food on land that would not otherwise be productive. Cattle were not genetically engineered from whole cloth in a lab by evil scientists somewhere in an effort to destroy the planet, they were a part of many ecosystems in temperate climates. We would not need to cut beef consumption nearly as much as some fringe vegans claim in order for it to be a net *benefit* to both the environment and food production.

          It does not do the credibility of the environmentalist movement any good when they assert the necessity of making dire choices for ideological reasons with no basis in fact. Yes, meat production could stand to be decreased and/or optimized. Completely eliminating beef from the human diet not only serves no practical purpose, it would actually be counterproductive to the stated goals in many cases.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by wellingj (1030460)
            See the state of the art in cattle grazing here [beefgraze.com]. My father has been at the fore front of this debate since the mid 90's. There are very ecologically friendly ways to raise cattle where naturally occurring forage would other wise be under utilized.
          • Re:Good Luck... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by kklein (900361) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @03:01AM (#24564785)

            Thank you thank you thank you.

            I grew up in rural Colorado, and every time I'm back there and I look at the nigh-endless pastureland, I think, "what the hell else do you use this land for???"

            Before the Europeans came, much of the American West was empty grassland grazed by unbelievably large herds of buffalo and a few scattered tribes of Native Americans who scratched out a living from following them. With the Europeans came irrigation and we were able to support larger populations on the land and use it to grow things like corn and wheat, but if you want to talk about environmental destruction, it's that corn and wheat that has "damaged" the land. That land, left to its own devices would have always supported huge numbers of grazing animals. Now it supports lush crops as well.

            Good beef is grass-fed, and that is still a large percentage of it. Unless they want to start eating buffalo grass, vegetarians aren't missing out on any potential meals.

            The vast majority of this hippie nature bullshit comes from city kids who were shocked when someone at school told them that meat wasn't just some stuff you bought at the store, and that it used to have big brown eyes. People with little experience out of the city, telling rural people how to live their lives.

            Cities are unsustainable. Not farms. (Full disclosure: I'm typing this from my apartment in Tokyo, one of the biggest and most unsustainable cities in the world! --And a nice place to live.)

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by trendzetter (777091)
              In Belgium we eat lots of pork. The pigs are kept in enormous stables and because we do not have enough land to feed the pigs we import it from Latin America where they burn rainforest to grow soya. Because the pigs farmers do not have lots of land they have too much manure. This is the main cause of ground water pollution in Belgium. I think similar problems exist in the US.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Abcd1234 (188840)

              Cities are unsustainable. Not farms.

              Don't be idiotic. If we want to support a growing human population, cities are the only way we can achieve it. The concentration of human life means food, water, electricity, and other resources, don't need to be distributed across large geographic ranges, which means *less* energy consumption. Plus, having people closer to their places of work, school, etc, means people themselves travel less, which also means less consumption.

              As proof, look up the stats on Manhattan.

      • Re:Good Luck... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by eln (21727) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @12:04AM (#24563783) Homepage

        So basically the solution is to live close to an urban center. Unfortunately, housing is generally prohibitively expensive close to most urban centers (except for the ones that are so far gone with blight that there are no real jobs there anyway).

        The American city (especially in the west) is built around personal automobiles. The affordable houses are well outside of walking or biking distance to most of the jobs, and are too chaotically arranged to allow for efficient mass transit.

        Individual choice is part of the equation, but sane urban planning is also a big part of it. Cities and counties need to start doing more to encourage high density housing near urban centers and discourage the building of yet more suburbs and exurbs. Unfortunately, most local governments are too far in the pockets of developers to ever enforce strict zoning of that nature. Most of the new development I've seen near urban centers has also tended to be of the million-dollar-condo variety as well, which doesn't do a whole lot to solve the problem either.

        • Re:Good Luck... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mrroot (543673) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @12:24AM (#24563941)
          Excuses take the responsibility off your shoulders so you can feel good about doing nothing.

          Bite the bullet and make changes. Over two years ago, I cut my commute in half by moving closer to the city (no its not an urban blight neighborhood, nor is it a million dollar condo). While everyone else is complaining about gas prices, I don't give it a second thought. That is nice, but the reason I moved wasn't for gas prices or for the environment, it was to conserve the most precious resource I have... time.

          If you commute 45 minutes each way to work, and let's say you work 5 days a week for 48 weeks out of the year (taking out 4 weeks for vacation and holidays). That means you spend 360 hours per year in your car driving to and from work. How many hours of vacation-time does your employer give you? 80? 120? If you cut your commute in half, you get an extra 180 hours per year!

          By the way, a really good book I read a while back is called "Take Back Your Time", and there is also a Take back your time website [timeday.org].
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by timmarhy (659436)
            the more people buy up housing close to the city the more expensive it's going to get, so people like you moving in and buying/renting close to the city are the problem.

            facts are there is no where near enough space for all of us to live 5 minutes from our work place, not to mention people change jobs so often it's not possible to move enough to keep up.

            please try again with a solution that works for more than yourself.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Stephen Ma (163056)
              the more people buy up housing close to the city the more expensive it's going to get, so people like you moving in and buying/renting close to the city are the problem.

              The city can always densify: the more apartments there are per square mile, the cheaper they will be. Density can be good: New York City and Hong Kong are two of the most enviable places to live.

            • Re:Good Luck... (Score:4, Insightful)

              by zsau (266209) <slashdot@theca[ ... t ['rto' in gap]> on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @03:15AM (#24564829) Homepage Journal

              The more people buy up housing that's not close to the city the more expensive trips into to work get. It takes me about an hour and a half to get to the city from home in the morning. I don't work in the city so it's not the biggest issue for me, but that's where all the decent jobs are in this town (I'm moving overseas soon) and dad does — and yeah, that's another thing, it also makes housing so expensive that people working full-time in their mid-twenties don't bother moving out because there's nowhere better to go. So just building bigger and bigger cities without building higher cities is not going to work.

              One of many things that Europe's got right. I was — no, I am — amazed that it takes less time to go from Glasgow to Edinburgh than it does to go from one part of Melbourne to another.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Toonol (1057698)
            But the major cost from rising fuel prices is not in the gas you put into your car; it's transporting commodities. It's great that you took steps to cut your personal fuel consumption, but oranges are still going to cost more and more to be trucked up from Florida... and it doesn't matter how short your commute is.
        • by Xaria (630117)

          Actually, suburbs are fine - what we need are more satellite cities and hubs. Clusters of CBDs about 20 kilometres (yes, I'm Australian dammit) apart rather than one massive one. And build suburbs along transit corridors and massive carparks at major commuter hubs so people can drive where public transport is inefficient and take trains the rest of the way.

          • Re:Good Luck... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by zsau (266209) <slashdot@theca[ ... t ['rto' in gap]> on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @03:03AM (#24564791) Homepage Journal

            Massive car parks at major commuter hubs are very often a bad idea. They seem good, but they actually serve to reduce public transport use.

            If people have to get into their cars to drive, they'll drive the whole way unless that's impossible (e.g. because a million people need to go to the city in the morning). This means that public transport will have much less than its potential return on investment; anyone who's not travelling in the peak direction might as well drive. If you're from Melbourne you might know about the recurrent Doncaster line proposals; although I am an advocate of public transport investment, I hope that never gets build. Instead, a subway should be built to replace the 48 tram (and be extended all the way to Doncaster); in this way, the train stations will always be within walking distance of shops and houses and schools and other places people might want to go and the system will be used all day by people who don't have to use the train, but by the same token don't have to use their car.

            Also, if there's a massive car park around the train station, it makes the station feel less safe and less useful. If you've got a ten or twenty minute wait before the train, you might want to go to shops to have something to do. If you've got to cross the car park, you'll be less likely to do this, you'll get bored, and you'll be more reluctant to catch the train next time. The optimum train station design has ground-level access directly to the street and the surrounding shops.

            Also-also, car parks are massively expensive. It's basically dead land, no-one makes any money from them and you hope no-one's living in them. And there's not just the space inside the carpark, but the surrounding roads as well. Instead of having space for one hundred cars, you could put relatively dense housing and commercial development (relatively --- compared to the surrounding area, not compared to the whole city). In fact, a lot of stations which current have masses of car parking would be excellent candidates for the distributed CBDs (e.g. Dandenong in Melbourne).

            Add in a decent bus or tram system (depending on the area) collecting people. This satisfies the problem of inefficient public transport; it's only inefficient because currently buses are treated as if they're welfare, whereas they should be treated as if they're a service. Instead of having four bus routes in each suburb running once every hour on different back roads so that no-one knows when they have to be where to take a bus, just run one route on the major roads. Make sure they're neat and tidy, and have schools run 10-4 instead of 9-3 to keep students off the buses when business folk are on them (and to improve concentration in the first period). Essentially treat buses like trams that run on liquefied dead creatures instead of petrified ones.

            But cars are not the solution to public transport, cars are never a solution to greenhouse gases. If you try to accommodate cars you will end up having more cars.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by sycodon (149926)

        "Move close to your work (or get a job you can telecommute to)"

        The modern day equivalent of "Let them eat cake".

        In general, the cost of housing goes up exponentially the closer you get to the average workplace.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by amRadioHed (463061)

          Living close also saves money, for instance you don't need to pay for gas and you spend less time in the car and more time with your family and friends.

      • Put in a water tank.

        What about tankless water heaters? [wikipedia.org]

      • Re:Good Luck... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by p0tat03 (985078) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @12:46AM (#24564079)

        Move close to your work (or get a job you can telecommute to), use a bike / walk / public transport wherever possible. Insulate. Put in a water tank.

        And have the right attitude.

        Let me explain. Most people can't afford to live close to work, considering how expensive housing is in heavily developed office areas. Here in Seattle it can be up to *millions* to live within walking distance of work. Most people can't afford that.

        So, the next best thing is to live somewhere with good public transportation coverage. This effectively cuts out *all* suburbs, since bus service is invariably trash due to the lack of ridership and the vast areas to cover with way too few vehicles. Your only real choice left are condo complexes built around transit hubs. Most American cities don't even *have* a hub-based public transit system (local traffic around a hub, with high speed links between hubs). So, if you live in the wrong city, you're ALREADY SOL.

        And most transit authorities have no means to fix this problem. This is where attitude comes in. America has been car-obsessed for so long that riding the bus has become taboo - something the neighbours whisper about. "Oh, that poor Bob! They must be in dire straits, he can't even drive a car to work!"

        And indeed it's cyclical. Transit is looked upon as the poor person's choice, and the affluent commuters shun it. This results in less revenue for the bus service, which eventually deteriorates. To maintain some semblance of service, cutbacks have to be made, and obviously the first routes to go are the ones to the rich suburbs - after all, nobody's riding THEM anyways right? That's why in every city I've been to public transit has always been disproportionately well-developed in poorer neighbourhoods. After all, the bus company has to go after its main audience - poor commuters. And on and on this cycle goes, with crappy buses, dirty stations, etc etc.

        Few cities have been spared this cruel fate. Toronto, Canada is one of those few cities where commuting via mass transit is even a viable option for your average working-class guy, or even upper-middle class workers. Seattle is not too bad either - but its success is driven more by a yuppie desire to be green than anything else.

        It's all in the attitude. As soon as we start accepting public transit as an everyday fact of life, whether rich, poor, or somewhere in between, we can start building cities with mass transit in mind.

    • Depending on what renewable energy systems are used, manufacturing can be pretty neutral. Windmills take a relatively small amount of energy to produce compared to photovoltaic, or even gas and coal for that matter. Solar thermal is also generally lower input than photovoltaic.

      The question is, apart from Government financing, is it possible for Normal People to buy a Green Home / Car / Life?

      This does raise an interesting counter to the whole capitalism/free market FTW crap that gets spewed by a lot of peopl

    • I hope that this pans out, but the manufacturing of said Renewable energy will probably offset the whole "Green" side of things... Well, hopefully it will all work out for the best. The question is, apart from Government financing, is it possible for Normal People to buy a Green Home / Car / Life?

      Several others have given good responses, but I thought I'd point out that the affordability for Normal People will come from projects like this, which make more economical versions more feasible.

  • Dongtan? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Aardpig (622459) on Monday August 11, 2008 @11:43PM (#24563621)
    Isn't that what comes from not wearing speedos on the beach?
  • Obvious (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This is obviously to help out their image after people had to drop out of marathons because of the pollution.

    • Re:Obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

      by icebike (68054) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @12:00AM (#24563761)

      And looking at the skyline in the TV coverage of the Olympics that is a real possibility. In spite of the cleanup the skys are STILL really thick over there, in spite of their massive efforts to clean them for the events.

      • Re:Obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jandersen (462034) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @01:02AM (#24564173)

        My God, This Is So Insightful Of You!!!!

        Because, of course the bloody commies are never going to do something good just because it is a good thing - they hate everything that is good. And of course they came up with this idea, the whole plan, the detailed architecture, the city planning, just like that in the about 5 days since the Olympics started.

        Come to think of it - I don't know which is most impressive: Starting a massive, green initiative like that and showing us all the way to the future, or coming up with it in no time at all, when it would have taken everybody else years to work out the plans.

        Back to reality, though: The Chinese have seen reality in the eye, just like we have - they know that this kind of things are necessary if we are to avoid choking in our own filth, and they know it has to happen on an absolutely epic scale. The difference is that they are taking action instead of waffling over who should pay and which foot to stand on.

  • by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Monday August 11, 2008 @11:44PM (#24563631) Journal
    I can't think of any country that would benefit more by this sort of thing. A good working template tends to become widely adopted, and they have a visible pressing need to improve their ecological impact and the good will coupled with a lack of general knowledge might find a fertile ground for this sort of thing catching on.

    A friend of me says there's a pervasive attitude of "if a little is good, an enormous lot more must be better" when approaching the use of say, pesticides or other chemical intrusions into the local environment.

    Classical education doesn't help this attitude much yet, but an excellent and well publicised example community might just make the difference.

  • by kamathln (1220102)

    Humans breathe out carbon dioxide. Are we banned from this city ?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by orzetto (545509)

      CO2 from humans (or animals, plants, decomposition or any natural phenomenon) is not pollution, since it comes from carbon we took in with our food. Therefore, it is in equilibrium with the carbon cycle.

      The polluting part of CO2 is the one coming from fossil fuels, that is from outside the ecosystem, that gets dumped into it because it's easier than to put it back where you took the carbon.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jimdread (1089853)

        CO2 from humans (or animals, plants, decomposition or any natural phenomenon) is not pollution, since it comes from carbon we took in with our food. Therefore, it is in equilibrium with the carbon cycle. The polluting part of CO2 is the one coming from fossil fuels, that is from outside the ecosystem, that gets dumped into it because it's easier than to put it back where you took the carbon.

        Right, now think carefully. Where did the fossil fuels come from? Did fossil fuels come from animals, plants, decom

  • by SydShamino (547793) on Monday August 11, 2008 @11:50PM (#24563677)

    This CNN article (from last year) has much more information:
    http://edition.cnn.com/2007/TECH/08/14/dongtan.ecocity/ [cnn.com]

    Wikipedia's article mentions several problems and delays that I hadn't seen in any other stories (some of which lack citations).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dongtan [wikipedia.org]

  • by caywen (942955) on Monday August 11, 2008 @11:51PM (#24563693)
    I have an even greener idea for China: How about not building the city at all, and greenify an existing city?
    • Because people just love having their homes and business razed on the promise that a greener version will be built in a decade or three.
    • by pembo13 (770295)
      I wonder why no one involved in the project thought about this.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I think this might actually be some sort of bizarro prison. You know you get things like 'Arctic Prison Island' or 'Desert Prison Island', this'll be 'Renewable Energy Green Prison Island', from which there is no escape for criminal scum. Because they're justice neutral.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by niktemadur (793971)

      I have an even greener idea for China: How about not building the city at all, and greenify an existing city?

      Here's another, halfway between the announcement and your post:

      If they're going to build a Green City, how about building it in a valley or plateau, like Beijing? On coastal cities, smog propagates into the ocean, therefore air quality remains fairly decent, so what's the point of building said city on an island?
      Let the Chinese government try it where topographical circumstances allow for no leeway

  • coalplants (Score:2, Interesting)

    I'd settle for them stopping the construction of coal plants which has made them the largest co2 polluter on the planet.

    • ...not to mention coal plants release more radioactive contaminants into the atmosphere than nuclear power plants. Think of the children.
  • I hope this project works, because let's face it, an environmental friendly city that functions and coexist with nature is exactly what is required. I find it amazing that we are so worried about money.

    Money is really not the issue. If this works, it becomes a goal for any countries' economy. It's idealistic to think this way, I know, but in a way, it's also very practical.

    Our economies are skewed right now, our countries don't have any real goals, tangible goals. Building environmentally friendly citie

    • by bsDaemon (87307)

      \

      Our economies are skewed right now, our countries don't have any real goals, tangible goals. Building environmentally friendly cities (converting actually), are concrete, positive goals. All will benefit "economically" from such goals.

      You might be giving too much credit to the central planners there, Comrade. But yes, I agree -- there needs to be a major shift in the direction of society as a whole. Unfortunately, that sort of mass movement is best accomplished through Authoritarian means -- ie, Communism or Fascism.

  • by 2ms (232331) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @12:06AM (#24563797)

    Hey it worked for Toyota -- have more models of SUV than any other car manufacturer on planet, but come out with one "green" car and you're a "green" car company, no matter the 8 independent lines of SUV and largest/least full efficient main-line pickups on the market. Likewise -- produce more polution than any other country on the planet, but come out with one "green" city and you're a "green" country, no matter the literal 50% of population having no access to clean drinking water and #1 cause of death in nation being air pollution.

  • ... but what about all the other cities that won't be "green" in order to support this "one" that is???

  • by Pincus (744497) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @12:11AM (#24563835)
    For all the pollution problems made more apparent by the Olympics, I give the Chinese a lot of credit for innovation. Between this, their "weather altering rockets" and whatever other efforts I've missed, we can at least say they innovate.

    It makes me wonder if such nationalized industry as China contains might actually be good for massive innovation. Surely no corporation would undertake an initiative like this, especially on this scale, as the profits would be far too long term and unlikely.
  • Make the whole city run from manure, thermal energy. Then call it Dungtan.

  • Really? Zero? So there's no smoking, no open flames or anything burning at all in the entire city? Nothing can ever be allowed to rot? Why don't they be real and say low carbon city or like 99% or something. This is like the subary "zero landfill plant" BS all over again.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by icegreentea (974342)
      Chill. Its an article headline, and even if it were part of an official plan, it would be a catchy slogan with an asterick to make sure dumbasses dont' start pointing out minor technicalities. Read the fucking article. Aims are to be self sufficient in renewable power, to ban vehicles that emit CO2, among other things.

      But wait! says the nitpicker. Bicycles emit CO2, does that mean they're banned too? NO! Christ, use some fiscking common sense. They clearly mean motor vehicles, and it should be understood by
  • by 2Bits (167227) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @12:48AM (#24564095)
    Oh my oh my, where is the spirit of exploration, taking risk, experimenting, building things in this community? I often come here for insight discussion and interesting debate on things that matter, but instead, we got a flame fest.

    So, for this forum, anything done in China must be bad, negative, and nothing good could come out of it.

    Everyone is ohing and ahing when we talk about Mars terraforming. When China is experimenting a new project, everyone must slam about its politics, and there's nothing worth reading and discussing here.

    Tell you what, I'm living in Shanghai, I hate as much as the next guy the corruption, the pollution, the control on free speech, the human rights, ... all the negative things here.

    But for fuck sake, this is a project where the Chinese government is investing in, taking risk, experimenting, building things, ... this is a big project to experiment an alternative way of building human cities, to change the way we work, live, entertain, deal with nature, etc. Where else do you get to experiment at this scale, and with the financial backup like that? Ok, this may be a political show, but I don't see other governments dare to experiment and make a show like that.

    It might be a big flop, and it might be a huge success. The lessons learned might be useful for other regions on this planet, and even might be useful when we need to build outer space colony.

    And guess what, westerners (the Brits, Americans, French, Italians...) have taken a huge part in designing it too. This is not a one country thing.

    For those who only have negative things to say, let's get out of the parent's basement and go out more. Visit other countries, not all is well and perfect, but I'm sure you will learn a lot more too.

    You want to make China a better place? Don't whine in the basement, that won't change anything. Come here, bring your grand vision, your next big thing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Splezunk (250168)
      I agree with you. Sometimes the western world carries on as if their shit doesn't stink.... got news for you, it smells bad... real bad.

      I live in the western world, but to believe that there is no corruption or evil in this society is not only naive, it's just pure ignorance. Shows us exactly why western society is rapidly devolving.

  • by Le Marteau (206396) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @01:10AM (#24564247) Journal

    They've got a lot of bad press for their pollution. So, like any bureaucracy, they come up with an idiotic solution.

    "Do we clean up our country?" No. "Well, what do we do?" Ok, we make a big press release, about a city we will do which will be greener than all. "Sweet."

    • by philspear (1142299) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @02:32AM (#24564677)

      You've got to give them credit for trying SOMETHING. Over here, california tries to raise fuel efficiency standards and gets slapped down by the Bush administration. Did they even bother trying to spin that one?

      Anyway, it will be interesting to see if the finished product is green or just green by comparison. Put a landfill next to a radioactive waste site and the landfill suddenly looks pretty eco-friendly.

  • by ObiWonKanblomi (320618) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @01:21AM (#24564313) Journal

    ... ok "green" is sort of ambiguous but oh what the hell. The city of Greensburg, Kansas [greensburgks.org] is attempting to become the first city in the US to meet Platinum LEED certification [wikipedia.org]. What's interesting is that the city was given a chance to become this green city because a huge tornado took out 95% of the city in 2007.

  • In other news (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MrKaos (858439) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @03:47AM (#24564953) Journal
    China is going to allow the free press to use a unrestricted internet
    China will let people line the road to watch the cycling.
    China will fix air pollution.
    China is going to allow protests against the government.
    China will use real fireworks, next time.

    Does anyone believe that China will do something that hasn't got anything to do with 'face' anymore?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      They did use real fireworks. It was the US broadcast networks that did the CGI fireworks, as they didn't want their helicopters up there dodging millions of tiny sparkly missiles.
  • Eco-Fascism (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tom (822) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @05:57AM (#24565565) Homepage Journal

    Frankly, this goes to show one thing: That democracy as-we-do-it is a dead end and will lead is straight into self-destruction. Evil dictatorship, on the other hand (China hasn't been a pure communist country for years) can get things done.

    Face it: The west is in a dead-lock. We want to save the world, but we can't, because our focus on self-interest and "the market will solve it" very efficiently prevents any common-interest solutions. It's the tragedy of the commons all over again, just on a global scale.

    The next step, I fear, will be eco-facism. The system can't heal itself because it's dead-locked. Someone will exploit the situation, promise salvation, and take control. By then, only drastic measures will do, so we will accept them, without further debate because there isn't time for debate. Welcome to facism (again, for some).

"From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere." -- Dr. Seuss

Working...