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Chapter Summary

Environmental conditions in much of Asia have reached a moment of crisis, which is deeply rooted in history yet has been accelerated by the high-speed economic growth of recent decades with huge impacts such as air pollution, water shortage, soil degradation, loss of biodiversity etc. With regard to the past, China offers a unique case for understanding the long-term interaction between nature and man due to its more than 2000 years of recording environment-related ideas and actions in philosophical, historical and other writings. With regard to the present, China currently is the world's largest producer of CO2 emissions, as well as the largest consumer and producer of energy, and simultaneously suffers environmental problems of a magnitude that threaten to slow or reverse China's economic growth in recent decades.

Keywords:China; climate change; culture; East Asia; economic growth; environment-related ideas



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