China’s “Comfort Class” | The Bling Dynasty, National Geographic Magazine: One Dirty Coal Power Plant Online Every Four to Five Days | China

The need for electrical power is so great in Shanghai that migrant workers are hired to hook them up by strapping a high voltage wire around their waist and pull it across an already stressed net by walking on the actual wires that bring the electricity.  There is a (dirty) coal power plant coming online every four to five days in China that could power a city the size of San Diego. Energy is wasted on an epic scale. One hundred cities with populations over 1 million faced extreme water shortages last year. China’s survival has always been built on the notion of a vastly powerful, infallible center. Thus, China has poor foundations on which to build the subtle network of institutions and accountability necessary to manage the complexities of a modern economy and society. The lack of independent scrutiny and accountability lies behind the massive waste in the Chinese government and destruction of the environment. Air pollution contributed by these plants kills 400,000 people prematurely every year.

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