Will there be a Chinese “Grapes of Wrath”?
‘Ecological meltdown’: huge dust cloud threatens Asia
“Gigantic dust clouds swirling over China are threatening the world’s most populous country with the first-ever “ecological meltdown”, experts here warn.
The institute blames “over-cultivation, overgrazing, over-cutting and over-pumping” for the escalating catastrophe. Marginal land is being increasingly pressed into cultivation, but quickly turns to dust under the strain. The country’s 290 million sheep and goats strip the vegetation off grazing lands. Cutting down forests removes the trees that bind soil to the ground. And excessive pumping of water from underground aquifers dramatically lowers water tables, drying out the earth.”