Scientists: China's Bulldozing of Mountains Is Nuts
Chinese experts say environmental damage is already evident
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2014 3:38 PM CDT
This April 18, 2012 photo shows a rice farm in Yangshaou, China.   (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb)

(Newser) – China is bulldozing its mountains by the dozen to make way for cities—a move that could prove disastrous, Chinese scientists warn in Nature. The country is only a fraction of the way through its plan to flatten more than 700 mountains, move the debris into valleys, and build on top of it, but the scientists say they already are seeing environmental damage in the form of air and water pollution, along with soil erosion that causes landslides and flooding. The "most concerning issue is the safety of constructing cities on the newly created land," one of the authors of the paper tells the BBC.

"Because there have been no land-creation projects like this before in the world, there are no guidelines," says Chinese academic Peiyue Li. He and two colleagues at Chang'an University say the government should "accelerate research" into the potential hazards and halt projects as needed. One of the biggest efforts is under way in Yan'an in Shaanxi province, notes the Guardian, and Li warns that anything built on the new soft soil will be at risk. The authors of the paper say the title of ancient Chinese fable sums things up nicely: "The Foolish Old Man who Removed the Mountains."

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Showing 3 of 47 comments
Jun 7, 2014 6:18 PM CDT
China did not consider Mexico City or San Francisco's living evidence of what happens when earthquakes strike and liquefies these types of unstable man made or natural soil conditions. Both of these cities' soils combine with ground water and become bowls of Jell-O during earthquakes. Mexico City is built on an old lakebed that was filled in for the city, San Francisco was reclaimed bay area. Japan has also had the bad experience teach them. I guess China will be next. Too bad in future so many will have to die or be injured to teach the arrogant central planning Chi-Coms humility by Mother Nature about reclaimed unstable land fills.
Arthur Machado
Jun 7, 2014 6:08 AM CDT
Yes, well anything could prove disastrous but it also could prove beneficial. The Luddites are out in droves. Be afraid of change, be very afraid. This fear of change is why the. U.S. Will lose its standing as the great innovator.
Jun 6, 2014 11:58 AM CDT
FYI: A lot of these "Mountains" are NOT mountains at all.