Archive for December, 2014

Lake Tai

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Professor Liu Beibei graciously allowed me to accompany her environmental management class on a cool December weekend to visit Tai Hu (Lake Tai)…. a place I’ve been hoping to see for quite some time. On my first visit to Nanjing a couple of years ago, I mentioned Qiu Xiaolong’s novel Don’t Cry, Tai Lake in my posting. It’s a pollution crime tale which has some strong parallels with the real-life story of Wu Lihong, an environmental activist imprisoned for three years for trying to protect the lake from the effluent of chemical factories located along its shore. A follow-up piece about Wu in the New York Times just two weeks ago suggests that much remains to be done. But our tour focused instead on one of the more successful cleanup efforts: an area near Li Hu, close to the city of Wuxi and an historic fishing area, which has undergone significant environmental reclamation, complete with parks and trails and other waterfront amenities. This has spurred considerable residential development over the past decade, and much higher real estate values – and is clearly a “win-win” situation in the eyes of local government.