Last week south China had serious floods effecting 11 million people. The scenes in Wuhan reminded me of 1931 and 1938 when the Yangtze overflowed. I wrote about those disasters recently in the China book — how the Columbans played their part in relief efforts though their own compound was flooded.
When the giant Three Gorges Dam was completed on the Yangtze in 2012 it was expected to stop the annual floods but nature has proved stronger.
The continuing floods may or may not be related to climate change, no one is talking about that yet.
China uses half of the world’s coal supplies and produces a quarter of climate pollution.
The government takes the situation seriously and plans to phase out coal by 2040. China is already the largest solar technology manufacturer.
However, despite the wide ranging climate policy, emissions will increase till 2030 and by then the world will be in an even worse state, from which it will be harder to recover.
People joke about ’blue skies and cold homes’ but in Wuhan, despite the Three Gorges Dams, they still worry more about the annual floods.
Photo 1 is of the flooded Columban compound in 1931 and No 2 is the recent floods in the same city.