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News Picks : China plans to level 700 mountains

By: Physics Today
05 June 2014
Guardian: China has begun to flatten dozens of mountains some 100–150 m in height in order to create more flat land for urban construction. So far, tens of square kilometers of land have been created. When finished, a total of 700 mountains may be leveled to accommodate China’s ever-growing population. Although China will not be the first to attempt such a project—the US, for example, has removed some mountaintops in the past to accommodate strip mining in the eastern part of the country—its massive bulldozing will be the largest such effort in the world to date. China’s land-creation campaign has met with considerable criticism because of the lack of research into the problems such large-scale geoengineering could cause; they include landslides, flooding, soil erosion, and air and water pollution. Although the Chinese government is focusing on the economic benefits over protecting nature, critics say those benefits pale when compared with the potential environmental devastation.

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