On China’s environmental record, take it from Al Gore: “China's role is complicated, but in some ways they're moving the ball in the right direction,” he told The Washington Post last week.
Today’s issue traces China’s environmental attitudes back 20 years. It’s part of our series The Present Past, in which we bring fresh eyes to articles from The Atlantic’s archives. Our source material today is Mark Hertsgaard’s 1997 piece, “Our Real China Problem.” Alex Wang, a specialist in China’s environmental law, filled in the story since then.
- Listen to an in-depth interview with Wang that accompanies this story. The audio is available on SoundCloud and in your members-only podcast feed. Here’s how to access it via your podcast player of choice.
To access this story, become a member
Sign up for our brand-new membership program, The Masthead, and you’ll not only receive exclusive content you can’t find anywhere else—you’ll also help fund a sustainable future for journalism.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.