How China Could Stop Environmental Protests; Australia's Marine Parks

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Mother Jones on environmental protest in China Jaeah Lee explains how, in the face of environmental protests that have growing in both size and frequeny, China's environment minister has instated new policies that essentially boil down to "if you're a local official who has plans to build a new power plant in your town, you'll first have to predict how much it will piss off your citizens." Lee points out that while the new rules have the potential to making "decision-making around industrial projects more transparent"   more transparent Lee says "it's doubtful the plan will do much to heed the demands of protesters, some China observers say." In fact, one expert thinks it will make suppression tactics more effective.  

The Guardian on bamboo bikes James Stewart takes us to a Bamboo Bicycle Club, created by two engineers who, in the words of one of the creators, "wanted to share the joy of making something; the craft of creating something unique and sustainable." Stewart then learns how to make a bamboo bike, as he is shown how to "select bamboo for strength" and "mitre joints before tubes are epoxied lightly in place on the jig." Stewart explains that: "With its jigs and power tools and design plans, the course is a leap of faith for someone whose idea of DIY is flatpack assembly."  

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The Daily Climate on coal plants A report from the NAACP reveals that coal plants largely affect communities that are made up of low-income people and minorities. While Brett Israel explains that the report points out that "not all coal plants are equal." Some they label "failing" and those tend to be located near the "even poorer and more isolated communities of color." 

Reuters on Australia's marine parks Australia, in creating what James Grubel describes as the 
"largest network of marine national parks," will protect 888,035 square miles of ocean. While the action does not eradicate all human enterprises from the "most sensitive areas" as shipping, diving and toursim will still be allowed, the move "will limit" commercial fishing and oil and gas exploration. The environment minister, Tony Burke, said: "We don't want people to only know the magnificence of their oceans through aquariums or by watching 'Finding Nemo.'"

Scientific American on Obama's energy strategy David Biello writes about how Obama's energy strategy is not good for climate change overall. He writes that Obama's not going to do a lot for climate change because "it conflicts with other priorities such as jobs and growth—and there’s nothing better for jobs and growth than a good old-fashioned fossil fuel energy boom." Biello explains that leaders like Obama are both pushing for renewable energy while also making it possible to produce more fossil fuels. The only thing "standing in the way of Obama’s 'all of the above' strategy"  is having enough water to sustain all operations, Biello explains.  

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.