Monday (3/18) & Tuesday (3/19) - teach class at Taigu
Wednesday (3/20) - Pingyao day trip, go to Taiyuan at night
Thursday (3/21) - travel to Datong
Friday (3/22) - Datong, take an evening bus back to Taiyuan
Saturday (3/23) - travel to Beijing
Sunday (3/24) - Beijing
Monday (3/25) - Beijing (teach at BNU), interviews
Tuesday (3/26) - Continue at BNU, go back to Taiyuan at night
Wednesday (3/27) - teach class in Taiyuan, interviews
Thursday (3/28) - teach more class in Taiyuan, interviews, return to Beijing
Friday (3/29) - Conference with EDF-Beijing
- Beijing is China's capital city and we will be based there for approximately 4 days of the trip. Beijing is a huge economic actor in China and, with nearly 20,000,000 residents, has a large impact on energy demand. Beijing is a critical leg of our trip for further understanding environmental action, as it acts as the headquarters for the organizations that we will be meeting with for research purposes. It is also where we will be hosting our conference with the EDF and other organizations, and it is the home to Beijing Normal University where we will be teaching several classes.
- Taigu is a somewhat rural county city in Shanxi, with approximately 40,000 residents. The city is home to Shanxi Agricultural University, where we will be teaching classes. The school was founded in the early 20th century by missionaries from Oberlin College; it is a multi-disciplinary school. Students come from across Shanxi and we hope to learn more about their relationship with water and the energy industry.
- Taiyuan is the capital city of Shanxi and is home to the largest coal mining center in China. Because of its importance in the coal industry, we will be in Taiyuan for a week. In addition to teaching classes at Taiyuan University of Technology, we plan to visit the Coal Museum of China and a coal gasification plant. We are scheduled to speak with many professors who are investigating coal technology and energy development issues.
- Pingyao is one of the cultural centers in Shanxi because it still has its Ming and Qing dynasty layout and city walls, and ancient ruins are scattered throughout. Pingyao is an important city for us to visit because despite its rural location, residents still experience dangerous levels of air and water pollution. We hope to learn more about the relationship between this historical gem and the energy industry, and ideas local residents have about the pollution.
- Datong is the second largest city located in Shanxi, and is known as "City of the Coal." The Datong region is home to some of the largest mines in Shanxi, and is also considered to be one of the most polluted areas in Shanxi.
- Linfen is known as the most polluted city in the world, though prior to the 1970's it was known as the "Modern Fruit and Flower town" because of its greenery. It is not only one of the largest sites in China for coal production, but coal consumption as well. This city will be an important stop during our travel since it intensely embodies the negative externalities associated with China's economic model and we will potentially have the opportunity to meet with coal industry employees
Finally, the meeting with the Environmental Defense Fund will take place in Beijing with a handful of environmental leaders. This event is meant to be an exchange between Chinese and U.S. environmental actors. Currently the primary speaker will be Liu Jia from the Environmental Defense Fund-Beijing; additional Chinese speakers are in the process of being confirmed. Savannah will be presenting on U.S. energy technology and policy, focusing on shale gas technology and policy, as well as its effect on energy prices and public/environmental health.
Lastly, we intend to reflect upon and document what we have experienced and learned. We have scheduled times throughout the trip to allow for reflection and discussion as we encounter new places and people. The goal is to integrate what we learn from the interviews, surveys, site visits, and conference into a long-form piece on environmental perception of water and energy issues in Shanxi, China. Currently we anticipate the piece to be 8-12 pages in length. Our goal with the piece is to not only create an awareness of how rapid energy development is impacting communities and the environment in Shanxi, but also a better understanding of environmental perception and progress in Shanxi. We hope to achieve this by taking the reader through the landscape we travel, and connecting them with one person from each city we work in. This format will allow for us to showcase the physical environment we observe and the ideas and thoughts of the people we encounter; however, as we travel we are keeping an open mind to new ideas. Additionally, we are planning on pairing a photo stream with the written piece so as to provide visuals to the personal and scenic encounters we describe. And finally, we would like to clarify that this proposal is broader in scope than what the final products will present; we intend to enter the experience with a general concept of our topic(s) of interest, and then will focus our questions and final products as we have the experiences in China.
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