China's growth over the last few decades has truly transformed the country
This is China's economy since 2001
China's economic growth is spurring increasing food and energy demands with huge environmental consequences
Since 1990, China's energy consumption has nearly tripled
Right now, coal supplies 70% of China's electricity
Coal exhaust contributes to China's ongoing smog/air problems
Coal affects China's water, too
In China, half of all groundwater and 2/3rds of all surface water is polluted
China already has water-scarcity problems, and increased energy demands are making them worse
The challenges ahead are daunting:
By 2025, an estimated 350 million people will be added to China's urban areas
China's energy consumption is expected to increase 58% in the next 7 years
By 2020, China's coal consumption is projected to increase by 30%
What happens in China's environment has global implications
The environment isn't a vacuum; what happens anywhere has ramifications throughout the ecosystem – in ways both tangible/immediate, and long-term/more subtle.
Grist was among the many outlets documenting the fact that China's smog is already reaching Japan, and its next stop is likely America's West Coast.