China's Dirty Face
As the Middle Kingdom's economy has grown, so have the environmental costs of largely unregulated growth
Despite a clean-up of Beijing and a handful of other big cities, most of China is still reeling from the devastation wrought by three decades of communist industrial development and the subsequent 25 years of quasi-capitalism.
The country is gobbling up ever more oil, coal, and natural gas -- even as it faces diminishing resources at home and soaring prices on international markets. Of the world's 10 most-polluted cities, 6 are in China, according to the World Bank, which estimates that pollution costs China more than $54 billion a year in environmental damage and health problems.