This spring, CIR reporter Duane Moles traveled to China to report on the environmental effects of the coal mining industry in Shanxi Province. Moles, a native of West Virginia, is a graduate student at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Moles’ reporting journal will appear on The Muckraker blog through next week:
After months of talking with my fellow student reporters about the slew of environmental crises in China, I confront the reality of China’s environment before my feet ever touch the country’s soil. Gliding down through what I thought were clouds, the true nature of environmental degradation materializes as suddenly as the appearance of the Beijing Airport landing strip outside my window. I’m surprised when I see gate and ground transit blurring alongside the plane — because of the “clouds” I thought we were still some 10,000 feet in the air. A fellow reporter who had lived in Beijing for years was shocked at the thickness of the smog. Welcome to China.