How can China slash carbon emissions, to help slow global warming, if it can’t even lessen the air pollution that’s smothering its cities? The United States had its own terrible air pollution not all that long ago. How the U.S. came to grips with smog and acid rain offers lessons on what it takes for a nation to act – and how long it can take.
It's been a thirty-year party for China: Double-digit GDP growth, factories, skyscrapers, suburbs, expressways, subways, bullet trains and the world's fastest-growing consumer class. But this historic growth has taken a toll on the country: A yawning gap between the rich and poor, empty cities, widespread environmental devastation and a dangerously unbalanced economy. For the next year, Marketplace will examine how China plans to comes to terms with the waste that remains from its own economic miracle.