China wants to bulldoze more than 700 mountains in order to make way for more buildings, and the proposal has raised great concern in the scientific community. Never before has mankind attempted mountaintop removal at this scale, and experts are concerned that there will be unexpected consequences for the poorly-conceived plan.
Several projects have already started, the largest of which began in 2012 in Yan’an in the Shaanxi province. But scientists say, in a recent study published in the journal Nature, that the projects have not been fully prepared for and studied from a technical, economic and environmental perspective. That could spell a host of problems, both environmental and economic, for the country.
There have already been issues ranging from inconvenient to downright devastating as a result of the mountain moving projects. Eroding soil has contaminated water, the large equipment has caused landslides and some areas have seen flooding. One project was even put on hold after failure to wet the soil resulted in high levels of air pollution from dirt flying in the wind.
The scientists urge Chinese officials to commit to more testing and examination of the impact to the environment. They also caution that full economic reports should be done in order to determine if the projects will even be profitable in the long-term.
Via The Guardian