Science

Going Organic

When I walked back to the satellite building of the hotel where I am staying last night, I passed this van / bus in the twilight. Today I had extensive conversations with my (new) colleagues at the Yunnan Academy of Forestry about the growth of organic both in the USA and in China.

Going Organic

Tonight, I noticed that there was an open garage door right in front of the bus, with two Isuzu cabovers backed up to it, loading goods. There was also another, smaller van, with a similar paint job (branding?) parked nearby.

I think I may have landed in the land of the nascent Chinese organic food movement. It is especially ironic, since the building that this door is in the basement of is now (after having been part of the hotel complex years ago?) the Yunnan Maca Biotechnology Industry Group offices!

Yunnan-Biotech


Olive Grove Zapper in YAF Arboretum

The extent to which China (or at least Sichuan and Yunnan) are committed to recycling and energy efficiency is impressive. Unlike India, or Thailand, or Vietnam -- all of which have similar transport systems, the Chinese seem to have embraced a quieter, more electrified future. It is quieter than Costa Rica, even quieter than Bakerton (out my hotel  window right now, despite the occasional pedestrian or car, it is quiet enough to hear the monks chanting in the shrine across the way.

Yes, a lot of this electricity comes from coal, which they have. This was used to cook our lunch...

  Coal For Lunch

But there is widespread use of solar, both for powering small transport and for freestanding devices. Check for instance this solar powered Bug Zapper mounted at the end of the new planting of olive trees (both the Sichuan and the Yunnan forestry academies have 4-5 year old olive groves).

Solar Bug Zapper

This is just one more of the fascinating juxtapositions I am seeing on this trip: these two "phenomes" are no more than a few hundred yards apart and under the control of the same management. It is like the shiny new office buildings surrounded by crumbling tenements.

Growth. Renewal. Maybe even progress, who knows anymore. But it is all high relief here.