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...
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).
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.