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Beneath the Surface: Soil Pollution and Environmental Journalism

Soil pollution is the least-discussed of China's “big three” pollution issues of air, water and soil, and also the last of the three to be directly addressed through government policy. Why are China’s soil pollution challenges so difficult to address, and what recent progress has been made? And what is it like to be a journalist trying to spur action by relaying this soil pollution story — and China’s other environmental stories — to the public?

We sit down with Lucy Hornby, a veteran China resident and Financial Times journalist, to discuss the intricacies of China’s soil pollution challenges and what it’s like to report on environmental issues in China. In addition to imparting her expertise on these topics, Lucy recommends that listeners take a look at Jonathan Franzen’s New Yorker piece, “Carbon capture: Has climate change made it harder for people to care about conservation?”, which suggests that to effectively deal with climate change we must think of it as part of a broader set of localized ecological issues.

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