With foul air, filthy water, rising temperatures and encroaching deserts, China is already suffering an environmental disaster. Now it faces a stark choice: either accept catastrophe, or make radical changes.
Traveling the vast country to witness this environmental challenge, Jonathan Watts moves from mountain paradises to industrial wastelands, examining the responses of those at the top of society to the problems and hopes of those below. At heart his book is not a call for panic, but a demonstration that - even with the crisis so severe, and the political scope so limited - the actions of individuals can make a difference.
Consistently attentive to human detail, Watts vividly portrays individual lives in a country all too often viewed from outside as a faceless state. No reader of his book - no consumer in the world - can be unaffected by what he presents.