Beijing: The Golden City?
The Ecotopia 2121 Project details the futures of 100 cities across the globe as though they've somehow overcome all environmental challenges and become super-ecofriendly. This month, we highlight the future of Beijing.
The Chinese people have a special fondness for Gold, regarding it as pure, lucky, noble, glorious, and as being more trustworthy and incorruptible than just about anything else in the universe.
The Chinese government shares this feeling and it has set about getting its hands on as much as it can. According to some, gold-hording is part of China’s attempt to de-Americanize the world by challenging the trading power of the mighty U.S. dollar. Currently, the exact total of government-owned gold in China is a mystery.
However, some day in the early to mid-21st century, Beijing will declare its gold holdings in the most conspicuous way by making city buildings out of gold. Grouped together as a new financial district, this shiny 'Gold City of Beijing' will display, for all the world to see, the financial power of China.
However, in deference to the ecological crisis, each brick is an eco-gold brick, coming from a gold industry universally adjusted by adopting three fundamental policies:
1. The No Stench policy. Gold-mining should not change the natural aroma of the air, thus the predominate flora has to be preserved, noxious chemicals have to be abandoned, lakes and fisheries have to be conserved, and mining sites have to be restored.
2. The Random Watchdog policy. Randomly-chosen community members are enlisted to supervise the operations and finances of gold-miners (with guidance from randomly-chosen international scientists, lawyers and accountants).
3. The Common Heritage of Mankind policy. Gold mined from publicly-owned land should be pronounced as the Common Heritage of Mankind. Thus, gold can be rented year by year and shifted around the world but it cannot be bought and sold. The ongoing revenue from gold rental can then be used for environmental benefits in the country of origin.
For more socio-political discussion about the future emergence of 'The Gold City of Beijing', and for juicy details about China's impending eco-catastrophe, consult the Beijing 2121 chapter of the Ecotopia 2121 book.
For future scenarios about some of the 99 other cities of the Ecotopia 2121 project, see this page.