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Truckee grad returns from China

Christine Stanley
Sierra Sun

Tahoe Truckee High School graduate Robert Acevedo spent the month of January a world away from home.

Acevedo, who played on Truckee High’s 3A state championship football team as a senior in 2001, and now plays defensive tackle for Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., spent four weeks in China as part of an on-site study program. While there, Acevedo and his professors investigated China’s major environmental problems and solutions.

“They are facing a lot of water pollution, drinking water shortages, and air pollution,” said Acevedo, a physics major who plans on pursuing a graduate degree in civil engineering. “The air is really hazy and foggy. There is a smell to it of sewage, and the visibility is low.”

Acevedo said those ” and other ” problems persist not just in the major cities of Beijing and Shanghai, with their respective populations of 15 million and 18 million, but also in smaller cities and villages. And with a population that has grown by 132.2 million since 1990 ” a 1.07 percent annual growth, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation ” the environmental impact is only getting worse.

China’s government is now addressing the needs of 1.26 billion people drinking tainted tap water and breathing the carbon emissions released from burning nearly 27 million tons of coal every year, according to Acevedo.

“People that have to live off the local water sources become ill and have a lot of health issues,” Acevedo said. “What they are doing now to avoid water pollution is removing and relocating big industries located near water sources.”

Acevedo’s time spent abroad was for a class called China’s Approach to Environmental Problems. The course focused on China’s transition from a farming nation to one based on industry, and how that change has reduced poverty but increased environmental strain.


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