#China Is Literally Moving Mountains to Build New Cities

from gizmodo.com: China
is on a giant building spree and nothing is going to stop it—not even
mountains. Entire mountaintops are being razed to fill in valleys,
paving the way for future cities. The problem is that no one really
knows what they’re doing.
“Earth-moving on this scale without
scientific support is folly,” warn three Chinese engineering professors in Nature. As China plans to move 100 million rural people into cities, quick and dirty construction has become the norm. You see buildings that are barely finished fall apart.
These mountain-moving projects are similarly hasty, but they’re being
carried out on an even more massive scale by engineers with little
experience in flattening mountains.
What if, for example, a city built
on unstable soil collapses in the rain? That’s
a legitimate fear in Yan’an, just one of several cities being created
on flattened land. Valleys have been filled with silt—soft soil that can
easily collapse when wet. Dozens of hilltops all over China are being
razed with little regard for other environmental concerns like air
pollution, soil erosion, and groundwater loss.
There’s so much money to
be made—for certain people—that the risks are not being properly
studied, argue the professors in Nature.