Michael Buckley is an award-winning Canadian journalist. He co-authored Lonely Planet's first guidebook to Tibet (and the first guidebook ever to Tibet) in 1986. As a freelance travel writer and photographer, he has travelled extensively throughout Southeast Asia, and the Himalayan and Karakoram ranges. Buckley is author or co-author of ten books about Asia and the Himalayas; his feature stories have appeared in dozens of magazines, newspapers and other sources. He is filmmaker for two short documentaries about major environmental issues in Tibet. He divides his time between Canada and Asia.
Tibetans have experienced waves of genocide since the 1950s. Now they are facing ecocide – the reckless destruction of their fragile high-altitude environment. The Himalayan snowcaps are in meltdown mode, due to climate change – accelerated by a rain of black soot from massive burning of coal and other fuels in both China and India. The mighty rivers of Tibet are being extensively dammed by Chinese engineering consortiums to feed the mainland’s thirst for power, and the land is being relentlessly mined to feed China's industrial complex. On the drawing board are plans for a massive engineering project to divert water from eastern Tibet to water-starved northern China. The grasslands of Tibet are being usurped by desert – partly due to climate change, but mostly due to the shortsighted Chinese policy of forcibly removing Tibetan nomads from the grasslands.
Ruthless Chinese repression leaves Tibetans powerless to stop the reckless destruction of their sacred land, but they are not the only victims of this campaign. The nations downstream from Tibet rely heavily on rivers sourced in Tibet for water supply, for rich silt used in agriculture, and for fisheries. Mega-dams in Tibet are strangling those rivers and blocking their flow. This reckless destruction of the environment, and the Chinese quest for power through control of water resources, has been happening under the radar, with little scrutiny, until now. Meltdown in Tibet turns the spotlight on the darkest, most dangerous side of China's emergence as a global super-power. Here, author Michael Buckley reveals looming eco-disaster—not only in Tibet but across Asia—as a result of China’s devastation.
An expert on Tibet shares his first-hand account of the ruthless Chinese push to strip this fragile environment of its natural resources, endangering the water supply of much of Asia