Host: Many people think that building a low-carbon city means they can no longer live in large apartments or use air conditioners. What do you think of such opinions? Do you think low-carbon cities have to come at the cost of economic development and people's living standard? What is a low-carbon city like in your mind?
Chen: In my opinion, building a low-carbon city is going back to primitive ways. We should choose earth houses instead of high rises. The earth houses in the rural areas should be kept. And we should build more houses with earth, as these houses are cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I'm the son of a peasant. I myself want to build an earth house to live in.
The earth houses have straw roofing, and the walls are built from earth. They can withstand earthquakes of less than magnitude seven. They are indeed cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and there's nothing to feel shameful about when living in a house like that. In a real low-carbon city, there should be no more high rises, as they do great harm to the city's environment. Building high rises requires stones, sands and cement. All of these are from mountains, and these exploitations harm the trees and creatures in the mountains.
As Arbor Day is coming, I want to use China Daily as a platform to call for our Chinese people, together with your children, to plant more trees to reduce carbon emission. This year I will donate 1,000 trees to Yunnan province. I will bring my wife and children to plant trees. More trees are good for cutting carbon emission, and we should not cut down trees. Our whole society should take action to stop destruction of trees. Seeing one tree cut down really makes me feel pain. The tree has grown for decades; you can not just cut it down. I think in a low-carbon city, we should not continue with high rise building. To see whether a city is well-developed, the number of high rises should not be an indictor. The indicators should be the public's degree of satisfaction, whether people's pockets are full and the cleanness of the city. That's my personal opinion for low-carbon cities. If I were a mayor of a city, I would not focus on large-scale construction. Instead, I would focus on hygiene, environment, low-carbon economy and citizens' welfare. But of course, I'm an entrepreneur instead of a mayor.
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