Postcard from Tibet: The monks battling the climate gods

Patrick Schröder discovers how climate change and tourism are affecting remote parts of China and how Buddhist monks are rising to the challenge.

The World Today
3 minute READ

The extreme weather events during the summer of 2023 left an indelible mark on China’s cities and its tranquil highlands. While the Turfan Depression in Xinjiang recorded unprecedented temperatures of 52C in July, Beijing grappled with torrential rains and devastating floods in August.

Amid these extremes, I found myself en route to the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu province to see the changes it has undergone since I first travelled there as a student in 1997. This journey revealed the challenges faced by the region and beyond – namely, how can its peoples combat climate change while maintaining their livelihoods and traditional cultures?

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