In the latest installment of Butterfly Effect, we follow the impact of China's bulging real estate market on commodities such as copper, the latest tech innovations those commodities enable, the scrap they create, and the subsequent recycling opportunities--in China.
1. China's Ghost Cities
In November 2009, Al Jazeera English correspondent Melissa Chan
discovered the nearly empty "ghost city" of Kangbashi on the steppes of Inner Mongolia, equipped with six-lane highways, an opera house, art museum, and a stadium. The city immediately became a symbol of China’s housing bubble, which has resulted in 64.5 million empty apartments across the country--enough to house a third of its urban population.
Stranger still is the effect that the bubble, burst or not, has already had on the prices of commodities around the world. And how those prices have lead to technological innovation. And how rapid innovation means more e-waste. And how that means more opportunities for