Chapter

Ecological Capacity Profile and Adaptation

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Abstract

Ecological capacity, as a concept of volume, can be understood either in absolute terms or in relative terms. The green transition of China, to a large extent, is not an active choice but a reactive response. The natural resource endowments of China are specific, and their spatial distributions are predetermined. Obviously, climate conditions directly influence the productivity of natural systems. Therefore, the so-called environmental carrying capacity is in fact a kind of climate capacity. The geographic distribution of Chinese population and economy is subject to the constraints of climate capacity geographic distribution. The Chinese proverbs “people are shaped by the natural environment around them” and “timely wind and rain bring good harvest” are descriptions about climate capacity and their great importance. The large-scale human migrations in Chinese history and the current “ecological migrants,” in many cases, are climate migrants because human activities exceeded the climate capacity or environmental carrying capacity of specific regions. Environmental carrying capacity is the basis and constraint condition for the transition toward ecological civilization. Respecting and accommodating nature mean the transition from the passive adaptation to the impacts of environmental constraints to the active adaptation of keeping human activities within environmental carrying capacity.

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