How’s this for a coincidence? Just before we were taking our son to a Kuk Sool Won (Korean martial arts) tournament in Folsom on Saturday, Steven Frisch – president of the Sierra Business Council in Truckee – was jetting over Seoul, Korea, on his way to China and Mongolia.
“Just landed in Ulan Bator,” said the email from Steve, which landed in my “in” box while we were away at the tournament.
Ulan Bator, Ulaanbaatar or “red hero,” is the capital and largest city of Mongolia.
“I will be in Mongolia and China for a little over two weeks,” said Steve. “I am going on an exchange program with the U.S. State Department.
“The purpose of the visit is to collaborate with the Mongolian government, emerging businesses and non-government organizations (or NGOs) on environmental governance, business development and the implementation of social entrepreneurship models that could help Mongolia deal with the impacts of mining and dramatically increased tourism.
“I also will be meeting with people working on implementing a geotourism program in Mongolia.
Upon landing in Mongolia’s capital, Steve reported “Ulan Bator is all coal powered, with three huge plants within sight of the downtown.”
There is virtually no scrubber technology.
On the flight over, Steve also talked to a geologist from Salt Lake City who has been working on building the railroad from the Gobi Desert to China, about 200 kilometers north of Beijing. (The scene on a passenger train is here).
China built a “super heavy” rail line from Beijing to Mongolia in less than two years, from permitting to completed construction, he said.
There appears to be a race going on between the Russians and the Chinese to see who can get the lion’s share of the Mongolian coal, and the Chinese seem to be winning hands down.
The SBC will be posting updates on Facebook. Steve also offered to post updates here, and we’ll look forward to them when he gets a chance.
Steve also showed his political humor by snapping a photo and sending it along (a Lenin statue in Ulan Bator).
credit: Steve Frisch
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