Sept. 26, 2023
Sheri Liao: “Extreme Environmental Activist”


Date: January 6, 2010
Source: Southern Weekend
Reporter: He Haining, He Xu (internship)
Xiaoyi liao, a famous non-governmental advocator and activist of environmental protection, founder and director of Beijing “Global Village” Environmental Culture Center
“The hope for global environmental protection is in China, and the solution for China lies in rural areas. Why do people remain appealing for investing in the cities?
In early December of 2009, Sheri Liao discussed with some officials from Sichuan Development and Reform Commission about constructing and promoting low carbon village program called “Happy Family” in Daping village, Pengzhou Jurisdiction, Sichuan Province.
This 55 years old well-known activist is more like a famer, and this reflects her consistent values: Discussion is important, but the more important one is action; action is important, but the more important thing is to find a correct direction. Including during the interview, she controlled time strictly and avoiding talking about the past experiences. She said; “ I don’t want to chatter history as aunt Xianglin , and there are so many real things waiting for me. .   
The reconstruction after Wenchuan earthquake was an opportunity to construct ecological villages, regarded by Sheri Liao. She and many volunteers have been living in Daping village for more than one year. They built low carbon buildings, biogas digesters, sewage treatment pools, organic farms, and clinics together with the local farmers. “2009 is the happiest year in my life” said Sheri Liao. She lived in the ecological building, which can “breath”, waked up by roosters, and went to sleep in the barks. In the news picture, she was not a star holding a cup any more, but a farm woman carrying a hoe.
She has received many honors in the leadership level such as: Sophie Prize-the Environmental Nobel Prize, Banksias Award-the Australian highest environmental prize, Man of the year 2005 award for social welfare by CCTV and so on. All the rewards come from her dedication. In 1990, she gave up her U.S. Green Card and devoted into China’s environmental protection. She made a TV show named “The Daughter of the Earth” at her own expense, established the NGO—“Global Village”, and initiated 26C Air Conditioning Campaign and Car Free Day.
Now, 80 ecological houses have been built in the “Happy Family”, which was the result of Liao’s several years’ thinking about China’s environmental protection. On a High-level Forum about Climate Change in July, she said “The hope for global environmental protection is in China, and the solution in China lies in rural areas. Why do people invest every penny in the cities? 
Sheri Liao thinks cities’ problem are very difficult to solve, and too few people going back to rural areas.
She insists living in a simplest life, being a vegetarian, neither air condition nor car,. She is proud of plain life anywhere. Someone thought she is an extreme environmentalist, and she said: “There are so many extreme consumer activists, so let us exist as few ‘extreme environmentalist’"
Translator:  Ma Zhe
Proofreader: Yue Lin