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China Plans to Build 'Amazonian Railway' Across South America

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posted on May, 22 2015 @ 02:29 AM
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Sometimes I think we Americans don't pay enough attention to what's going on in our own neck of the woods. What's left of the woods, anyway.

The political ramifications of this are, well, enormous but for a different forum. I'm more concerned with the environmental impact, given China's track record for environmental sensitivity.

The Guardian

Chinese premier Li Keqiang is to push controversial plans for a railway through the Amazon rainforest during a visit to South America next week, despite concerns about the possible impact on the environment and on indigenous tribes.

Currently just a line on a map, the proposed 5,300km route in Brazil and Peru would reduce the transport costs for oil, iron ore, soy beans and other commodities, but cut through some of the world’s most biodiverse forest.


It is simply dumbfounding to watch the powers of the world continue to carve up our planet and slowly burn it to ash. Then again, they're only giving us what we demand, right?

But nevermind mere ecology. There are people living in this monstrosity's path who, after hundreds of years, are still being displaced in the interests of economic expansion (or would be, if this thing happens). Same game, different players.


Although major Chinese firms have put in place improved guidelines, conservationists and campaigners for indigenous rights fear this project will continue that trend by carving up nature reserves, crossing the land of uncontacted tribes and opening up indigenous land for development. This is expected to prompt an outcry.

...

“Past mega-projects suggest that far from consulting the indigenous communities that lay in their path, the government is more likely to steamroll their rights while paying mere lip service to environmental protection,” said Christian Poirier of Amazon Watch. “As with road projects, railways open access to previously remote regions, bring a flow of migrant workers inevitably followed by deforestation mafias and cattle ranchers, creating a perfect storm of pressures upon the forest and forest peoples.”

I hope this project dies a swift death. However, I fear there will be another like it, and then another, until they finally get their way.

The Telegraph

"Li's visit provides Brazil with timely opportunities. It desperately needs to upgrade its infrastructure, whose deplorable condition results in inefficiency, uncertainty and prohibitive transportation costs within the country," it argued.

After three days in Brazil, Mr Li will travel to Colombia, Peru and Chile, the other stops on his four-nation tour. The trip underlines China's growing role in a region long considered the United States' backyard. In January, Xi Jinping, China's president, vowed to invest $250 billion in the region over the coming decade in return for access to Venezuelan oil, Brazilian iron ore and Peruvian copper.

Yeah, it's not just about shipping costs. They're going to rape the continent.

Maybe it would bother me less if I focused on the political sideshow...





posted on May, 22 2015 @ 02:51 AM
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a reply to: NthOther

Thanks for sharing this! S&F!

I fear that nobody will stop this from happening if the Brazilian government wants it, they are never going to think about the indigenous native tribes that live a life away from our pollution, and by pollution I also include noise which will affect them if this railway is built.

A railway itself could not damage the environment too much, but we all know that as soon as it's done stations will be built, then little towns and in the end a big area will end up being affected.... I feel for the local tribes, they live and let live, I wish we could do the same.



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 03:44 AM
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edit on 22-5-2015 by southernplayalistic because: im drunk



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 05:24 AM
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a reply to: NthOther

Do they not deserve to have railway structrue across their own country. Are their railway stations across the US..?



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 05:43 AM
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I wouldn't worry too much about this project, it's doomed to fail.


Half the money China invests will end up in the pockets of some corrupt official or contractor.

Maintaining the railway in the Brazilian environment will be incredibly expensive as pieces of the railway will wash away every year with mudslides, flooding etc. On the map you posted it also looks like it will pass through areas that are literally thousands of kilometers away from any form of civilization.

Building a railway over the Cordilleira de Los Andes in itself could be considered a monumental task which also will carry monumental costs.
edit on 22-5-2015 by fedeykin because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 08:26 AM
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Good.

At least they ain't selling weapons first and then invade.



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 08:54 AM
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To be honest the Chinese do this type of work because the developed West won't touch projects due to the catastrophic potential for environmental disaster. The Chinese don't care as can be demonstrated by the environmental disaster area that is "modern" China.



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 09:59 AM
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a reply to: NthOther

Dibs on starbucks/Mcdonalds rest stop



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 10:07 AM
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between something like this and the Belo Monte dam.. (I believe that is still being constructed) the environment is well and truly screwed.

also lets not forget the impact on the local peoples... (que look what the Americans did so the Brazilian govt should be allowed to also argument.)



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 11:43 AM
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originally posted by: Irishhaf
between something like this and the Belo Monte dam.. (I believe that is still being constructed) the environment is well and truly screwed.

also lets not forget the impact on the local peoples... (que look what the Americans did so the Brazilian govt should be allowed to also argument.)


Why can't they have modern rail transport?

This is a very poor part of the world.

This could help boost their economies by factors.

They shouldn't have to live in poverty, because you decided they can't have railroads like everybody else.



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 03:35 PM
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originally posted by: johnwick

originally posted by: Irishhaf
between something like this and the Belo Monte dam.. (I believe that is still being constructed) the environment is well and truly screwed.

also lets not forget the impact on the local peoples... (que look what the Americans did so the Brazilian govt should be allowed to also argument.)


Why can't they have modern rail transport?

This is a very poor part of the world.

This could help boost their economies by factors.

They shouldn't have to live in poverty, because you decided they can't have railroads like everybody else.


Do you think any of the money will go to native workers? Chinese government investing money to Chinese corporations to employ Chinese workers to build a railway that will allow China to get access to copper and other metals at bargain prices.
They will build hotels to house workers.

If the railway were built underground, that wouldn't be too bad for the environment. Plus there would be far less risk of damage to the railway through mudslides or falling trees.



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