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Originally posted by operation mindcrime
I, myself, have decided to steer far and clear from prediction threads...
SHANGHAI—For over three decades the Chinese government dismissed warnings from scientists and environmentalists that its Three Gorges Dam—the world's largest—had the potential of becoming one of China's biggest environmental nightmares. But last fall, denial suddenly gave way to reluctant acceptance that the naysayers were right. Chinese officials staged a sudden about-face, acknowledging for the first time that the massive hydroelectric dam, sandwiched between breathtaking cliffs on the Yangtze River in central China, may be triggering landslides, altering entire ecosystems and causing other serious environmental problems—and, by extension, endangering the millions who live in its shadow.
About 20,000 cubic meters of rock and mud flowed into the Yangtze River following a landslide in the Three Gorges Dam area Monday, but no casualties have been reported.
The landslide happened on the northern bank of Wuxia Gorge, one of the Three Gorges, at around 1:40 a.m. Monday, the maritime affairs department in southwestern Chongqing Municipality said in a press release Tuesday.
The incident did not obstruct Yangtze shipping routes and water traffic was normal Tuesday, it said.
Maritime authorities imposed a five-hour traffic ban near the Wuxia Gorge after the landslide, affecting 45 vessels. The ban was lifted at 7:15 a.m. Monday after experts ruled out risks of further landslides.
The maritime bureau is monitoring the dam area around the clock.
A similar landslide was reported in the area on Nov. 23, when about 50,000 cubic meters of rock flowed into the Yangtze and water traffic was stopped for two days.
The landslide is seen on the northern bank of Wuxia Gorge, one of the Three Gorges in southwestern Chongqing Municipality on Monday, May 18, 2009. The landslide sent 20,000 cubic meters of mountain mass into the Yangtze River.[Photo: Chongqing Times]
The Three Gorges Dam Disaster Waiting to Happen
The Three Gorges Dam Disaster Waiting to Happen
Peter NavarroPosted September 27, 2007
Topics: Global Business, Finance & Investing
I heartily recommend the series of articles that have appeared in the Wall Street Journal on the mushrooming hazards associated with the Three Gorges Dam project in China. More broadly, this excerpt from my book The Coming China Wars provides an overview of the many dangers associated with China's highly aggressive program to dam all its rivers.
Dam happy. That’s the only way to describe China’s water-management policy. At more than 85,000 dams and counting, Chinese leaders boast of having the tallest dams, the largest by reservoir capacity, the dam with the highest ship lift, and the most powerful electricity producer. From arch dams, earthen dams, and gravity dams to cascade and concrete-faced rockfill dams, China has it all.
China should not be boasting about dams. Instead, China’s top leadership may well want to reconsider the perilous path it has chosen to take. For if ever there were a double-edged sword, a large dam strategy would be it. On the beneficial edge of that sword, large dams generate significant amounts of cheap electricity. They store water when there is a surplus for use in irrigation during times of scarcity. They protect arable land from flood and soil erosion. They can help promote aquaculture and fisheries development as well as tourism, recreation, and inland navigation. They can even change the local climate (for better or worse) by increasing humidity and precipitation.2
On the other far more costly and dangerous edge of the sword, large dams are quite capable over time of destroying the very waters they harness as well as the agricultural lands they are trying to improve. Because dams tend to slow down river flows, they decrease the ability of rivers to rejuvenate and cleanse themselves of pollutants naturally. They interfere with, and often destroy, natural habitats and fish reproduction. The reservoirs created by large dams displace significant population segments when they inundate villages and towns. Archaeological sites are literally drowned.
Perhaps the worst aspect of large dams is their relatively short useful shelf life. As silt builds up behind a dam and the reservoir becomes shallower and shallower, less electricity is generated, less water for irrigation is stored, and flood control becomes increasingly more difficult. Last, but hardly least, is the possibility of a catastrophic accident should a dam be breached and collapse and send a roaring wave of water downriver on a devastating path of destruction.
For all of the reasons mentioned previously, and based on significant historical experience, most environmentalists now believe that large dams often represent an unacceptable risk, particularly over the long term.
Originally posted by CultureD
reply to post by operation mindcrime
Sir or Madam:
My name is CultureD. Not "Oh Cultured One".
I would feel sad for myself if I weren't too busy feeling sad for you- and your attempt at spelling and grammar.
I am asking you- once more, and politely, to desist from attacking me personally. When I joined ATS I read a great deal about the requirements of manners and decorum- and as a person who has visited Embassies, toiled for the Government, risked horrendous disease, etc., in an attempt to keep people "safe", I am beginning to wonder if my work had value--if people like you would blithely swallow my medicine in an emergency, and then turn round to insult me. It makes me happy to have left my field for greener pastures, knowing you're on your own when the autumn flu returns with a vengeance.
Good luck to you- you've alienated a valuable resource.