posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 10:18 AM
One really huge problem with dams in general is the killing of fish. By a lot of arm-twisting, environmentalists have pushed Dams in America to "use
the best available technology" to reduce fish deaths.
This is necessary, because we already are stretching the fish populations to the breaking point. Something like 3 Trillion fry (that's with a "T")
are killed each year in our dams.
What happens to migration patterns and trying to go both upstream and downstream through that behemoth?
Dams are good sources of water -- but there are new "low energy" techniques for harnessing hydroelectric power. The old technology that requires
dams, needs pressure. But I've seen designs that use chamber like the inside of a screw (kind of like what would be left if you made a mold around a
thick blade) to use a slight drop in water level to harness slow-moving water. A fish could survive moving through this and even swim upstream.
Instead of one massive dam, you could have thousands of little screw generators along the length of a river.
The levees and controlling damage by flooding are another issue; I'd recommend that people NOT live in a flood plane. Failing that, have a modern
system of alert sirens and many, many strong stilt-supported emergency centers.
We have the same problem in the US of developers building resorts on our coasts and draining swamps. The swamps are the lungs of our ecosystem and
they allow for a natural storm break on sea swells and fresh water floods. The problems in Louisiana aren't just a sinking city -- they are
compounded by the Army Corps of Engineers destruction of the swamps.
Human's can't keep doing these things to the earth and not have repercussions.
We need to get out of the era of "grand and glorious" and start reducing our footprint and decentralizing food and energy production.
Toxins, in essence, are just un-natural concentrations as well as synthetic products. If you put too much fertilizer in one place, you end up creating
dead zones in the oceans.
We run out of water in our aquifers, because we have roofs, streets and storm drains. If every house made efforts to store their own water -- we can
not only reduce the strain on city water supplies -- we make everyone drought tolerant.
And having a lot of generators on the flow of a river -- rather than huge all or nothing projects at a dam, reduces the losses of energy on long
>>> I'm sure there is a lot of thought and technology in the three-gorges dam. But it also seems like, they just 10X the size of the dam and the
sluices because they are holding 10x water -- but problems do not scale evenly.
>> I think it's fool-hardy to put almost 400 million people in the wash plane of a dam.
However, I disagree with the huge worry about "wobbling" -- our earth survives a HUGE movement of water every day due to the moon's effect on the
oceans -- so many of orders of magnitude greater than this large dam. The rhythm of the earth has of course adapted to the ocean. After the last ice
age, the earth saw huge floods as ice dams broke. The entire lower Western region was probably made in an instant from a mega flow coming from the
Great Lakes (remember all the flood myths from the early times like Noah and his Arc? -- probably most of them have to do with the breaking of ice
>>> I think the environmental problem they've made CAN effect the earth much more than any dam collapse -- which is the least of their worries. And
an earth quake, may not destroy the dam itself, but might make a resonant Tsunami right inside of what amounts to a fresh water sea.
Who knows what is going to happen to the Chinese fish stock -- which I'd say is more important than any electricity they produce.
This world needs solar fusion in the worst way. The Chinese are doomed if they keep using coal, and they are doomed if they try to use this much
Hydroelectric. Human power production is not catching up with China becoming fully industrialized -- their population and resource needs are likely
unsustainable unless they find much better technologies to solve these problems.