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Amazon Destruction - Belo Monte Hydroelectric Dam

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posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 02:55 AM
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Belo Monte Hydroelectric Dam

The $11 billion Belo Monte hydroelectric dam - which if completed would be the world's third-largest such project - was cleared for construction Feb. 1 by the Environment Ministry. Bidding for prospective builders is expected to take place later this month.

Brazil's government has said that even if it can't find private partners for the dam's construction on the Xingu River, which feeds the Amazon River, the nation has the funds to finish the project itself.




What is the electricity for?



The government claims that Belo Monte's cheap energy will power the houses of the poor across Brazil. The reality is that energy exported from Belo Monte would be consumed at the Carajás, Jurutí, and Alumar aluminum smelting mines in Pará and Maranhão before traveling through transmission lines to São Paulo and the Southeast. The state of Pará is Brazil's leading producer of bauxite, the raw material for the production of aluminum

Impacts on environment and People



Belo Monte's three reservoirs will flood 400 square kilometers of agricultural land and forest and cause a permanent drought on the Xingu River's "Big Bend," directly affecting the Paquiçamba territory of the Juruna indigenous people. Over 20,000 people will be relocated from the municipalities of Altamira and Vitoria do Xingu. In addition, two huge channels 500 meters wide by 75 km long will be excavated to divert water from the main dam to the power plant, unearthing more land than was removed to build the Panama Canal.

Hydroelectric production is touted as both a solution to Brazil's periodic blackouts and as the "clean development" approach to global climate change. However, the National Amazon Research Institute (INPA) calculated that during its first 10 years of operation, Belo Monte would emit 112 million Megagrams (Mg) of CO2 equivalent, equal to the CO2 emissions of 2,156,460 passenger vehicles per year.

Belo Monte will also attract 100,000 migrants to the region. However, at the height of construction, only 40,000 jobs – only 2,000 of them long-term – will have been created. The remaining labor pool will find jobs in illegal logging and cattle ranching, the two largest causes of deforestation in the Amazon.

For the Xingu's poor farmers, temporary employment created by the dam is not a viable replacement for lost agricultural lands and the river's fish supply


Grave Omissions in the Environmental Impact Assessment

Data was missing regarding water quality, socioeconomic indicators, and fish populations, and flimsy plans to mitigate the direct impacts on riverine families were devised last minute. Despite this, the . of IBAMA approved the EIA and stipulated the winning consortium to monitor the project impacts over a six-year "trial period" of operation. This "wait and see" attitude is no way to manage the environmental impacts of the world's third-largest dam



Even director James Cameron is speaking out against this outrage -





Amazon facing 'real-life Avatar' says James Cameron

Ever since I watched the documentary James Cameron did about the Titanic, I liked him.

I like the man even more now after reading this article about how he is speaking out about the Belo Monte dam project in the Amazon Rainforest, Brazil.



James Cameron, the director, has said a real-life "Avatar" battle is playing out in Brazil's Amazon rain forest, where indigenous groups are trying to halt the construction of a huge hydroelectric project


Cameron said he was in Brazil to support Indian and environmental groups as they stage protests against the Belo Monte dam project.

Avatar has struck a chord with environmentalists worldwide, from China, where millions have been displaced by major infrastructure projects, to Bolivia, where Evo Morales, the nation's first indigenous president, praised the film for sending the message of saving the environment from exploitation.

"I'm drawn into a situation where a real-life 'Avatar' confrontation is in progress," Cameron said in a telephone interview while en route to protests taking place in front of the Mines and Energy Ministry.


Yet more devastation for the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil. Who cares about the indigenous people of this area?

The people are speaking, but no-one is listening and this will go a. as planned.

Another crying shame as big corporations rule the roost as usual.


www.amazonwatch.org...

www.telegraph.co.uk...




posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 03:02 AM
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I understand the need for a reliable power source, but I just don't feel destroying more sections of the Amazon are the answer.


Hydroelectric production is touted as both a solution to Brazil's periodic blackouts and as the "clean development" approach to global climate change. However, the National Amazon Research Institute (INPA) calculated that during its first 10 years of operation, Belo Monte would emit 112 million Megagrams (Mg) of CO2 equivalent, equal to the CO2 emissions of 2,156,460 passenger vehicles per year.


How much of that CO2 would have been eliminated by the portion of the forest that is to be destroyed to build this?



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 03:48 AM
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Better build coal plants instead...

( What should be built instead, OP? )

[edit on 13/4/2010 by C0bzz]



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 03:54 AM
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post removed because the user has no concept of manners

Click here for more information.



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 04:14 AM
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That said.

I think building ANYTHING, ANYWHERE should be stopped. The planet should take presidence over ANY human needs or desires.

The thing we should be doing is de-populating the planet.
At the moment it's unsustainable, almost 7 billion now. How many is too many? 12 billion? 400 billion? 18 trillion? 900 trillion?
When will we wake up and put a stop to human popultion growth?
Until we do, more and more things like this will continue happening. Nothing will stop it, people want living standards.

Full stop.



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 04:25 AM
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Originally posted by C0bzz
Better build coal plants instead...

( What should be built instead, OP? )

[edit on 13/4/2010 by C0bzz]


Well the fact that the dam is being built mostly to service destructive mining industries should be enough reason not to build it.

If the dam was for the people in need of the power, then at least listen to all reasoning before bashing a. and putting thousands of indigenous people out of a home.

And to answer your question about alternatives, well seeing as you did not read the link I provided, I will quote -




Sustainable Alternatives -

WWF-Brazil released a report in 2007 stating that Brazil could cut its expected demand for electricity by 40% by 2020 by investing in energy efficiency. The power saved would be equivalent to 14 Belo Monte hydroelectric plants and would result in national electricity savings of up to R$33 billion (US$19 billion).

Retrofitting existing hydroelectric infrastructure would also add thousands of megawatts to the energy grid without needing to dam another river. A first step would be to reduce the amount of energy lost during transmission, replace energy inefficient household products, and to update old and failing generators.

Rather than invest in large, inefficient dams, Brazil has the potential to be a global leader in energy efficiency and renewables, conserving the Amazon ecosystem, and drastically cutting greenhouse gas emissions.


Why build anything at all if it does not need to be there in the first place.

www.amazonwatch.org...


[edit on 13-4-2010 by grantbeed]



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 04:26 AM
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We need to boycott and stop that project Forever for good!

[edit on 13-4-2010 by masonicon]



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 04:29 AM
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reply to post by grantbeed
 


Yea sure. For now.
And in 2097? Will that be enough power supply for the billion Brazilians? And in 3241? Will that be enough power supply for the 3 billion Brazilians? Fact is this, rivers HAVE to be dammed, or, nuclear power stations HAVE to be built, or, human population HAS to drop, or, living standards HAVE to fall.



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 04:30 AM
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Ok, first of all, I am a brazilian and I agree with the building of the hydroelectric dam.

Brazil is in an economic growth. We have huge lines of credit to private companies who want to invest in small scale hydroelectrics as well as a wind map of the whole country for those willing to invest in aeolic energy.

In the last years, a lot of money have been invested in connecting gas pipes through the country to enhance the logistic of natural gas.

We also have a huge industry of sugar cane alcohol, which is a lot cleaner, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than US's corn based alcohol.

We are also investing a lot in drilling oil. So much that not only Petrobras is prospecting, but also private companies, like the ones owned by Eike Batista, the brazilian who is now the 8th richest man in the world.

We need all the energy production we can get and our country of more than 200 million people, shouldn't be stopped because of 20.000.

And PLEASE, if you have NEVER been to Amazon like I HAVE and even WORK THERE, you don't really know what it's like. Not all indians are AVATAR LIKE. Give me a break. James Cameron is only interested in promoting AVATAR 2 which will be shot in Brazil. So dont give me this EVEN JAMES CAMERON BS...

In Rondonia, one of the states covered by the Amazon Forest, there are many indians who claim their land, but not because they like to fish and hunt and live with nature. THEY ARE RICH and VIOLENT! One of the best quality diamonds in the world is explored in their area. AND IT IS ALL ILLEGAL! You have to pay them to explore and if you try to trick them, they will kill you. Nothing is registered, no taxes are paid.

Building the DAM and controlling deforestation are two different things. The DAM SHOULD be built and the AMAZON FOREST should be protected. This is just one small portion of the area.

The REAL danger for the forest is the illegal wood industry. It is sick, but that area of Brazil is corrupt and too far away from the rest of the country. It's like slacking off at work because you know your boss is never there to check on you. Whatever presence you have in that area from environmental agents, those government agents sell themselves cheap and just let people do what they want.

But that is ONE problem and the building of the DAM shouldn't be stopped because of that.

Although I don't like Lula, our president, because I know how corrupt and incompetent he is, I liked what he said once to the international media. It was something along the lines of telling countries like US to rebuild their forests before telling us what to do with ours. It's the same thing with Nuclear Weapons. US telling other countries shouldnt have Nuclear Weapons, but the US has thousands.

I'm not saying we have the right to destroy our forests because other countries have destroyed theirs. I am not saying people from other countries shouldnt worry about our forests either. Just giving you the point of view from someone who lives here and knows more than what you could find in any news outlet who uses the photo of James Cameron to illustrate this news.



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 04:37 AM
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reply to post by henriquefd
 


Well according to the article above (see quote), the dam does not even need built at all. If existing Power sources were made to be more efficient then the savings would be massive!

and it's not just about deforestation here either. Its all the effects of what it does to the whole eco-system, not just the trees.



Mega-projects typically confront indigenous communities with disease, loss of food and clean water sources, cultural disintegration and human rights abuses by lumber cutters, migrant workers and land speculators. The indirect and long term impacts of Belo Monte are of even greater concern as other unsustainable industries such as aluminum and metal refineries, soy plantations, logging, and mining expand into the area


www.amazonwatch.org...



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 05:33 AM
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Well, according to the reality of our country, we NEED energy. It's one of the main topics in the presidential elections this year. Forget reports and speeches made to make Brazil look good internationally. The reality is in our everyday lives and in what's been going on in the last years.

We have just recently started to export oil, because till recently we had to consume everything we produced. Why consume your own oil when you could consume cheaper energy and sell your oil?

We, as a country, dont want to have JUST ENOUGH energy. Energy is one of the main resources for any nation in the world. Heck, wars are being fought right now over it.

The truth is that we, as a country, still have A LOT TO DO. Our aeolic energy production is still crawling, even with all the lines of credit offered.

The number of small scale privately owned hydroelectric dams is still low and below the ammount needed and expected. And they are a great investment, too. The need for cheaper energy is so obvious, that every single small scale privately owned hydroelectric dam that is built, quickly sells all its energy production for the next 30 years.

Look, lets not be naive. The richest and most powerful countries in the world today didnt become so without a cost. I do care about the environment and about the GOOD indian people(not the violent ones). I also care about our water resources. I even know that this DAM will be built no matter what, because the lobby from the construction companies is huge and lots of money is being paid to politicians to make it happen. It will happen, no matter how many people area gainst it. James Cameron can cry his lungs out, this DAM will be built.

There is only one chance of stopping this and that's because we are in the presidential election year. IF the opposition finds out that the building of this DAM is not seen well in the eyes of the public, they could press on this issue to make Lula and his successor, Dilma, look bad. But I doubt it. Probably the construction companies will just buy the opposition as well, if it comes to it.

EDIT: Just to make myself clear, I am in favor of any project where the benefits are much higher than the costs. ANY industrial investment in that area will cause some sort of impact environmentally, but there WILL be investments done in that area. If not this one, another one.

I will pose another theory. Maybe they decided to create a media frenzy with this project so a huge commotion will be made against it, just so Lula can come out as a hero by shutting it down. That would be huge for him, because he would take hundreads of pictures shaking James Cameron's hand and associate his image with Avatar and gain votes from the young brazilians who enjoyed Avatar.... that's something to consider.

[edit on 13-4-2010 by henriquefd]



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 10:40 AM
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Originally posted by grantbeed

Hydroelectric production is touted as both a solution to Brazil's periodic blackouts .....


Isn't that what Chavez thought ...... until the current drought afflict northern S America and the Caribbean closed all his hydro plants down ......



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 12:52 PM
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Originally posted by Essan

Originally posted by grantbeed

Hydroelectric production is touted as both a solution to Brazil's periodic blackouts .....


Isn't that what Chavez thought ...... until the current drought afflict northern S America and the Caribbean closed all his hydro plants down ......


Well, there are no periodic blackouts in Brazil. We had a energy crisis when Fernando Henrique Cardoso was our president. At that time, Serra was his Secretary of Planning and INfrastructure. Serra, who is from the same political party as Fernando Henrique Cardoso, is running for president this year against Dilma. Dilma being the candidate supported by Lula, our current president.

One of Dilma´s arguments against Serra is that during FHC´s presidency and under Serra as Secretary of Planning and Infrastructure, Brazil suffered a huge blackout. And she will say that it was Lula´s government that solved that problem and if elected she will continue with his planning.

We have no blackouts, but we have a lot of potential in producing more energy. This is capitalism. You don´t produce just enough to survive. You produce extra to sell that extra. That's what we are aiming for. Producing as much energy as possible, so we can choose to consume the cheaper energy and sell the expensive energy, like oil.

As for the droughts, that is a risk, since we can't control nature, but so far, Climate Change has been causing a LOT of water to rain down all over Brazil. Our water reserves have never been so high in years.



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 03:31 PM
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reply to post by henriquefd
 


There was quite a significant drought in the Amazon a few years back. But I'm well aware of recent rainfall events in Brazil - and their consequences



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 04:06 PM
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reply to post by henriquefd
 


Well it's obvious that there's backlash against international environmentalists trying to stop development of the Amazon rainforest.

www.youtube.com...

www.youtube.com...

This is an excellent on the scenes report about the Minnesota-based Cargill company -- the 2nd largest private corporation in the world controlling the World Trade Organization agribusiness laws -- as the leading cause of destruction of the Amazon.

Soy farms -- for China's pigs and Europe's chickens.

So it's not just Brazilians wanting development -- it's an elite of developers -- the "economic hit men" as John Perkins exposes so well:

video.google.com...=808526880666247652

This is a great interview with Perkins about how international development really works.

As for stopping the damn -- how would it be stopped anyway?



posted on Apr, 14 2010 @ 12:00 AM
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If the dam was for the people in need of the power, then at least listen to all reasoning before bashing a. and putting thousands of indigenous people out of a home.


It is almost impossible that Brazil could cut its electrical use by 40% in 10 years.


Comparison of Regarding Electric Energy Demand Projections in Brazil. Additionally, the claims the WWF has been making recently are highly criticized and suspect, given everyone else reaches a drastically different conclusion to them. Any other source that supports you view other than WWF, Greenpeace, or Sierra Club?


Well the fact that the dam is being built mostly to service destructive mining industries should be enough reason not to build it.

So the claims that Brazil can cut electricity use by 40% come from eliminating industry? That's not going to happen. Some of the mines this Dam will service already exist. How are they being powered? Will building this Dam free up other resources? Additionally, I don't know whether you realized this or not, but aluminum is required for a modern world. Mines are required for a modern world. Smelters are required for a modern world.


The government claims that Belo Monte's cheap energy will power the houses of the poor across Brazil.

That statement seems like propaganda from yourself or the WWF. I highly suspect any government would make such a dubious claim. Electricity is required for a strong economy, not just for peoples homes. My country has a massive aluminum industry. I certainly wouldn't want it to shut down because it would be disastrous to the economy.


Belo Monte would emit 112 million Megagrams (Mg) of CO2 equivalent, equal to the CO2 emissions of 2,156,460 passenger vehicles per year.

Dams last 60 years. The lifetime CO2 emissions from Hydroelectric are extremely low, generally lower than that of solar and wind.


The remaining labor pool will find jobs in illegal logging and cattle ranching, the two largest causes of deforestation in the Amazon.

But closing the Dam would prevent electrical growth which would have a major effect on industry, including all them mines you think should be closed. That would also diminish jobs, and likely living standards.




Since you did not answer the question I'll answer for you. They should use Nuclear instead of the Dam. Overall cost of electricity it provides is usually slightly lower than that of Hydro, but has a land use intensity that is significantly smaller.

[edit on 14/4/2010 by C0bzz]



posted on Apr, 14 2010 @ 12:09 AM
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reply to post by C0bzz
 


As that Economic Hitman interview details -- John Perkins -- those economic costs are not valid -- for example nuclear? The costs of the environmental pollution from the mining of uranium causing cancer, from the radiation leaks of the cooling water, from storing the fuel rods, and from the potential meltdown hazards -- the cost of nuclear is way more than is reported.

The best thing to do would be a massive World Bank loan for a huge economy of scale production in the latest solar panels which are at a much lower cost than is reported.

There's several company options - new nanomaterial panels or using solar collectors, etc.



posted on Apr, 14 2010 @ 12:18 AM
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The costs of the environmental pollution from the mining of uranium causing cancer,

A fraction amount of the mining is required for Uranium compared to coal & gas. The mining can also be done in conjunction for other materials, such as copper, gold and silver.

Also you may want to look at these:
Earth-Friendly Elements, Mined Destructively.
Solar Energy Firms Leave Waste Behind in China



from the radiation leaks of the cooling water,

Studies have been done which recorded the correlation between nuclear reactors and cancer. No correlation has been found. In any case, on average the nuclear fuel-cycle emits 10 times less radioactivity than coal. And the 'radioactive cooling water' is in reality not very radioactive at all, generally measured in PICOCURIES.


from storing the fuel rods,

Yet zero members of the public in the last 50 years have been injured by spent fuel in western society. Wind electricity, despite generating only a fraction of that nuclear does, has killed more.


and from the potential meltdown hazards

Yet it has happened only once with civilian PWR reactors during the last 40 years which resulted in no deaths, and a relatively small release of radiation. Statistically nuclear is approximately 100 times safer than coal, and a severe accident will have significantly less of an effect compared to Hydro.


The best thing to do would be a massive World Bank loan for a huge economy of scale production in the latest solar panels which are at a much lower cost than is reported.

Scroll up, those are EIA projections for 2016 costs of electricity. Nuclear is 1/3rd the cost of solar including when waste management is taken into account. That doesn't take into account energy storage either, which is required if one wants to create baseload from an inherently intermittent, unreliable electricity source like solar. In short, your objections to Nuclear are non-existent, and you are absurdly suggesting a laboratory scale technology that is over a decade from commercialization, over a technology that is deployable right now.

[edit on 14/4/2010 by C0bzz]



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