“ Iceland’s 300+ glaciers losing 11 billion tons of ice a year. Several have already melted away, and many more will disappear in the next decade. ”
Threatens millions of lives. Possible government corruption. China has 87,000 dams and reservoirs, many used for hydropower and thousands already on fault zone. Dam breaks from earthquakes exacerbate environmental destruction.
"More than 130 large dams built, under construction, or proposed in western China’s seismic hazard zones could trigger disastrous environmental consequences such as earthquakes and giant waves, finds a new report from the Canadian watchdog group Probe International.
The report shows that 98.6 percent of the dams being constructed in western China are located in high to moderate seismic hazard zones.
The location of large dams near clusters of recorded earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 4.9, and especially when the earthquake focal points are also close to the surface, “is cause for grave concern,” said the report’s author geologist “John Jackson.”
John Jackson is a pseudonym for a geologist with detailed knowledge of western China who wishes to remain anonymous to protect his sources.
In a worst-case scenario, Jackson reports, dams could collapse, creating a giant wave that would inundate everything in its path, including downstream dams, causing great loss of life and property.
Should a dam suffer catastrophic collapse, says Probe International Executive Director Patricia Adams, Chinese citizens could direct their anger to the hydropower industry for threatening their lives with dangerous dams.
To pierce the Chinese government’s secrecy over its dam building, the Probe report overlays a Chinese map of dam locations with U.S. Geological Survey earthquake data and a United Nations’ seismic hazard map.”
More at Environmental News
Chile approves damming Patagonia. Yes. PATAGONIA.
Chile approves huge dam project on wild rivers, opening remote Patagonia to development
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. of the NRDC appeals. Patagonia is a huge mountain chain in South America. It’s the source of thousands of rivers. The Chilean slopes are of the most beautiful places on planet earth.
The commissioners — all political appointees in President Sebastian Pinera’s government — concluded a three-year environmental review by approving five dams on the Baker and Pascua rivers in Aysen, a mostly roadless region of remote southern Patagonia where rainfall is nearly constant and rivers plunge from Andean glaciers to the Pacific Ocean through green valleys and fjords.
But, in reading through the article, I’m having a hard time forming an argument against the project. Only three families will be relocated and only 14,000 acres will be clear-cut and flooded. That’s not much. There are few animals there, none particularly vulnerable.
Chile’s economy and population is exploding. Wealth is increasing, and they frankly need more electricity. Most of the country’s electricity comes from hydro, rather than more destructive coal or risky nuclear power. This dam will generate 2.75 gigwatts of power (trust me, that’s really a lot of power!). On top of this, the government and the investors will create jobs, major infrastructure, and much needed investments in education. These are substantial concessions, which are quite rare in development projects of this scale.
The Aysen region will receive less expensive energy, jobs, scholarships and $350 million in infrastructure, including seaports and airports, said HidroAysen’s executive vice president, Daniel Fernandez.
UPDATE: Bloomberg is reporting loud protests.