Dark Consequences

Judy Lubow for Planet Warning

The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in China is a poster child for the spectacular Chinese economic expansion. The Dam cost over $25 billion dollars to construct, displaced 1.4 million people from their homes, and is the largest hydroelectric project in the world. But, it now turns out that the Dam also showcases the dark side of China’s economic boom – the environmental and human destruction in its wake.

China is experiencing its worst drought in over half a century. According to newspaper reports, many Chinese now acknowledge that the dam has contributed to the negative impacts of the drought, for example, by promoting unsustainable use of water to create electricity instead of to protect agriculture, ecosystems and drinking water. Even more alarming is the widespread fear among many Chinese residents and some scientists, that the dam’s reservoir itself may be part of the drought’s cause, through acting as a huge heat-reflector, lowering humidity over the entire region. Once again, we humans are learning that while man may propose, the earth always gets to laugh last.

To learn more about the Three Gorges Dam and the Chinese drought, you can go to the website: thisisnotadrillradio.org.

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