This Damned Dam is one Damn Big Dam

We saw this on our latest Michael Palin travel show last night (Full Circle), and at the time it was filmed 12 years ago, the dam was just in its beginning stages.  We were astonished to learn that once this dam is fully operational (which, I believe, it already is), it will have displaced up to 4 million people who currently live near the Yangtze River.  The resulting flood of water into the region will submerge hundreds of small towns and villages, wipe out 1300+ archaeological sites, and potentially kill off several endangered species, all in a single blow.  It’s like the Death Star of hydroelectric dams!  So what if it sits on a seismic fault and the land around it is eroding at a frantic pace?

Ahhh, progress…no matter what the cost.

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  1. I have been obsessively reading about this dam project. One on level, it seems like a cool project because as you can see from the picture, China has a huge smog problem due to the burning of low-quality coal. It would be nice if they could improve their air quality by relying more on hydroelectricity. But, the dam will probably have other just as harmful environmental impacts in other areas due to the flooding of the region. It’s hard to know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing to build huge dams like this, but I suspect it will create problems in the future.

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