Welcome back to TerraInforma.ca, we have a dam good show for you this week. Our theme this week is dams…. those massive feats of engineering built to retain water. Humans have been building dams since pre-Christian times. The oldest human constructed dam was built in Jordan, and estimates place its construction date at 3000 BC! The environmental impacts caused by these large-scale projects have remained unchanged over the millennia. This week David Kaczan will take us on a tour of some of the largest, and the most controversial, dam projects in the world. Last week the BC government approved a large-scale dam on the Peace River, in the north of British Colombia. Terra Informa correspondent Steve Andersen brings us his conversations with stakeholders including BC Hydro and The Wilderness Committee, an environmental NGO.
As always we start our show with a selection of environmental headlines, or as Alex Hindle (who is hosting this week’s news) likes to call it, Terra Informa’s Ultra Action News Attack.
Ice crystals block deployment of BP containment dome as Gulf Islands see oil sheen and tar By Charles Diggens, Belona.org
B.C.’s proposed hydro dam ‘true death of the delta’, Aboriginal groups in Alberta voice fear project will parch region By Hanneke Brooymans, Edmonton Journal
Big dams are some of the greatest feats of engineering humanity has ever achieved, capturing giant rivers for electricity generation and irrigation projects. But the social and environmental impact of such projects has been enormous. Reservoirs flood vast areas, often displacing thousands, or in the case of the biggest dams, millions of people. Pristine ecosystems have been altered fundamentally. And although enthusiasm for big dams has ebbed slightly in more recent decades, construction, and the associated controversy, continues apace. The world’s rivers have tens of thousands of big dams, and today David Kaczan takes us on a tour of some of the biggest, the most interesting and the most hotly protested including the Yangtze Three Gorges Project (China), the Itaipu Dam (Brazil/Paraguay) and the The Sardar Sarovar Dam (India).
World Commission on Dams (WCD)
Last month the BC Government approved the Site C hydro project. It’s a kilometre-long dam that’s long been proposed for the Peace River in the north of the province. BC Hydro describes it as a clean energy project that will provide enough power for 400 000 homes — helping the province meet rising energy demands, without greenhouse gas emmisions. With current concerns over global warming, that sounds like exactly the sort of project the planet needs. But local residents are calling foul. They say it’s anything but an panacea and cite a whole list of environmental concerns. Steve talked to residents of the area who have organized a group called Citizens United to Save The Peace(CUSP), Gwen Barlee of the Wilderness Committee, and BC Hydro.
Treaty 8 Disgusted By British Columbia’s Plan To Remove Site C Dam From Oversight (indigenouspeoplesissues.com)
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