Thursday, August 30, 2007

Security & Prosperity Partnership Will Effect Energy, Water & Environment

The 300 policy changes being put into place via the corporate instigated and undemocratic S.P.P. (or Security and Prosperity Partnership), will have far-reaching implications for energy policy and the environment. I am still wading through the information but for anyone who wants to know more here are several sources of information.

Judicial Watch has exposed the Security and Prosperity partnership, via a set of revealing documents they obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. These show that the Bush administration and U.S. government's are attempting to unite the U.S., Canada and Mexico through cooperation on federal policies and infrastructure.

The August Review also has a quite thorough article on the SPP and North American Union.

You can also view a selection of videos, many of talks given across Canada concerning the SPP and the NAU via the SPP Information Channel. I am including a embedded video link to that channel below.

Lastly, here is Natural Resources Canada's news release concerning the trilateral SPP meetings and energy policy in Canada. Notice that electricity is mentined and that will include hydroelectricity. Since the SPP seeks to share resources between the US, Canada and Mexico and since the US is the largest consumer of energy and resources, it's pretty obvious who will be doing most of the "Sharing" of Canada's as well as Mexico's water and water power - the United States of America.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007



Copyright, C. Dianne Murray, 1994, 2006, 2007. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Originally published on DRIIA.
Please contact publisher for information on republishing

It would appear that the government of India dreams, [no doubt, in technicolour] that peer-reviewed impacts literature counts as "propaganda". They foolishly intend to fly in the face of 30 odd years of impacts literature and the laws of physics, never mind compassion for the people their projects will oust, and intend to take their, uh, case to the International Court in the Hague, despite no scientific legs for it to stand upon.

It would seem that many many politicians and engineers are a little behind the eight ball, believing they can successfully fly in the face of natural systems limits, against the laws of nature and everything the impacts systems scientists have proved. Does it matter to them that their decisions effect people's lives? If *they* were farmers who were self-supporting on the land to be flooded and being relocated to non-arable land, how would *they* feel? A bit different I suspect. They'd be suing the government's pants off. But the poor farmers and fishers can't afford to sue anyone.


Playing Chicken with Earth's Support System

Well, we have news for these seemingly hardheaded, shortsighted folks who control the fate of the world via their policies and lack of information. There are HARD limits to how much water flow can be diverted and changed before the whole ecosystem crashes via a domino effect. The developers are playing a truly costly game of chicken with the biosphere. Who do you suppose is outgunned here? The biosphere? My money is on those lawyers and policitians and many hydroelectric engineers and promoters who cannot afford to do without air and water any more than the rest of us yet are foolish enough to ignore systems science research results.

The negative effects are neither contentious within their subdisciplines nor the result of any lack of testing nor are they wild imaginings. They are REAL, though no court may have heard of them. They are realer than a dollar bill which any economist will tell you is a shared fiction of sorts, a construct that allows us to share goods but by itself is worth nada. Here is the Report of Social Impacts of Dams : Distributional and Equity. Thematic Review I.1: Social Impacts of Large Dams Equity and Distributional Issues,from Dams and Development, A New Framework for Decision-Making, published by the WCD, the World Commission on Dams.

No Phytoplankton = No More Oxygen

Do we want to make the same mistakes over and over again till we have no phytoplankton to produce oxygen? Till every fish is farmed? Till millions of hectares of arable land are submerged? They aren't making arable land anymore; arable land has a habit of being along the shores of rivers.

The Narmada and Three Gorges and other river valley hydroelectric projects are in "food basket" areas. Why flood the the Yangtze and Narmada and Ganges - the breadbaskets of China and India? It's like.. flooding the Praries, the Midwest, the Ukraine. Promoters are courting disaster and it is the peoples of India and China who will pay the price when the promoters' gambling with the food supply smacks face first into hard natural limits.

How much does your average hydroelectric promoter really know about farming? About resource distribution in the largest sense? I guess we're all going to find out! Do they have a clue that, as all ecologists know, resource distribution (in terms of how rich soils are) is not evenly spread out but patchy? That one place cannot be substituted for another like so many squares on a grid, plug and play? Nature doesn't work like that. Ask any biologist or geographer. They know. The engineers do not. And who are the promoters, precisely to take away people's food supplies claiming it will be better for the displaced? The displaced people's of India, China and elsewhere are impoverished by the promoters while the promoters go to lavish do's to discuss over hors d'oeuvres the next project and how great they think they're doing.

But you can't eat electricity; and it will never be a substitute for land and soil and nutrients carried through the natural hydraulic cycle.



copyright C. Dianne Murray, 1994-2007. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Originally published at DRIIA.

Do hydroelectric developers and promoters present a balanced picture of scientifically known impacts of dams? The answer is: not so far as anyone with the Dam-Reservoir Working Group has seen. Developers and promoters claim they do but you won't find them mentioning any of the rather nasty environmental and social impacts that extravagantly large hydro comes with.

It is instructive to note that aquatic scientists trying to get information on the true effects of dams and large scale water development to the public have frequently met opposition. They and their information have been suppressed in a variety of countries leading some of them to dub {{promoters and pro-"as many dams as possible" decision makers}} as *ahem* "WATER BUFFALOES".

Yes - it sounds strange but in point of fact, aquatic scientists have spoken out about being suppressed. Well I see that is no longer there and I have no scanner so can't scan the info in, which is somewhere in DRWG's files. :-/ I FOUND THIS INTERESTING LINK THAT REFERENCES CORRUPTION AT DFO

Volume 41 of Canadian Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

Perhaps the penultimate example of this happened roughly 30 years ago in one of Canada's provinces, Manitoba. Despite being warned by a panel of experts not to build reservoirs, nor divert any waters from the Nelson-Churchill river system... or if they must build.. to just sink turbines into the water, Manitoba Hydro went right ahead. And built what is now one of the world's best studied ecological disasters. One scientist actually was so upset about the impacts - including deaths of aboriginals due to changes in flow regime, drownings, that sort of thing, that he sued Manitoba Hydro.

I first encountered this information in 1992 as a student researching ecotoxicological effects of boreal hydroelectric projects (methyl mercury release and its effect on animals and plants) when a scientist in the federal government pointed our group to an entire volume of a well-respected journal, the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Volume 41. It tells in exquisite and horrible, easy to read *scientifically peer-reviewed* [!] detail exactly what happened in just
one small fraction of the area of the project. Volume 41, published in 1984, looks at Southern Indian Lake, MB... and the impacts of the results of Manitoba Hydro's negligence in not heeding the words of the expert panel of impacts scientists.

30 years later the Manitoba Cree finally broke their silence: The Pimicikamak Cree Nation site is hosted by someone at St Cloud U in Minnesota. MB Hydro has once again decided to build some more dams, divert some more water, and, whether intentional or not, the effects Are known: it will be to kill more fish. And create more negative impacts on the health and socio-economic structure of the Cree people.

These effects of too much water abstraction, diversion, "development", call it what you will, are WELL documented... over 30 years of peer-reviewed impacts studies show that there is no such a thing as truly clean water "development". There are natural limits to how many of these things you can safely build before speaking a cascade effect which is destroying more and more aquatic habitat. And just plain habitat.

BIG BLUE (and green) PLANET

Please click here to visit the the Smithsonian's Ocean Planet exhibit

[Smithsonian's Ocean Planet Exhibit Section on Freshwater Perils to the World's Oceans]Smithsonian's Ocean Planet Exhibit section on freshwater perils to the ocean.

It is a huge misunderstanding by humans - air-breathers that we are - to think that the 3/4's or more of our planet's surface doesn't count for anything just because it's underwater and we can't see it. By way of an analogy, you can't =see= carbon monoxide or oxygen, nor smell them, but I guarantee you they DO exist.

And even though they are out of the immediate detection range of our limited
sensory data, to ignore them and their importance is to ask for BIG TROUBLE.

And so it is with the hydrosphere and hydrological cycle.

Does it have to be this way? ... heavens, no! there are ways around these things. But that takes spine and the courage and the vision to change. Will the promoters lead the way to change?? I wouldn't bet on it; so it falls on the politicians, though public pressure, to push for change based on the real scientifically proven effects of too much water abstraction/development, call it what you will.