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.

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