[permaculture] The Tragedy of the Himalayas By BRYAN

Lawrence F. London, Jr. venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Fri Dec 11 18:54:18 EST 2009

Patrick wrote:
> http://www.newleftreview.org/?view=2788
> THE GREAT HIMALAYAN WATERSHED Agrarian Crisis, Mega-Dams and the Environment

- a reason the chinese were so interested in Tibet, a new hydroelectric 
power plant at a dam on a Tibetan river to be twice the capacity of the 
3 gorges project...

New Left Review - Kenneth Pomeranz: The Great Himalayan Watershed
"Last but not least, the large and sometimes unpredictable fluctuations 
in water volumes far upstream mean that the turbines will not always be 
fully utilized, so that the actual amount of power generated may be much 
less impressive than the enormous figures for ‘installed capacity’ 
listed for these projects; uncertainties which holders of development 
rights seeking either investment partners or permission to build have no 
incentive to highlight. [26] This does not mean, of course, that 
dams—including large ones—may not make economic and even environmental 
sense in some cases, given China’s limited options. It does mean, 
however, that in a number of instances dams are almost certainly being 
built for political motives, or as a result of profit-seeking by those 
with government connections, where even a narrowly economic analysis 
would not justify them.

Even the water-engineering projects that will genuinely help millions in 
northern and eastern China—and perhaps others, if they serve to curb the 
country’s carbon emissions and future food imports—have serious 
implications for people who live in the regions where they will be 
built. Tibetans and other ethnic minorities in the far southwest are 
likely to be the most affected. In May 2009, an unconfirmed report by 
the Tibetan government-in-exile stated that at least six Tibetan women 
were injured when security forces opened fire on them as they protested 
against a hydro project on the Tibet–Sichuan border. [27] One issue here 
is that of human tampering with lakes and rivers that Tibetans hold 
sacred, such as the large dam at Yamdrok Tso. [28] A massive dam—40,000 
megawatts, or almost twice the capacity of Three Gorges—proposed at the 
great bend in the Yalong Zangbo would again wreak a dramatic 
transformation on a holy site, in order to create power and water 
supplies that would mostly go to far-away Han Chinese."

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