Dams

The fight for Europe’s last wild rivers 

Alessio Perrone
| 10th May 2018
Controversial plans have been proposed to build thousands of dams in the Balkans. Campaigners fear they will destroy protected areas and national parkland. ALESSIO PERRONE reports on the issue and on the NGOs fighting to save the 'blue heart of Europe'

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Another extraordinary sunset over Lake Baikal - the deep hues heightened by the ever-present forest fires. Photo: Bryce Stewart.

New dams, warming waters, forest fires - Lake Baikal in peril

Bryce Stewart
| 17th September 2015
Longer than England, almost as deep as the Grand Canyon, Russia's Lake Baikal is one of the world's greatest aquatic wonders, writes Bryce Stewart. But it's a fragile paradise: the limpid waters are warming much faster than the global average, with as yet unknown effects on its ecology. And it faces the danger of a huge dam on its principal tributary, Mongolia's Selenga River.

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Sunrise on the Balbina hydroelectric dam in Brazil’s Amazon region. Image: Seabirds via Wikimedia Commons.

Deepening drought forces Brazil to embrace solar power

Jan Rocha
| 6th April 2015
Without water to feed its hydroelectric dams, drought-hit Brazil is turning to solar power - dubbed 'a fantasy' by the country's president just a few years ago, writes Jan Rocha. Now thousands of megawatts of floating solar panel 'islands' are to be installed on dam reservoirs.

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A reclusive Irawaddy dolphin on the Mekong river at Kampie, Cambodia. Photo: Jim Davidson via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Death by strangulation? Hydropower threatens to kill the mighty Mekong

Tom Fawthrop
| 27th March 2015
Over 18 million people live off the natural bounty of the The Mekong Delta, writes Tom Fawthrop - the source of huge annual harvests of fish, rice, fruit, and one of the world's most productive ecosystems. But now huge dams threaten to strangle the Mekong river and the abundant life it supports, while the world sits idly by.

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Chong boys playing up a tree by the Areng river. Photo: Rod Harbinson.

Cambodia: indigenous protests repel dam builders - so far

Rod Harbinson
| 28th July 2014
Since the 1980s Cambodia has lost 84% of its primary forests, and the remote Cardamom mountains are the country's last great natural treasure, writes Rod Harbinson. Just the place for grandiose dam projects? 'No way!" say indigenous people and young eco-activists.

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The Bakun dam under construction. Photo: pHotosHo0x via Flickr.

Borneo mega-dams threaten indigenous 'ethnocide'

Amanda Stephenson
| 30th June 2014
Massive dams in Sarawak, Malaysia, threaten to flood over 2,000 square kilometers of the world's oldest rainforests, displace 10,000s of indigenous people, and aggravate climate change, writes Amanda Stephenson - all to generate electricity that no one wants.

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Manbasia - a displaced Forest dweller, Jharia. Photo: Sarah Stirk.

In the New India, 'development' is armed robbery

Graham Peebles
| 10th February 2014
India is in the grips of a state-backed corporate war against the environment, the poor and indigenous peoples, writes Graham Peebles. The new rulers avert their gaze as their countrymen, doused in poverty, burn on the party pyre.

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Is a reef better than a barrage for the Severn?

Peter Bunyard
| 10th February 2009
The Severn Estuary, earmarked as a potentially huge source of energy, has been met with increasing concerns over serious environmental damage. A report from 2008 by Frontier Economics found that justification for the Severn Barrage is slim - both economically speaking and on environmental grounds. Peter Bunyard takes a look at an innovative solution that has similarities with a tidal reef.

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Study shows worms can develop pesticide resistance in as little as 80 days

The Ecologist
| 2nd February 2009
The pesticide industry knows all too well that nature quickly develops immunity to its chemical armoury. But a new study by scientists at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia (IGC) and the Faculty of Science of the University of Lisbon, in Portugal has shown that a species of worm can develop resistance to a common pesticide in just 20 generations, or 80 days.

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Problems with renewables - land wars

Paul Kingsnorth
| 1st April 2008
Renewables good, fossil fuels bad... unless, of course, renewables begin to take up more and more land in order to meet our energy needs. Paul Kingsnorth adds fuel to a tricky debate.

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Dam Busters?

David L. Price
Mr DeVries
| 8th July 2004
This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, State of Michigan.

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People Power

Jeremy Smith
| 1st June 2004
The community of Machynlleth has gone beyond just investing in someone else’s wind turbine. They’ve clubbed together and planned, built and paid for one of their own.

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A thirst for power: China in Tibet

Lynne O’Donnell
| 1st June 2004
Since colonising Tibet in 1959, China has ripped out virgin forests, dug up minerals and metals, and dumped nuclear waste with little regard for the fragile ecology of the Tibetan plateau.

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Submerging Freedom

Keith Hyams
| 1st March 2004
Some 245 Indian villages are in the middle of being destroyed by a $7 billion dam project that will consume more energy than it provides and has even been condemned by its World Bank sponsors.

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Damned Nation

Mark Lynas
| 1st December 2003
Costing over $1 billion, the Karahnjukar hydroelectric dam in Iceland is a hugely controversial project. Mark Lynas journeyed to the blasting face, hoping to work out for himself whether this industrial elephant is green or brilliant-white.

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The Water Hyacinth

Tom Hargreaves
| 1st October 2003
This beautiful but deadly plant proliferates in lakes across Africa – choking everything in its path. Why, asks Tom Hargreaves, have all attempts to manage it failed?

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