Feeds

Three Gorges Dam an 'environmental catastrophe'

Chinese 'fess up as project goes titsup

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Chinese officials have admitted that the Three Gorges Dam across the Yangtze River will, in the absence of urgent preventative action, provoke an ecological and environmental "catastrophe", the Times reports.

The shock confession confirms what opponents of the £13bn project have always maintained, and officials have now conceded that the massive structure is responsible for a "litany of threats to the environment", including "conflicts over land shortages, ecological deterioration as a result of irrational development and, especially, erosion and landslides on steep hills around the dam".

The erosion menace poses the most serious threat to those living close to the lake behind the dam. While 1.3m people were relocated to enable its creation, hundreds of thousands more may have to join the exodus or face possible "geological disasters" along the shore.

One official explained that "the shore of the reservoir had collapsed in 91 places and a total of 36km had already caved in". Such landslides have produced waves up to 50m tall which then slam into the shore wreaking further havoc. In July, the Times notes, "a mountain along a tributary collapsed, dragging 13 farmers to their deaths and drowning 11 fishermen in a two-storey-high wave".

Geological instability isn't the only unforeseen negative effect of the Three Gorges. Downstream of the dam, locals have been battling two billion rats forced into farmland by rising water levels after the dam authority released a large amount of Yangtze River water "to control flooding in the face of the annual rainy season".

Given the clear and mounting evidence that the project is on the verge of going seriously titsup, an official statement on Xinhua news agency admitted: “There exist many ecological and environmental problems concerning the Three Gorges Dam. If no preventive measures are taken, the project could lead to catastrophe.”

Wang Xiaofeng, the director of the administrative office in charge of building the dam, confessed: “We absolutely cannot relax our guard against ecological and environmental security problems sparked by the Three Gorges project. We cannot win passing economic prosperity at the cost of the environment.”

Environmental activist Dai Qing told the Times: “We have never stopped talking about the problems but our voice was too weak. The system does not listen to the voices of civic activists or dissidents. But now, at last, they are starting to hear.

"The Government knows it has made a mistake. Now they are afraid that the environmental catastrophe that they cannot prevent will spark civil unrest. So they want to go public before the troubles start.” ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.