Three Gorges Dam: Hydropower At Huge Human Cost

Three Gorges Dam: Hydropower At Huge Human Cost

For me, weighing an option also means that the negative repercussions must be truthfully weighed in proportion to the positive. In the case of Three Gorges Dam which the Chinese government has touted as a marvel of engineering in it's quest to satisfy its rapacious need for energy, it is turning into an ecological disaster with the negative outweighing the positive. And therein lies the dilemma of our age.

How can we address the climate crisis effectively if we do not or refuse to address the moral questions involved in our decisions? When we continue to prefer the old ways which are expensive and destructive to new ways which can actually improve the quality of life? Do those decisions need to always lead to displacement of millions of people? To the destruction of traditional and sacred lands? To the extinction of other species and intrusion upon their ecosystems?

This is also where we see the intersection of morality and politics, and as we see with the construction of this dam as with so many other projects like this in other countries such as Turkey, Pakistan, and India when the politics overtakes the moral considerations. If we are to see any real progress in mitigating the effects of climate change, we cannot continue to rely on old ways to deal with new situations. And we are running out of time.

Also see:
PBS: Great Wall Across The Yangtze