Hubris on the Yangtze

World Watch, November-December 2003 | Go to article overview

Hubris on the Yangtze


Height of the Washington Monument, the tallest                555 FEET
   structure in the U.S. capital

Height of the new Three Gorges Dam in China,                  575 FEET
   which is wider

Cubic meters of concrete used to build the Panama Canal    4.3 MILLION

Cubic meters of concrete required to build the            26.4 MILLION
   Three Gorges Dam

Number of cracks, up to 2.5 meters in depth, that
   have appeared in
the Three Gorges Dam since its construction                         80

Number of engineers and other experts in China who urged
   their country's
government to "rethink" its plans to push ahead with the
   Three Gorges Dam                                                 53

Number of Cherokee Indians who were forced to abandon their
homes and land in the infamous Trail of Tears emigration of
   1838                                                          2,800

Number of Chinese who will have been forced to abandon their
homes and land by the building of the Three Gorges Dam       1,900,000

Percentage of farmers displaced by the Three Gorges Dam who
will not receive land in compensation, according to
   current plans                                                    40

Percentage of migrant laborers displaced by the dam so far who
have failed to find replacement jobs in factories                   40

Number of months an American official was jailed for
   fraudulently stating that
evidence showed Saddam Hussein had the capability
   to launch weapons of mass
destruction againts the United States with 45 minutes' notice--a
   statement that
helped trigger a war that cost thousands of American and
   Iraqi lives                                                       0

Number of months journalist Dai Qing was jailed for stating
   her opinion
that the Three Gorges Dam would prove to be "the most
   environmentally
and socially destructive project in the world"

SOURCES: Cracks in the dam: John Gittings, The Guardian, June 13,2003,
   and China Daily as reported by BBC, April 12,2002; engineers
asking Chinese government to "rethink" the dam: International Rivers
   Network (IRN), May 8,2000; displacement of 1,900,000
people: IRN; Cherokee Trail of Tears: Ralph Jenkins, tngenweb. … 

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