Three Gorges Probe

The Yangtze River’s journey from heaven to hell

(October 12, 1999) Environmental campaigners say the Yangtze is just the latest, biggest example of the flipside of China’s ‘economic miracle’ and that the Three Gorges dam, by slowing the river’s flow, will worsen the pollution.

[Excerpt] China’s mightiest river begins high in the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. Here in China’s far west the Yangtze is fed by melting glaciers and known as the Tongtian He – “Travelling Through the Heavens River”. Tamed, but not humbled by the equally gigantic Three Gorges dam, the Yangtze surges through eight provinces, one autonomous region, two city-states and some of China’s most spectacular geography, including the 192-kilometre stretch of the Three Gorges, before spilling into the sea at Shanghai. For decades, China has taken the “mother river” for granted. But this week experts warned that the Yangtze’s ability to soak up increasing industrial, agricultural and shipping pollutants had reached its limit and unless urgent action was taken the river could be dead within five years. … Environmental campaigners say the Yangtze is just the latest, biggest example of the flipside of China’s “economic miracle” and that the Three Gorges dam, by slowing the river’s flow, will worsen the pollution.

The Age, October 12, 1999

Categories: Three Gorges Probe

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