Myanmar’s announced cancellation of the Myitsone dam on the Irrawaddy River has brought long-standing tensions with China into the open – including setting off conflicts with the Kachin Independence Organization in the north of the country. “It may be that the Myanmar government sees Chinese investment, in particular the Myitsone dam, as a destabilising force,” said Patricia Adams.
Patricia Adams is an economist and the Executive Director of Probe International, an independent think-tank and watchdog over the environmental consequences of Canadian government and corporate activities around the world. Her books include In the Name of Progress: The Underside of Foreign Aid, (Doubleday 1985), and Odious Debts: Loose Lending, Corruption and the Third World”s Environmental Legacy (Earthscan 1991), which exposes the jeopardy of years of loose lending for both the Third World’s environment and their economies, and proposes a legal remedy to place responsibility for the Third World’s debt crisis on the parties involved, instead of on First and Third World taxpayers. Pat also edited the English language translation of Yangtze! Yangtze!, the extraordinary critique by Chinese experts of the Three Gorges dam that inspired the democracy movement when it was first published in 1989, led to the postponement of the dam, and was subsequently banned by Chinese authorities. Her books have been translated into Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Bahasa Indonesia.
(August 18, 2011) “The Yangtze River will run dry” because engineers have gone wild, building so many dams that the amount of water needed to fill all the reservoirs along the Yangtze would exceed the flow of the river. So says “A Mighty River Runs Dry,” a new study by geologist Fan Xiao of the Sichuan Geology and Mineral Bureau in China. Because there isn’t enough water in the Yangtze to fill all the dams to their designed capacity during the impoundment period each year, “an enormous waste of money” will result, with potentially staggering losses to China’s economy, 40 per cent of which comes from agriculture, fishing, industry and shipping along the Yangtze.
(July 4, 2011) Probe International’s Patricia Adams joined a Business News Network (BNN) panel to discuss the dangers of corporations wishing to do business in China given its poor human rights record.
(June 29, 2011) The recent drought and the government’s mea culpa have refocused attention on problems at China’s controversial Three Gorges Dam. “The dam is becoming a symbol of all that is wrong with political decision-making in China,” says Patricia Adams of Probe International.
(June 28, 2011) China releases human rights activist Hu Jia from prison, subject to ‘supervision’.
(June 24, 2011) China is heading for a degree of government ownership and central planning unseen since Mao’s passing. This Financial Post article by Probe International’s Patricia Adams looks at the advance of the state at the expense of China’s private sector and its foreign competition. In fact, she notes, western companies – feeling unwanted – are beginning to pull up stakes in China. And that suits China just fine.
(June 1, 2011) A study by seismologists at the China Seismological Bureau indicates that the massive Three Gorges dam on the Yangtze River caused a “significant” increase in seismic activity along the dam’s reservoir.
(May 27, 2011) Bill Gates’ version of foreign aid should look to Microsoft’s original recipe for success to empower Africa.
(May 20, 2011) China’s South-North Water Diversion project may have little water to spare for Beijing.
(May 19, 2011) The world’s largest hydroelectric project was designed to tame the flood-prone Yangtze River and to generate clean energy. But the water is becoming polluted, and regular landslides are making life near the dam dangerous. Three Gorges dam is “a classic case in which government officials exaggerated the benefits and underestimated the risks,” says Patricia Adams of Probe International.
(May 5, 2011) Beijing’s water shortage is one of the main factors thwarting the region’s sustainable economic growth, say bankers who have joined environmentalists in sounding the alarm over the city’s “chronic water deficit.”
(April 15, 2011) Patricia Adams writes: Chinese authorities will invent crimes, if need be, to silence dissidents for exercising their right to freedom of speech. However, renewed efforts to curb criticism and protest reveal an entrenched public distrust towards the government: the people of China, and the world, are done listening.
(March 28, 2011) A new study warns that plans to raise the Danjiangkou Dam could lead to earthquakes of greater than 4.0 on the Richter Scale. Experts say the dam triggered an earthquake of M 4.7 in 1973.
(March 2011) The giant structure located in China has already caused more than 3,400 (so far minor) earthquakes. Scientists are now warning that a much bigger disaster could be looming on the horizon. A study by seismologists at the China Earthquake Administration (formerly known as the China Seismological Bureau) indicates that the massive Three Gorges dam on the Yangtze River “significantly increased” seismic activity along the dam’s reservoir.
(February 21, 2011) South China Morning Post reports on the Chinese government’s first national water plan. Probe International executive director Patricia Adams tells the Post why the plan will fall short.