(March 4, 2014) With China’s economy operating under perverse incentives, China’s leaders, now assembled in Beijing, will be powerless to clean up its environment.
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.
Does SNC-Lavalin deserve a clean bill of health?
(February 4, 2014) A “privileged and confidential” review by the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC), released to Probe International under the Access to Information Act, says graft-tainted engineering giant SNC-Lavalin has cleaned up its act. Reviews that lack rigour and independence, however, do not help the cause of rebuilding corporate reputations.
Chinese dam builders rush to Latin America
(January 7, 2014) China’s growing involvement in hydropower development in the region boosts clout but also leads to allegations of poor corporate responsibility. “There is great resistance to dam-building in Latin America and special worry about Chinese dams because of the opaque nature of China’s decision-making and poor quality in these dams,” says Pat Adams of Probe International.
Deng Xiaoping’s double debt to the Chinese people
(September 10, 2013) On the dreadful night of June 4, 1989, when the students in Tiananmen Square were mowed down by the People’s Liberation Army, the path to another tragedy, the damming of the Yangtze, was laid, says Dai Qing, China’s most famous environmentalist and longtime advocate of freedom of speech.
Ottawa falls short in attempt to rein in EDC
(August 28, 2013) Proposed changes to regulations governing Export Development Canada don’t go far enough.
Criminals see value of intangible carbon market – Interpol
(August 19, 2013) Vulnerable because of its intangible nature, carbon credit trading has become a haven for a new and emerging type of crime says Interpol, the world’s largest international police organization.
China’s electricity sector undisciplined by markets, distorted by Party
(May 24, 2013) The iron fist of government controlling China’s electricity sector is not only costing China’s power consumers dearly, it is also the cause of serious distortions in the country’s power markets, says a new study by one of China’s preeminent think tanks.
Are dams triggering China’s earthquakes?
(April 29, 2013) Understanding the forces behind China’s magnitude-7 earthquake in Sichuan Province more than a week ago should sound warning bells. Patricia Adams digs deep into the country’s recent rash of earthquakes in southwestern China and finds the region’s seismic risk is increasingly man-made.
Sichuan earthquake may be aftershock of 2008 killer quake: Chinese geologist
(April 22, 2013) China’s construction of huge dams increases the probability of earthquakes, Fan Xiao warns.
(April 2, 2013) Now-abolished foreign aid pork barrel won’t be missed. Patricia Adams’ epitaph for CIDA.
SNC-Lavalin executive reveals illegal political donations before corruption inquiry
(March 15, 2013) A vice-president from SNC-Lavalin, Canada’s largest engineering company, admitted yesterday before Quebec’s Charbonneau inquiry into corruption in public-works contracts, that it organized its employees to make more than $1 million in illegal political donations. While there was no direct link between the donations and a quarter-billion dollars in contracts the firm was awarded by the provincial government, Yves Cadotte insisted, the company did not want to take any chances.
Cyberwar and secrecy threaten China’s dams
(March 12, 2013) China may be the world’s biggest cyberspace aggressor, but security specialists say China’s computer-controlled infrastructure is more vulnerable to cyber-attacks and to malfunctioning domestic software than are Western systems. Read Patricia Adams’ piece in the Huffington Post on why China’s dams are vulnerable to both.
Corruption, bribery, baksheesh! Rooted in government
(February 6, 2013) Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has announced get-tough-on-corruption amendments to the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA). Pat Adams, head of Probe International in Toronto, sees the announcement as Canada’s response to pressure from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). “Canada is supposed to report back on deficiencies in its anti-corruption laws by March of this year. This appears to fix the deficiencies,” she says.
Why we should say no to CNOOC
(November 23, 2012) The proposed takeover of Calgary-based oil and gas producer Nexen by China’s state-owned oil giant CNOOC should be nixed by the Canadian government, says Probe International’s Patricia Adams. As instruments of the Communist Party, China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are undisciplined by markets or the rule of law. Without subsidies, their rate of return on equity is negative. It would be impossible to stop them from distorting the Canadian economy, so Canada should just say no to CNOOC.
Quake leaves Three Gorges Dam unfazed as reservoir reaches maximum capacity
(November 1, 2012) China’s Three Gorges Dam was not affected by a minor earthquake that struck early Wednesday in Hubei province, say officials, one day after the mega-dam’s mega-reservoir was filled to maximum capacity for the third time since its construction.