Author Archives

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.

Bankers join environmentalists in alarm over Beijing’s water crisis

(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.”

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Memo to Chinese government: no one believes you

(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.

Three Gorges Dam: trigger of severe earthquakes?

(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.

Patricia Adams responds to a Cap and Trade advocate

(February 16, 2011) In a February 14th National Post article, author Dan Gardner argued that ‘command and control’ environmental regulations should be replaced with a cap and trade system. But as Probe International Executive Director Patricia Adams points out, cap and trade is just another varient of the ‘command and control’ approach that Mr. Gardner claims to oppose. Below is her response in today’s National Post.

China Officials Push Water Plan

(November 9, 2010) Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Probe International’s Executive Director Patricia Adams calls recent plans to pump raw sea water thousands of miles from the coast to the deserts of Xinjiang uneconomic and impractical—and one that only a government undisciplined by markets and public oversight would ever contemplate, let alone implement.

Responding to Graeme Kelleher

(June 22, 2010) In his interview with chinadialogue’s editor, Isabel Hilton (In defence of dams, May 27), engineer and water-resource expert Graeme Kelleher says critics of China’s Three Gorges dam should accept the “facts” that the dam protects the environment by reducing coal burning and “saves thousands of Chinese people from being drowned in the floods of the Yangtze River every year.”