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.

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.”

The EU agrees: No representation without taxation

(April 27, 2010) Replacing foreign aid with tax revenues will promote a democratic society where political and economic leaders can be held accountable by their citizens. Not only should there be no taxation without representation, there will be no representation without taxation.

More evidence the Zipingpu dam may be to blame for the Wenchuan earthquake

(November 6, 2009) A recent article by scientists in the U.S. provides further evidence that the Zipingpu dam’s reservoir may have triggered the devastating May 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China. The Wenchuan earthquake killed nearly 90,000 people and unleashed a chorus of speculation that the Zipingpu reservoir may have contributed to the severity of the earthquake, or helped to trigger it.

Three Dams Project

(July 14, 2009) China has undertaken the greatest project since the erection of the Great Wall and the Grand Canal — the Three Gorges Dam project. The Three Gorges Dam will be the largest hydropower station and dam in the world, with a 1.2 mile stretch of concrete and a 370 mile-long reservoir and 525 feet deep.

Africa’s ‘dead aid’

(June 2, 2009) Two well-meaning members of the Western establishment, whose advice over the decades has, as much as anyone’s, brought the Third World to its knees, both believe the Third World needs more of their advice. Though at last night’s Munk Debate, prominent African author and economist Dambisa Moyo passionately disagreed.

Patricia Adams Review: Partially odious debts? A framework for an optimal liability regime

(November 20, 2007) This provocative paper is sure to raise the ire of a civil society that wants Third World debts canceled because of their illegitimacy. But it won’t make the lenders who want "no fault" debt forgiveness (courtesy of Northern taxpayers) happy either. Instead, authors Ben-Shahar and Gulati push the legal envelope of "how to" resolve the Third World debt quagmire and in doing so, empower odious debt advocates with more legal fight than ever before.