(June 8, 2011) In the wake of China’s official admission that the Three Gorges dam is beset by “urgent problems”, longtime criticism of the world’s biggest hydroelectric project has moved to the front pages. The Current, aired by the CBC, interviews outspoken opponents of the dam – including Probe International Fellow Dai Qing – to provide a snapshot of the issues surrounding the dam giant: a fast fading symbol of modern China’s rise.
(June 4, 2011) The Washington Post features Probe International Fellow Dai Qing and cites Probe International’s expose of a 30-fold increase in earthquakes caused by China’s Three Gorges Dam.
The latest controversy over the Three Gorges Dam puts the lie to the notion that the advantages of a one-party autocracy trump political gridlock.
(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) When China’s State Council announced there were “urgent problems” with the Three Gorges Dam, Chinese voices – both powerful and common – started to question its role in seemingly unrelated natural disasters, reports Bloomberg.com. In one both dramatic and comical example of a trend towards airing negative views, the popular, nationalist Global Times quoted dam expert, Zhang Boting, who offered this unreassuring gem: “After the construction of the project, there were thousands of minor earthquakes, which actually helped release built-up seismic energy in that area and reduced the possibility of big earthquakes happening in the future.”
(May 19, 2011) Amid power shortages and potential catastrophe, China admits to failings in the Three Gorges Dam. Probe International Fellow Dai Qing responds from Beijing.
(May 18, 2011) China’s drought has caused the Three Gorges reservoir level to drop precipitously, crippling the mighty Three Gorges Dam. Shipping on the Yangtze River has now halted, power generation has been compromised, and geological hazards are heightened.
(May 18, 2011) The government of China has issued a rare acknowledgment of the issues dogging the country’s massive Three Gorges Dam project. Longtime dam critic and Probe International Fellow Dai Qing calls out the move as a likely “attempt to shirk responsibility”.
(May 12, 2011) Chinese farmer Liu Jiuchuan is perhaps an unlikely supporter of activist and artist Ai Weiwei, whose detention last month on suspicion of economic crimes sparked uproar around the world.
(May 7, 2011) Authorities plan to move nearly a quarter of a million people this year from disaster-prone areas in northern China into newly-built homes, state media reported Saturday.
(May 3, 2011) Onlookers in Beijing, China, keep a safe distance from a giant sinkhole that opened in the middle of a busy street last Tuesday, swallowing a truck. Several news reports say the sinkhole formed above a tunnel being dug for construction of a subway line. (See pictures of a huge sinkhole in Guatemala City.)
(April 27, 2011) In the world of engineering, standards are the foundation on which everything else rests. An investigation following a catastrophic explosion at Russia’s largest hydropower station in the summer of 2009 revealed poor management and technical flaws to be at the root of the dam’s failure. A repaired turbine almost at the end of its life span, taken offline again because it still didn’t work, was forced back into service in an emergency: a move that would cost 75 people their lives. This Popular Mechanics investigation asks whether the United States, a country with hundreds of hydro plants in operation, might also be at risk of a Russian-style dam disaster. U.S. experts say not likely: the two countries are separated philosophically when it comes to safety and human life.
(April 19, 2011) Experts warn of the dangers posed by China’s rush to build dams in seismically active areas.
(April 18, 2011) Reuters is reporting that China will face power shortages due to coal shortages, and low water levels in hydrodams.
(April 7, 2011) Dai Qing, Chinese investigative journalist and Probe International Fellow, delivered the following speech about the Three Gorges Dam project in November 2010 while on a speaking tour in British Columbia, Canada. In her address, she reports that the problems predicted by dam critics published in her books, “Yangtze! Yangtze!” and “The River Dragon Has Come!,” are now coming true.