Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Sunday, June 08, 2003  

China finally began flooding the Yangste above Three Gorges Dam, a dream that goes back to Mao. Like many, I feel more than a little alarmed by the consequences of it. At the same time, I wonder if this (American) alarm isn't misplaced. The Southwest is in a perpetual drought; it's the fastest growing part of the country and the place least able to support large populations. All across the West, farmers irrigate the dry deserts and create temporary oases, but at, one presumes, a substantial cost. Aquifers dry out, either irreplenishable, or very slowly replenishable. Species are threatened. Diseases increase.

Twain, in one of his most prophetic moods, once said, "Whiskey's for drinking, water's for fighting over." (I know this, because I kept encountering it at these water resources websites.) The Chinese have fought plenty over Three Gorges, but we'll all be fighting before it's all over.

posted by Jeff | 10:51 PM |
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