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#152468 - 05/14/03 09:22 AM the ongoing dam update
sweetjane Offline
got this update for those who follow it:

A little over a year after Belizean environmentalists, backed by NRDC, temporarily blocked construction of the proposed Chalillo dam in the Macal River valley, Fortis Inc., the Canadian corporation behind the dam, has contracted with a Chinese construction company and is preparing to begin building. And it seems that the company brokering the deal between Fortis and the Chinese builder is none other than AMEC, the engineering company that conducted the supposedly independent environmental assessment of the dam.

Fortis's latest push to start building followed a Belizean appeals court's refusal to overturn the government's approval of the dam. But Belizean environmentalists are appealing the decision further, arguing that AMEC's assessment was flawed and downplayed warnings by its own consultants about the dam's consequences for the region. Meanwhile NRDC and our partners are upping the pressure on Fortis in its Newfoundland home base, readying another legal challenge, and pressing AMEC to end its involvement in the construction of the dam. With the rainy season fast approaching, delays by AMEC or the contractor or imposed by the court would forestall the construction for several months.

Cameron Diaz Reaches Out to Protect the Macal River Valley
Spurred to action by a recent visit with NRDC to the threatened Macal River valley, actress Cameron Diaz wrote a letter urging the public to speak out before it's too late. "The rainforest home of the jaguar and the scarlet macaw stands on the brink of oblivion," says Diaz. "Its fate rests very briefly in our hands."

» HELP PREVENT CONSTRUCTION OF THE CHALILLO DAM by forwarding Cameron Diaz's letter and then sending a message to AMEC.

#152469 - 05/14/03 10:44 AM Re: the ongoing dam update
ckocian Offline
With only one more appeal pending to the Privy Counsel in London, all impediments to building the dam have been removed. If the process, by some miracle, is reversed it will be on the basis of the environmental impact study leaving the economics of building the dam to the fate of the future. Meanwhile, the light is green for go.

#152470 - 05/14/03 03:17 PM Re: the ongoing dam update
ckocian Offline
confused eek mad frown

#152471 - 05/16/03 05:40 PM Re: the ongoing dam update
Chris Offline
We've been having continuous and VERY irritating power failures for the past 2 weeks now...the frequency and length of them seems to be increasing. These power failures cover most of Northern Belize, from Belize City up.

They,Belize Electricity Board, (BEL) are blaming faulty switches, the Mexican electricity supply, the dry season etc. etc. for the power outages.

HOWEVER! The theory that is beginning to circulate around Belize is that the BEL (owners Fortis of the Dam) are putting the squeeze on their customers to get public opinion swayed in favour of the dam.

Well, I run an Internet bar...it's really hard to make money while the power is out....I am now in favour of the dam. I'd actually prefer a small modern nuclear facility on some of that crappy marshland by the Western Highway..we could sell the excess power to Mexico, but I guess Belize is a little small for such a big project. BEL is a monoply and they win. Sorry scarlet macaw, your days are numbered.

#152472 - 05/17/03 11:18 AM Re: the ongoing dam update
Grace Offline
Chris, don't give up the ship yet! How bout solar power?
Grace DeVita

#152473 - 05/17/03 01:32 PM Re: the ongoing dam update
Mel S Offline
Originally posted by Grace:
Chris, don't give up the ship yet! How bout solar power?
And possibly wind-mills out in the cayes catching the sea-breezes........mel.
Mel Sinderman

#152474 - 05/17/03 02:09 PM Re: the ongoing dam update
Pedro1 Offline
With regards to windmills -in the early 80's a huge project was devised from Sotogrande to Algeciras (Southern spain)-it is still there today and it is quite scary driving on the coast road as you just here the thump thump of hundreds of space age looking windmills turning their respective blades/arms-especially when a gale starts blowing.
yes there is a point to this-it turns out that these windmills stopped various bird migrations,and a number of species have disappeared-there were calls for the windmills to be closed down but to no avail-we are talking here of one species with the dam.
Solar power -from what I have seen on a purely consumer construction level is bloody expensive to construct,and from the people that I know who have it do not think it provides cheaper power.
My vote is lets go with the dam

#152475 - 05/17/03 02:19 PM Re: the ongoing dam update
Chris Offline
Solar power is very dirty in reality, despite what the greenies say.....banks and banks of lead acid batteries are needed just to power one house from solar power...imagine a whole island....how many TONS of lead acid batteries would be required, and they would have to be replaced every 3 - 5 years.

Wind power......you'd never get 24/7 electricity even from the many square miles of land you'd have to cover with ugly wind turbines, We have too many calm days....unless you went with those tons and tons of pesky batteries again. Also, I doubt wind generators would do too well in a hurricane, although watching a 35ft propeller whiz past one's house at 100MPH would certainly have good "shock video" entertainment value.

I think the idea of a Central American - owned (ie. costs and usage shared by interested countries of Central America) nuclear power station on the Western Highway is at least as daft or feasible (depending on your position on the Looney Meter) as solar or wind power for Belize. I like it (the nuclear idea) a lot!

#152476 - 05/17/03 07:45 PM Re: the ongoing dam update
NAZ Offline
As far as I{m concerned, let them build the thing half way, then blow it up. Just think of the positive impact on tourism. We can call it the Michael Ashcroft Ruins. mad

#152477 - 05/17/03 10:13 PM Re: the ongoing dam update
Pedro1 Offline
Intelligence is a gift but not to all

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