Just some damn dam, via GsBrown99
Chinese authorities have approved plans for a hydroelectric dam project on the Dadu river in Sichuan which, when completed, will be the tallest dam ever constructed. Following the tradition of epic water-works projects like the Three Gorges Dam, the Dadu dam will provide massive amounts of energy while obliterating even more massive amounts of endangered plants, rare fish, and cultural relics.
The dam will cost some US$4.4 billion, and will reach 314 meters tall; much higher than the Three Gorges, which is only 185 meters, but only just barely taller than #2 in the race, a Tajikistan dam that hits 300 meters high. Nevertheless, whether 314 or 185, the environment is screwed, as The Guardian reports:
“The project will affect the spawning and movement of rare fish species, as well as the growth of endangered plants, including the Chinese yew, which is under first-class state protection,” the ministry said, according to Xinhua.
China’s environment ministry acknowledged that the dam would have an impact on the area’s highly biodiverse flora and fauna. […]
Scientists and environmental activists have raised concerns that a profusion of dams in south-west China could increase the area’s risk of natural disasters, such as earthquakes and landslides.
Save for the occasional extinction or landslide, China’s hydroelectricity program is at least an alternative to coal. The Dadu dam is part of China’s greater effort to move 15% of its energy use to non-fossil fuels by 2015.