Protest Against US Involvement 3 Gorges (mega-) Dam Project in

Hugh W. Jarvis (hjarvis@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Thu, 11 Apr 1996 14:13:13 -0400

This has been on arch-l and aia-l, but I don't think it has been on anthro-l
yet. If so, my appologies. Seems rather important. Please don't reply
to me, I'm just the messenger...


...tis better to be silent and thought a fool
than to reply and remove all doubt... (oops)

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Tue, 9 Apr 1996 10:06:32 GMT
From: Loretta Neumann <Loretta_Neumann@HAP.CAIS.COM> via ARCH-L
Subject: 3 Gorges Dam (76 lines)

To: Archaeology & Historic Preservation Community
From: Loretta Neumann, CEHP Incorporated
Subject: Three Gorges Dam in China

Following is a message from the Sierra Club. Many of us in
Washington have been battling this dam for several years, and we did
think we had won, at least the battle to keep the United States from
supporting it (the former head of the Bureau of Reclamation, Dan Beard,
told that to the Chinese shortly after he took office, to the cheers of the
rest of us). In addition to the great environmental damage it would cause
and dislocation of over a million Chinese from their homes and tremendous
destruction of natural resources, the dam would affect a great many cultural
resources, archaeological and historical sites. It's worth paying attention to
and helping out, if you care.


BAD IDEAS DIE HARD DEPARTMENT: Ghost of Joe Stalin sighted at the
Bureau of Reclamation

The more things change... the more they stay the same.
You've heard the story before. Industry teams up with a rogue
Federal agency to construct a dam that stops a wild river,
creating in its place a stagnant pool, while despoiling both life
forms and landscapes. Sound familiar? That's because we fight
these battles over and over, growing as ancient as a BuRec
blueprint while entire governments topple on other continents.

For fifty-two years, the Three Gorges project, a giant dam
proposed for China, has been one of those schemes that just won't
die. Sure, we've had our interim successes; last fall, when the
White House told the U.S. Export-Import Bank to provide NO
financial support to the Three Gorges Dam Project, we thought
we'd won!

That's when Caterpillar and other U.S. capitalist
construction companies stepped in. Hoping to score huge profits
from this environmental disaster, they lobbied heavily for the
project, so heavily that Martin Kamarck, the Acting President and
Chairman of the Ex-Im Bank, is again sending signals that he
might vote to offer U.S. dollars for the mega-dam granddaddy.

Even among dams, the Three Gorges Dam is an ambitious
notion, one that would wipe out countless ecosystems along the
Yangtze River, flood more than 700 tributaries, inundate 44,000
hectares of China's most fertile farmland and cause the
relocation of approximately 1.2 million Chinese people who now
live along the river.

On March 29th, 18 members of Congress sent a letter to
Kamarck urging the Bank to zero out funding for the project. "If
completed, the Three Gorges Project would cause the most
extensive environmental and social destruction of any dam project
in history," the letter declared.

Earlier this year, Bank staff told the Sierra Club that
other countries are waiting for the U.S. decision. If the other
countries' Banks refuse to fund the Three Gorges Dam it would
spell the end to China's dream of constructing the world's last
Stalinist project.

A Stalinist project? Rep. Donald Manzullo (R-IL), Chair of
the Small Business Export Subcommittee, challenges this statement
in a March 29 letter to House members calling for support of the
dam. He writes that "[t]he dam is not a Stalinist eyesore --
significant Western participation went into the design of the dam
since 1944, including input from experts from the U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers..."

We need letters from activists who care about wild rivers
-- wherever they may flow. So please send your letter about the
Three Gorges Dam to: The Honorable Martin Kamarck, Acting
President and Chairman, The Export-Import Bank of the U.S., 811
Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20571.


End of AIA LIST DIGEST U.S. Historical Pres. 95-96-s-148