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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Death by dam for the Mekong



    The sleepy town of Pak Beng, best known as a stopover for slow boats connecting the Laos-Thailand border to the ancient Lao capital of Luang Prabang, will be transformed later this year by the launch of a third major hydro-dam on the lower Mekong River.

    Only 180 kilometers away, Thai communities and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) along another section of the Mekong are lobbying for the dam to be stopped to prevent negative impacts on fisheries, crops and livelihoods.

    The US$2.4 billion Pak Beng dam, a 912-megawatt hydropower project being developed by China Datang Overseas Investment, a Beijing-based power development company, will export 90% of its generated electricity to Thailand.


    Thailand’s privately held Electricity Generating PCL, or EGCO, and the Lao Ministry of mines are also key shareholders in the venture.

    The dam’s plan came under heavy fire during the six-month consultation process concluded in June organized by the Mekong River Commission – an intergovernmental body that brings together the four riparian states of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam towards the goal of sustainable development of the region’s water resources.

    The MRC’s panel of experts found many flaws in the dam’s design and a lack of credible environmental impact studies, Le Anh Tuan, a Mekong expert at Can Tho University located in Vietnam’s Mekong delta, told Asia Times.

    more Death by dam for the Mekong | Asia Times
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  2. #2
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    A sad current state for the broader region.

  3. #3
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    This will be a disaster.
    What a shame.


  4. #4
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    A sad current state for the broader region.
    + 1

    Agreeing with both posters above.

    I understand why China is doing it, but the implications for the communities and the environment downstream will be devastating.

  5. #5
    Harbinger of Doom

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    ^ It's not China doing it. The Laotian dams are largely built to export power to Thailand. It's industries and consumers in Thailand who are doing this.

  6. #6
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    Klondyke's Avatar
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    Thailand wants the power from both Laos and Myanmar rivers.

  7. #7
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    While Thailand will be the main customer for the power from this dam it is Lao which wants and will get the profits from the sale of the electricity. Lao has said it wants to become the battery of SEA and to achieve this they are building dams everywhere they possibly can, now they have chopped down and sold most of their trees they have little else to export.

    And dams are not the clean green energy they are touted as :

    An article from New Scientist lays it out:

    This is because large amounts of carbon tied up in trees and other plants are released when the reservoir is initially flooded and the plants rot. Then after this first pulse of decay, plant matter settling on the reservoir's bottom decomposes without oxygen, resulting in a build-up of dissolved methane. This is released into the atmosphere when water passes through the dam's turbines.
    Seasonal changes in water depth mean there is a continuous supply of decaying material. In the dry season plants colonize the banks of the reservoir only to be engulfed when the water level rises. For shallow-shelving reservoirs these "drawdown" regions can account for several thousand square kilometers. In effect man-made reservoirs convert carbon dioxide in the atmosphere into methane.
    Full article here :

    https://www.newscientist.com/article...cret-revealed/

  8. #8
    Harbinger of Doom

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    While Thailand will be the main customer for the power from this dam it is Lao which wants and will get the profits from the sale of the electricity.
    Yes, but Thai engineering companies are also making a lot of money out of it - I used to work indirectly for a (Thai) company which was heavily involved in these dams.

    Plus, it doesn't make sense to cut responsibility off too dramatically. The Laos government is fucking up the country but every time I go to the my local shopping centre and do my bit to contribute to the demand for the village-sized air-conditioning units, I'm playing my part too.

  9. #9
    Valve Master
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    So just to reiterate :

    After selling off its forest for timber, Laos is screwing up the flow of the river, seriously affecting the downstream ecology and downstream people who depend on it for their lives, then selling the power to industries downstream who are slaves to Growth Economics.

    Just another example of the increasing gap between the rich and poor ?

    Oh....and dams silt up in a big way.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    A sad current state for the broader region.
    Sad river current, but not electrical current.

  11. #11
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    However they might want to appear, the ruling establishments seemingly all look alike - regardless of where they come from or cast themselves off with the faux benevolence.

    Mega-profits and retained control for the few. A nexus of governments/corporations.
    Be damned with the people and communities that they rule over, yet the same populations that maintain their quotient.

  12. #12
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    Dunno what all the fuss is about personally the Lao are simply harnessing there abundant water ways. Producing ectricity and creating jobs. Can't keep the fookers in the charcoal age forever. I might be slightly biased though.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by beerlaodrinker View Post
    Dunno what all the fuss is about personally the Lao are simply harnessing there abundant water ways. Producing ectricity and creating jobs. Can't keep the fookers in the charcoal age forever. I might be slightly biased though.
    Really?

    No thoughts about the rest of the Mekong and all the folk that depend on it?

  14. #14
    Harbinger of Doom

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    Quote Originally Posted by beerlaodrinker View Post
    Dunno what all the fuss is about personally the Lao are simply harnessing there abundant water ways. Producing ectricity and creating jobs. Can't keep the fookers in the charcoal age forever. I might be slightly biased though.
    Well, you make your living by destroying nature for short-term rewards so I suppose it's not surprising that you think it's a reasonable course of action.

  15. #15
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passing Through View Post
    Well, you make your living by destroying nature for short-term rewards so I suppose it's not surprising that you think it's a reasonable course of action.
    Some, literally, can't see the forest for the trees.

  16. #16
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    In addition to riparian fishing industry , China also seeking outlets trade downstream.

    Was in Can Tho a couple of times in last year and the Delta life so heavily based on a delicate eco-system yielding rich seafood will be impacted

    While Laos will get short term work the transition to a larger carbon footprint in a land where solar and wind are available is contrary to best practice.As BLD states better than brown lignite coal.

    Like rail corridor and airprts/rds to casinos Chinese colonization is very noticeable for those who remember the Laos of the 20th century

    River Levels in Myanmar and C Rai province Thailand and Bokeo. Saybulli provinces in Lao will all be impacted.

    The fact the environmentalists are trying , good for them, groups in Thailand and Vietnam are trying against 6 nations and Chinese cash i am not optimistic.

    The easy way to discourage unnecessary electricity usage is tax

    You don't have to target the poor in the one bulb hut
    Encourage low energy fridges washers kettles as in EU
    Tax Aircon units

    Of course in a land with corruption and smuggling this is hard to enforce.however could do it via the billing cycle.

    We run a TV Fridge freezer lights electric shower ,fish pump and cooker under 1000 baht except April May when air on.

    I'm not qualified to suggest the level but If I knew e.g. after say first 500 or 1000 baht per month say 10k per year per home.
    Would discourage consumption and encourage low use gear

    If consumption per house would have a 100% tax used solely for environmental tasks l I'd be happy to help and would fit timers limit usage or pay. As we all now big poo yais will fill their boots and the fish , bird and wild life and of course the poor , marginal little people will suffer.

    The bio diversity of the rain forests is being eroded world wide and the sources of food medicines for now and the future foolishly denuded in lands full of uniforms gongs and flags
    Last edited by david44; 16-09-2017 at 01:35 AM.
    I used to have a job at a calendar factory.
    I got the sack because
    I took a couple of days off.

  17. #17
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    Some months ago, I talked with a Viet grad student from Can Tho. She said that the Mekong delta is drying up and the land is getting more salty - harder for farmers to grow rice. They're now trying to grow salt-tolerant rice varieties, but the yield isn't as high. It's the farmers, fishermen and little people who will suffer in the long run...

  18. #18
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Tonlé Sap Lake is being devastated by combination of dams and climate change. More than three million folks around the bank of the lake. 90% of them earn a living by catching fish. No matter. Just poor folks. Let them eat cake.

  19. #19
    Harbinger of Doom

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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    Some months ago, I talked with a Viet grad student from Can Tho. She said that the Mekong delta is drying up and the land is getting more salty - harder for farmers to grow rice. They're now trying to grow salt-tolerant rice varieties, but the yield isn't as high. It's the farmers, fishermen and little people who will suffer in the long run...
    The Mekong Delta has a future which is about as rosy as my 85-year-old mother's. Anyone farming there is fucked and there's absolutely nothing which can be done about it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passing Through View Post
    Well, you make your living by destroying nature for short-term rewards so I suppose it's not surprising that you think it's a reasonable course of action.
    Im a big fan of electricity. And aircon. It is, after all, the 20th century.

  21. #21
    Harbinger of Doom

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    I'm a bigger fan of a functioning biosphere.

    Of course, we're all guilty to a certain extent; I'm the good German who watches the trains go by, while those who work in the extractive industries are the camp guards and commandants.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by crackerjack101 View Post
    Really?

    No thoughts about the rest of the Mekong and all the folk that depend on it?
    Actually I do have empathy for folk who may be affected along the Mekong. I simply find it hard to believe that the MRC would let it go ahead if indeed the dams would have such a negative impact. Media sensationalism at its best?

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post

    Tonlé Sap Lake is being devastated by combination of dams and climate change. More than three million folks around the bank of the lake. 90% of them earn a living by catching fish. No matter. Just poor folks. Let them eat cake.
    I think we could take into account that those people throwing their rubbish into it, shitting into it and generally polluting it has done more damage than dams and climate change has ever done.

    People are the problem not climate change.

    People have created climate change and built all the dams which in turn has fuked the environment.

    No people = a very happy planet.
    Stroller is a Yerman faggot.

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beerlaodrinker View Post

    Im a big fan of electricity. And aircon. It is, after all, the 20th century.
    That's about it innit yet the tree hugging tossers want all that without any impact on the environment. ????

  25. #25
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beerlaodrinker View Post

    Media sensationalism at its best?
    Not to mention more fake news and the Nay sayers talkin shit up again.

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