Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said opponents of hydropower projects in poor countries are “bordering on the criminal,” amid plans in his country to boost output from the energy source as much as five-fold.
The Mekong River sparkles in the early morning sun as Somwang Prommin, a stocky fisherman wearing a worn-out black T-shirt and shorts, starts the motor of his boat. As the tiny craft glides on the river’s calm surface in the northeastern Thai district of Chiang Khong, Somwang points to a nearby riverbank. Three days ago, he says, the water levels there were 3 meters (10 feet) higher.
Jose Carlos Arara puts a tarnished 38-caliber revolver into his waistband. It’s a sweltering, mid- November morning in the Brazilian Amazon rain forest, and the 31-year-old Indian chief walks through the jungle to check on his tribe’s yuca crop.
Laos wants to start construction this year on the $3.8 billion Thai-financed Xayaburi hydropower plant on the Mekong River after changing the design to placate neighboring countries opposed to the project.
By Juan Forero Sept. 6 (Washington Post) -- SAN MARTIN DE SAMIRIA, PERU - To the untrained eye, all evidence here in the heart of the Amazon signals virgin forest, untouched by man for time immemorial - from the ubiquitous fruit palms to the cry of howler monkeys, from the air thick with mosquitoes to the unruly tangle of jungle vines. Archaeologists, many of them Americans, say the opposite is true: This patch of forest, and many others across the Amazon, was instead home to an advanced, even spectacular civilization that managed the forest and enriched infertile soil to feed thousands. The findings are discrediting a once-bedrock theory of archaeology that long held that the Amazon, unlike much of the Americas, was a historical black hole, its environment too hostile and its earth too poor to have ever sustained big, sedentary societies. Only small and primitive hunter-gatherer tribes, the assumption went, could ever have eked out a living in