Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

South Africa: Analysis - a Dam(n) Crazy Idea

analysis

Right now there are 10,000 cubic kilometres of water behind dam walls - five times the volume in the planet's rivers. The weight is so great it triggers earthquakes, and geophysicists estimate that the redistribution of weight from reservoirs may be having a measurable impact on the speed the earth rotates, the tilt of its axis and the shape of the gravitational field. But there's something the dammers haven't been telling you: dams die. And when they do, all hell breaks loose.

We're going to get their stinking dam. We've got secret plans. We're going to set up a laser beam below the dam, drill a tiny hole through the base of it. We've got underground chemists working on a formula for a new type of acid that will dissolve concrete underwater. We have suicide freaks who want to grow up to be human torpedoes. We've employed a crack team of serious Christians who are praying around the clock for an Act of God. . . . - Edward Abbey, eco-activist

We've plugged the Tugela, the Orange, the Limpopo and the mighty Zambezi. There are dams on the Congo, the Niger and the Nile. The Mississippi has...

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