April 22, 2010


It was with much sadness and a broken heart that I read the following article from New Scientist HERE by Kate MacAlpine about the decades-long tug of war between environmental and indigenous groups on one hand and the Brazilian government on the other when a Brazilian energy consortium won the right to build what will become the world's third-largest dam.

Almost 27 years ago, I worked as a writer with Friends of the Earth and from then, I have always had a love for the environment. I have blogged about quite a number of environmental issues in this blog. In Malaysia, particularly in Sarawak, there are similar issues faced by many because of the construction of dams. We have only one planet and at the rate things are going downhill, we may not have much a planet to leave to the next generation. When will man learn that the environment is of MORE value than money?

Do read the following article and please leave a comment if you wish to share your thoughts and views. Thanks! Have a nice day!


The controversial Belo Monte dam on the Xingu river in the Brazilian Amazon, a tributary of the Amazon, could power as many as 23 million homes. But since its proposal 20 years ago, it has been the subject of a vitriolic dispute with the government on one side and indigenous people and green groups on the other.

The latter say it would flood 500 square kilometres of farms and rainforest and prevent the migration of fish that are a major food source for 800 indigenous communities. CLICK HERE for more.


Paper Wrapper said...

"When will man learn that the environment is of MORE value than money?"

I think about 10% of the world's population has learned this lesson. They are a group of the environmentally conscious mat sallehs living in Europe, Canada, ANZ, and the USA. The rest, that 90%, will wake up only after they've paid the price and felt the pain as per my recent blog posting.

Its tough when the environment is so closely linked to politics, politics to popularism, and popularism to behaviours that often fly in the face of wisdom. For example, the demand for housing that leads to the destruction of hillslopes, or a population explosion leading to enormous demands for energy and raw materials (read forests, rivers, animals.)

It all starts in the mind. Desires for wealth and lifestyle arise in the mind so its not wrong to say that our minds create our reality with all its environmental decay. I see the problem as not so much the policymakers. Yes they contribute but the main culprit is us, the billions of minds that want, no demand, a way of life that scorches the earth. The irony is scientists can spend all their time studying what melting ice shelfs will do to us but I've yet to see a scientific paper that studies how people's minds are influenced into desiring things like projects like the Yangtze dam to arise.

Because we are only interested on effect and not on root cause (its "sensitive," etc), looks like we will only learn the lesson at the eve of our extinction. Judging from the pace of "development" in China, Brazil, etc. I don't think people believe we are anywhere near out tipping point.

Just my 2 cents.

masterwordsmith said...

Dear Johan

Many thanks for your sincere and concerned comment wrt environmental degradation and the sheer apathy of man in modern society all in the name of greed and materialism.

I do agree with you that we cannot put the blame on policy-makers but on every single one of us, myself included. If we do not cherish what has been entrusted to us, how then can we continue to live on this planet?

You are right - perhaps on the eve of our extinction and by then, it would be far too late. Frankly, that day might come soon for a recent NASA report warns of the imminent appearance of acid rain as indicated by the dark circle around the moon on March 17th. So warnings have been given that acid rain might occur before the end of this month.

May God deliver us from further destruction. Take care and God bless you.

Thanks so much for sharing from your heart.

Best wishes

Paper Wrapper said...

Actually I don't know which is more depressing - politics or the environment. They both share a common denominator: man. We are like viruses, descending on a spot, stripping it of everything, and then moving on to the next spot. But it seems the earth has come up with a few anti-viruses of its own. Hurricanes, earthquakes, drought, the acid rain you mentioned. One hell of a renewing mechanism.

I didn't know you were an evironmentalist as well but its certainly good to know that. :-)

masterwordsmith said...

Dear Johan

Many thanks for such a beautiful and moving comment. To me, I think environmental destruction is worse than political problems because the latter can be solved although not fully whereas it is not possible to reverse the long lasting consequences of the rape and plunder of Mother Nature.

Indeed, the greed of man has propelled him to strip the earth of its marvelous resources and many have no inkling as to the horror that we might face one day.

I doubt that scientists, for all the research and projects they laud and magnify, can ever dream of restoring the environment to its original splendour.

That, to me, is the greatest tragedy of our civilization. :-(

Thanks for sharing and for loving Mother Earth!

God bless you.