In my Twin towers blog I mentioned global insanity as some kind of culprit behind that ruthless and well-executed destruction. But of course, behind such a notion of worldwide human madness there are people who are the causative agents of catastrophes that might appear from inception as benign actions for humanity. Yet, they are insane when properly examined as to future repercussions. I’m not talking about ‘thalomide’ although the possible results of that medication were known before the mothers were given that stuff.

No, I’m talking about great dams to block large rivers in order to produce ‘sustainable’ electric energy for the welfare of the human population. All over the world can such dams be seen, in Africa we have the muzzled Zambezi river by the Kariba dam and in China the Yangtzé river has been blocked recently. In India the politicos have run amok also in dam construction because there the World Bank found it easiest to get their financial schemes operating. This Bank, which is one of the biggest thieving scams invented by politicians after WW2 has no rival in grabbing OPM (other people’s money) and creating vast constructions that are profitable to unknown shareholders and not to the people mentioned on the publicity pages.

Well, what’s wrong with all that, you might ask me. I’m going to tell you.

When great rivers such as the Nile or the Zambezi are dammed, they are damned as well. Behind that monstrous wall that the engineers have thrown up, life is doomed. The lakes that are created can be hundreds of kilometers long and the width depends of course how the river shaped its surroundings over many millions of years. Fertile valleys, tilled by thousands of industrious peasants disappear under the growing lake, the peasants as well, all game is drowned and the lake becomes a small inland, barren sea. The river’s flow, which is its heart, has been stilled. Where before the sediments carried by the water fertilized the peasants’ fields, this sediment now lies rotting on the bottom of the artificial lake and fouls the generators’ outlets. However, I can assure you that the entrepreneurial people involved in this OPM scam have been compensated according to shrewdness.

Yes, but all that electricity! Google the Kariba or the Nile dam and discover the misery. And why do I consider this as an example of global madness?

Because you could have had almost the same amount of electricity without building a bloody great dam. Without killing the peasants. Without drowning the game. By keeping the river alive. Ultimately, by not taxing people in other countries for this kind of global insanity.

Sure enough, I heard you. How?

You must now listen carefully. The aim of a river is to flow to the sea and for that it forces a path that allows the water to flow down. If the water stays in a horizontal trench it won’t flow. Ergo, when you stand next to a river you can be sure that some distance in the down-flow direction the land will be lower, maybe 3 or 10 meters, depending on the contours of the surrounding country. That difference in height allows you to build a watermill. You see, a watermill functions with little water because water is quite heavy stuff compared to air. I’m obliged to give you a simple formula now to understand the power of water. If the river we are standing next to, carries 10 cubic meters of water a second and we can make it fall by about 3 meters we can theoretically generate 300 Kw of electric energy. And as we follow the river we can find places, one after the other where we can do the same thing, all the way to the sea. All along the river we can take its inherent waterpower without destroying the river nor its fish population or the people living next to it. Given a certain river where by building a great dam at great cost and killing everything, we can generate 100. By establishing small mills at artisanal cost and without any killing we can generate 60!

Still think I’m fabulating or bsing?

          Three years ago I was with my wife in France, looking to buy a watermill. One pleased us very much. This mill had probably been in existence for more than a thousand years because a Celtic chief named Alaric decided that the river Adour which originates in the Pyrenees carried water that his horse liked very much but not the steep banks. This chieftain had a canal dug following the river and, apart from pleasing his horse with the sweet water, established watermills to mill wheat and saw wood. One thousand and two hundred years later the canal Alaric is still there, for twelve centuries the river Adour has been feeding the canal with the right amount of water that the canal dumps back into the river through waterwheels that power the mills. At one stage more than 30 mills worked from this ancient canal, each one producing about 50 Kwh in today’s reckoning. Global insanity was the cause that these mills were abandoned only about 50 years ago.

French administration made me give up my watermill projects. To harness the water to my will could be done. To harness french bureaucracy to my mind I found one of the rare impossibilities I have encountered in my life.


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2 Responses to The Dams that Damned Great Rivers

  1. jean-louis Reille says:

    Go on, je fais suivre ton blog à JL.Cela va le passionner. Et moi aussi

  2. dekker says:

    salut

    c’est bien ce que tu écris et tellement vrai, alors les ventes de tes livres augmentent elles?
    groetjes
    cap

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