China’s Three Gorges Dam

In my Asian Studies class we are talking about China’s “Three Gorges Dam” which was completed and started operation only a few years ago. This brings me back to what we talked about in the beginning of the year with conquering nature. I don’t want to spark a huge debate again on what exactly conquering nature is, so I am just going to say that I don’t think building this dam is “conquering nature,” but is it destroying it?

There is plenty of controversy over the building of the dam with many arguments for the pro side and many for the con as well. On the pro side the dam creates an alternative energy source to create electricity. This is very beneficial to the environment because it will reduce the amount of harmful greenhouse gases that China produces. Up to 10% of electricity can be generated by this dam, which is very significant for China and its environment. It also can help create healthy drinking water for the people nearby.

However, the dam also has harmful side effects on the environment in China. It is endangering animals such as a the baiji river dolphin by destroying their environment. The dam also disrupts the natural flow of the river and can have potential side effects on the land itself. The article talks about the possibility of the dam causing earthquakes and separating the land.

There comes a point when you have to decide if the cons outweigh the pros. And for this river dam I have heard many more complaints about the negative effects on the environment and how the dam was not a good idea. But for China it was a bold move because it shows their power and industrialism. So behind every issue, whether it be related to nature or not, it can always be linked to human power and their desire for competition. As humans we are always in competition to try and create the next best thing, but we often don’t see the negative side effects.


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