Saturday, November 22, 2014

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

When construction crews begin digging a new canal this month across Nicaragua, connecting the Pacific and Atlantic, it’ll be a boon to global shipping and, the government says, to the economy of the second-poorest nation in the Americas. But activists, scientists and others are increasingly alarmed by the environmental impact of a 173-mile artificial waterway—wider, deeper and three and a half times the length of the Panama Canal
The grim facts include:
-The new canal and its infrastructure, from roads to pipelines to power plants, will destroy or alter nearly one million acres of rainforest and wetlands.

-The canal route lies in the middle of a hurricane belt. A storm like Hurricane Mitch, which killed 3,800 people in Nicaragua in 1998, would probably cause the canal to flood,
triggering mudslides that would breach locks and dams. Communities, homes, roads and power lines would be swamped.

Add to that the fact that the route canal will cut across Lake Nicaragua, which is the source of most of the country's fresh drinking water. As a consequence,
critics say ship traffic will pollute the water with industrial chemicals and introduce destructive invasive plants and animals.
All in all, this sounds like yet another of the many recipes for disaster that the world is currently contending with or awaiting.

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