Futaleufú River Dam Fight Win- Endesa surrenders

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Futaleufú River Dam Fight Win- Endesa surrenders

Post by admin » Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:14 am

So, for all of those that have been following the over decade long battle to save the Futaleufú river from having a hydro dam built, here is some good news.

http://www.outsideonline.com/2110076/ch ... -be-dammed

I never really bought the idea that this was going to go through. If you have been to the area, the logistics and other problems made that fairly uneconomic possibility, and I believe they Endesa was using a lot of these rivers as red hearings to draw the attention and limited resources of the environmental movement away from areas they were much more serious about building. Now that hydro projects are overall getting less economical in the Patagonia, it sort of makes sense that they are going to cut dam projects across the south.

What I think really happened is Endesa and other traditional power producers in Chile just got their rears handed to them in a recent power contract auction, by upstart solar and wind producers from outside the country. Old schools slash and burn power production is in trouble. The economics of dams is not what it use to be.
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Re: Futaleufú River Dam Fight Win- Endesa surrenders

Post by Britkid » Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:38 pm

I don't know much about this specific case, or the cases of other developments in Chile, like the Cajon de Maipo.

But I do know we need to reduce carbon emissions somehow. I assume this was a project to create electricity from water which would have reduced dependence on carbon polluting and dirty fossil fuels, so it's sad when that fails.

No idea what the right decision was in this case but it's sad when the science tells us that we need to cut our carbon emissions by 80-90% and the reality is we do about 5-10%.
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Re: Futaleufú River Dam Fight Win- Endesa surrenders

Post by frozen-north » Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:53 pm

Britkid wrote:
I don't know much about this specific case, or the cases of other developments in Chile, like the Cajon de Maipo.
An earlier discussion on the topic of river dams:
TRAVEL ALERT -New rebellion in the patagonia: Aysén
http://www.allchile.net/chileforum/view ... =18&t=7527
And on the topic of preserving the environment: I watched a couple of episodes of the PBS series:

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Re: Futaleufú River Dam Fight Win- Endesa surrenders

Post by admin » Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:32 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futaleuf%C3%BA_River

The Futa, and in particular the rapids there, are not just any crappy creek. The rapids are ranked some of the most difficult in the World, and draw the best of the best in the white water rafting World (more than a few have died trying). In particular, the segment known as the the "Z" or Zeta. I worked as a rafting guide as teenager, shot rapids since before I could walk, and I would not go anywhere near that thing in a raft or a kayak. It is very unique geographical feature, where a river passes through a very narrow canyon, and then almost turns 180 degrees the other direction, followed by another quick turn nearly 180 degree back (a true Z shape). Let's just say, the river goes one direction, and anything on top of the river keeps going the opposite direction (in to the canyon wall). I am not sure there is another one like it on the planet (not that I have seen).

River features like that normally do not last very long, as the river breaks down the rock. It is a totally unnatural, natural feature. It has killed a few world class kaykers, believe it complete skinned an Olympic medal winner a few years ago. It is only marginally V+, and that is only because it was finally completed a few years ago for the first time, and a few have managed to repeat it. Even at that, I am not sure it qualifies less than class VI. Still comes off as some very talented kayakers, got very lucky, at just the right time of year, with just the right water level. It is more like niagra falls. Yea, some people get lucky and live to tell about going over it, but most don't, and it is hard to repeat. I don't consider something a class V, until it is regularly repeatable. Perhaps they have gotten better at it.

So, as rafting places go, it is very special.

The plan to dam the Futa, also would have essentially put the town of Futa under water, the espolon river valley, likely would have caused a major international incident with Argentina, killed all the trout and stopped the salmon runs. The list of bad, bad things that it would have caused went on and on and on and on.

All that, and due to increasingly dry years in Argentina (the place they wanted to build was only like 10 km from the Argentina boarder), would have been like a billion dollar+ economic dog.

It, likely along with a majority of the proposed places for dams in the Patagonia, are legacy projects that go back over a decade and some of them to the dictatorship. They are simply not economically viable any more, and the global view on the "green" credentials of hydro have changed a lot in last 30 years. Mega-hydro projects just don't fly anymore, all the way around. Definitely decimating one of the most remote and unique areas in the World, filled with, literally God only knows, number of endangered species; is, umh, not very green.
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Re: Futaleufú River Dam Fight Win- Endesa surrenders

Post by Britkid » Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:52 pm

Well to begin with there you were actually to starting to convince me even more: Carbon emissions + saving the lives of some rafters. Win win. Not so keen on the ecosystem devastation though. Anyway, thanks for the info.
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Re: Futaleufú River Dam Fight Win- Endesa surrenders

Post by admin » Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:52 am

Here is another why it counts reason:

http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/20 ... udy-finds/

New study out on the destruction of wilderness around the World, only 25% left, 10% occurred in the last 20 years. If you look at the map, you will see the Patagonia has been one that was hit hard.

http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/fi ... 24x513.jpg
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Re: Futaleufú River Dam Fight Win- Endesa surrenders

Post by Britkid » Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:09 pm

OK, but let's say that now that they are not building this project, someone somewhere has to expand a coal or uranium mine one day instead to meet demand. Those things don't exactly tend to have a positive effect on the ecosystems they operate in. Who knows, building some hydro might be a net gain ecosystem wise. Shutting down the hydro plant and implying that this benefits Patagonia is not thinking globally or long term.

More importantly, I suspect that energy projects probably have only a small effect on wilderness reduction. I seriously doubt that many of us would be prepared to take the necessary steps to really protect wilderness areas. I would suggest the necessary steps for those of you that really care wilderness areas such as Patagonia are to address the areas that have a much bigger impact than a few hydro projects:

1. Change our attitude to animals. We have an excessively pro-human bias which we don't yet realize amounts to a kind of discrimination. When we make decisions, we should look at the pros and cons to humans and animals and see if it's a fair trade off rather than focusing primarily on our own species, with just minor concessions to animals. Example: taking 5 minutes to check online which shampoo doesn't test on animals is a big deal for the animals, but we just have to change shampoo. Very minor inconvenience for us. Major gain for animals. Hence unethical not to check if your shampoo is tested on animals. Until we change this basic attitude where we can't be bothered to make such a tiny, simple change even though animals are being shoved in cages and having chemicals forced into their eyes until they go blind, you can imagine what types of decisions we'll continue to take when it comes to animal ecosystems vs human interests and we are just doing to continue to be a plague on the planet from the point of view of other species.

2. Eat a vegetarian or a vegan diet, or at the very least greatly reduce meat, especially beef, the least ecological food that I know of. Most Amazon destruction is due to animal agriculture for example. Pasture grazing can be very destructive to ecosystems. Animal agriculture is horrific in terms of land use, pollution, carbon emissions, water use, the list goes on.

3. Reduce consumption. If you are getting a new phone each year, a new laptop every couple of years, top of the line vehicle, shopping for new shoes every few months etc etc, then you are having a bigger impact on the world. Only buy the things you need even if you are wealthy, and replace things that are actually broken or completely old.

4. Stop breeding. The more people, the more effect on ecosystems. People with no children have had a positive effect on wilderness and animals, people with three children or more, not so much. (I am not actually advocating for this, just pointing out that from the point of view of wilderness, it is the best thing.)

5. Make the effort to figure out how to reduce your carbon emissions. Actually take less flights, drive less miles, use renewables, and so on. See also points 2 and 3. It seems that global warming may be causing more natural disasters and ecosystem damage in the future. Not certain, but it's a big risk being taken.

Looking back over the points my own record has been pretty hit and miss to say the least, but I am trying to do better.

My wife is not currently fully accepting of my argument on point 3. :lol:
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Re: Futaleufú River Dam Fight Win- Endesa surrenders

Post by Space Cat » Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:27 pm

#3 is all about dopamine craving. We're addicted to dopamine from birth, so consuming things to satisfy oneself is basically being a dopamine junkie. Of course it stimulates us for serious achievements too but short-term rewards like buying useless stuff are often too compelling.

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Re: Futaleufú River Dam Fight Win- Endesa surrenders

Post by seawolf180 » Sat Sep 10, 2016 1:54 pm

Britkid wrote:OK, but let's say that now that they are not building this project, someone somewhere has to expand a coal or uranium mine one day instead to meet demand. Those things don't exactly tend to have a positive effect on the ecosystems they operate in. Who knows, building some hydro might be a net gain ecosystem wise. Shutting down the hydro plant and implying that this benefits Patagonia is not thinking globally or long term.

More importantly, I suspect that energy projects probably have only a small effect on wilderness reduction. I seriously doubt that many of us would be prepared to take the necessary steps to really protect wilderness areas. I would suggest the necessary steps for those of you that really care wilderness areas such as Patagonia are to address the areas that have a much bigger impact than a few hydro projects:

1. Change our attitude to animals. We have an excessively pro-human bias which we don't yet realize amounts to a kind of discrimination. When we make decisions, we should look at the pros and cons to humans and animals and see if it's a fair trade off rather than focusing primarily on our own species, with just minor concessions to animals. Example: taking 5 minutes to check online which shampoo doesn't test on animals is a big deal for the animals, but we just have to change shampoo. Very minor inconvenience for us. Major gain for animals. Hence unethical not to check if your shampoo is tested on animals. Until we change this basic attitude where we can't be bothered to make such a tiny, simple change even though animals are being shoved in cages and having chemicals forced into their eyes until they go blind, you can imagine what types of decisions we'll continue to take when it comes to animal ecosystems vs human interests and we are just doing to continue to be a plague on the planet from the point of view of other species.

2. Eat a vegetarian or a vegan diet, or at the very least greatly reduce meat, especially beef, the least ecological food that I know of. Most Amazon destruction is due to animal agriculture for example. Pasture grazing can be very destructive to ecosystems. Animal agriculture is horrific in terms of land use, pollution, carbon emissions, water use, the list goes on.

3. Reduce consumption. If you are getting a new phone each year, a new laptop every couple of years, top of the line vehicle, shopping for new shoes every few months etc etc, then you are having a bigger impact on the world. Only buy the things you need even if you are wealthy, and replace things that are actually broken or completely old.

4. Stop breeding. The more people, the more effect on ecosystems. People with no children have had a positive effect on wilderness and animals, people with three children or more, not so much. (I am not actually advocating for this, just pointing out that from the point of view of wilderness, it is the best thing.)

5. Make the effort to figure out how to reduce your carbon emissions. Actually take less flights, drive less miles, use renewables, and so on. See also points 2 and 3. It seems that global warming may be causing more natural disasters and ecosystem damage in the future. Not certain, but it's a big risk being taken.

Looking back over the points my own record has been pretty hit and miss to say the least, but I am trying to do better.

My wife is not currently fully accepting of my argument on point 3. :lol:
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Re: Futaleufú River Dam Fight Win- Endesa surrenders

Post by Space Cat » Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:50 pm

– I suggest these steps, I think they can help to improve the world...
– INTRUSION! GET LOST!!

LOL

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Re: Futaleufú River Dam Fight Win- Endesa surrenders

Post by Britkid » Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:28 pm

I was thinking about this a bit more today and the list of things that arguably need to be done by most people in developed countries to reduce global warming and help protect the environment, all the things I said, and it is pretty much an attack of the lifestyles of the rich.

By "rich" in a global context I mean if you can afford a car and to live in your own house rather than share and take a holiday abroad, then you are rich, so most people in developing countries.

In order to be environmentally responsible, if you are rich, you need to stop being rich. Just leave your money in the bank for the time being until we have figured out how to get renewable powered electricity grids, cars etc - (that may mean saving it for your kids rather than yourself!). Or give it to charity. Either that or think very, very carefully and do serious research about how you spend your money for any purchase of any moderate size, although we may be kidding ourselves if we think that is the get out.

I mean all the obvious that we get rich for: such as better cars, foreign travel, good steaks, top end smart phones are damaging the world in various ways. Even having a bigger house is worse for the environment because of higher energy use and the fact that it takes more construction materials to build it. Did you know that cement has a lot of carbon emissions associated with it? :(

If you live on this plant and earn more than about $60,000 a year, how are you supposed to spend your money to enjoy your life more without damaging the planet?

I suppose in theory you could put solar panels on your roof, but what if you are renting? I suppose in theory you could buy an electric car, but are there enough charging stations near you? And if it's only a hybrid, and it's a new car, it's probably not any better for the environment. (Factoring in the carbon emissions of building a car, a 2015 hybrid may be worse than buying a 2005 second hand petrol car.) And as for flying, green planes that can get you across continents efficiently and safely? Don't exist.

So IF we accept that each person should not emit substantially more than the average per person needed to keep climate control within reasonable sensible limits (and by reasonably sensible limits I mean that say for example we should try to avoid the west antarctica ice shelf falling into the sea and drowning the Bangladeshis) then rich people should probably just sit on their cash.

For some things this is debatable. It should be possible to build a fabulous huge house that's eco friendly, I think. For instance. But flights? No.

Unless you think success in life ought to entitle one to pollute more? I'm not quite sure I'm capitalist enough to agree with that, that does not seem fair, and in any case, such an argument doesn't work on a practical level, since if the rich are allowed to pollute more, it's hard to keep emissions within reccomended levels.

Which is a bit worrying really. Where is the incentive for entrepreneurs in society and for people to get rich if that is the world we now live in? It's almost environmentalism mandating socialism, which is convenient for environmentalists since many of them seem to be leaning in that direction anyway.

Perhaps the solution is, if you are rich, to only spend half of your money, bank the other half, and retire earlier, maybe at age of 45/50. Another might be to work part time and reduce your standard of living. Instead of chasing the best car, the best phone, then the benefit of earning more $ per hour becomes more free time. That's the best solution I can think of. Trade consumption for time.

Anyway, rather a hypothetical question at the moment, since most people aren't seriously considering reducing their environmental impact any more than token efforts like a few light bulbs or something.

It seems to me from not just this but previous posts that there is about a 50/50 split between people who appreciate my comments on moral topics (on a range of issues from veganism to environment to white privilege and so on) and those who...don't. So my conclusion is to continue doing it, but not too frequently.
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Re: Futaleufú River Dam Fight Win- Endesa surrenders

Post by Space Cat » Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:50 pm

Britkid, I agree on your points in general but I think your advices are overkill in case you want to spread awareness.

Imagine you're saying to an average person: "please don't breed, don't eat meat, don't travel, don't buy things, sell you car, love animals!" Ugh! You just lost him.

People are not buddhist monks, they're not ready to drop all their ineffective and harmful habits for the sake of something in the distant future. Short-term rewards are EXTREMELY attractive for our brains. Just look at the obesity and alcoholism rates everywhere. Also vegans and animal defenders have a very bad rep because there are too many almost religious fanatics shaming everyone.

What will really solve many of our problems is a better "life skills" education for kids that will improve population's understanding of many topics, including ecology.

Instead of trying to persuade adults with all their baggage of believes and huge egos, we should focus on new waves of people. Also it will be much easier to raise money for education than to "save animals" or "promote less consumerism". The new generations will do it by themselves if they will understand the world better than our generations do.

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