Enviros blame… renewable energy projects… for deadly Indian floods

IPS reports:

As the government scrambles to complete a haphazard rescue operation, environmentalists are taking a step back, pointing out that the disaster was not simply a freak natural hazard but a result of unbridled development in the Land of the Gods.

Hydropower projects

For years, a booming tourist industry, made possible by thousands of illegally constructed guesthouses, has spawned massive hydroelectric power projects on the rivers, while other infrastructure development designed to accommodate hoards of visitors has proceeded at a steady clip, putting undue stress on this fragile ecological zone.

Scientists also say the damming of the Ganga, riverbed encroachment and mining activities are wreaking havoc on the region.

“There (have been) no credible environmental or social impact assessments for hundreds of projects,” Himanshu Thakkar, coordinator of the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People, tells IPS.

According to Mallika Bhanot, member of Ganga Ahvaan, a public forum to save the holy river, about 244 dams are being constructed along the water channel, while only three were cancelled after a 100-km stretch, from the glacial mouth of Gomukh to Uttarkashi town, was declared an eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) in December 2012.

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9 thoughts on “Enviros blame… renewable energy projects… for deadly Indian floods”

  1. “The glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) that poured down the mountains bringing boulders and rocks is just another sign that the delicate balance of nature’s forces has been disrupted – and Uttarakhand is paying the price.”

    The particular disaster in the article was a GLOF. Not related to dam construction, though the article goes on and on about dam construction.

    A GLOF being “another sign that the delicate balance of nature’s forces has been disrupted” is stupid wrong. BTW . . . the idea that “nature’s forces” are in “delicate balance” is stupid, too. Greentards need to believe that to justify the idea that tweaks by Man can cause upheaval.

  2. Well, let’s not be too hasty. Poorly built hydroelectric power could easily contribute to floods if dams breaks. Of course the proper response is to build the dams right in the first dam place.

  3. As we have found with our local biomass energy plant, you have to burn the needles and the branches and the trunks that grow on about 770 sq. miles if you want to power a 100 MW plant. That is, a 770 sq. mile tree farm in a continuous cycle of planting and harvesting. If you are in a normal sized county East of the Mississippi River, that means you have to turn the entire county into a tree farm to provide energy for the county seat.

    Oh, I forgot about the diesel you have to burn in all those bulldozers and highway trucks to collect the stuff – fossil fuel, I suppose.

  4. The floods were caused by the monsoons. The monsoons have been going on since the tectonic plate carrying the Indian sub-continent crashhed into the Eurasian plate. Get used to it.

  5. I’ve been on this planet for over 50 years. every one of those years you would read about all of the dead brown people in india from the monsoons. Now the envirotards are looking for something new to blame.

  6. Don’t forget about the massive amount of CO2 released from burning pine needles! Oh the horror!!

  7. Smoke from burning pine needles to power turbines? Just how many hectares of pines do you need for 10GW of power? I wonder what they did for flood and runoff control, but these enviros are simply anti human development. The Indians absolutely need to live in poverty with no development so the enviro’s feel better. Then when it floods, they can blame some other sin of mankind for the anger of the gods.

  8. “Green alternatives abound, including electricity generation using smoke from burning pine needles to propel turbines”

    Why would you want a hydro dam when you can burn pine needles?


    “A glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) is a type of outburst flood that occurs when the dam containing a glacial lake fails. The dam can consist of glacier ice or a terminal moraine. Failure can happen due to erosion, a buildup of water pressure, an avalanche of rock or heavy snow, an earthquake or cryoseism, volcanic eruptions under the ice, or if a large enough portion of a glacier breaks off and massively displaces the waters in a glacial lake at its base.”

    BS . . . it happened because I drove my Mustang to the golf course.

  9. It is funny to see them blame the flood on dam-building. Dams work to prevent floods, up until the moment when they break.

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