Brazilian President Lula (2003-2011). He is one of the Godfathers of Belo Monte. Lula says Belo Monte is cleaner than other generation options, but he’s still following the old electricity paradigm.
As president, he could have shown leadership on electricity and the electricity grid in Brazil, as opposed to letting the status quo continue, where unreliable power and electricity theft reign.
Brazilian power woes are rooted in the inefficient and tangled distribution system of their electricity grid. Small investments to sort this out, will fix the electricity situation and mean reliable power for Brazil. Also, that would take away the need for new generation from Amazon Hydroelectric Dams.
AmazonWatch history of Belo Monte. All the permitting, resignations, political action, indigenous protesting, financial transactions, and construction delays. Good history. And the rest is unwritten, while the dam is unfinished.
The bogus appeal of hydroelectricity in the Amazon:
The Amazon has big rivers, right? They come into the Amazon and build big dams on those rivers. And then, big development, roads, people, mining, farming, and deforestation come along with the dams, and cut down the actual rainforest that creates the river that powers the dam.
So, in the end, there is a big dam not producing the power they thought it would, because the river shrank and the rainforest was cut down. DUH
That’s why these dams are not a good idea in the first place, we should protest Belo Monte, and Brazil should look to invest in grid improvements for electricity. Then they’ll actually get what they think they are getting, and the Amazon will live.
News about Belo Monte: Construction is behind schedule and over cost. They have just pushed back the date of dam operation from 2014-2015, to 2015-2016, a delay of 1 year.
Goes to show how this project was arbitrarily rammed through the permitting and political process, just to start construction, without proper planning or consideration on on the project’s feasibility. The project is not workable, and is very hard to execute. Many things will have to go right and fall in the favor of the builders for this project to finish and function successfully.
1) Cost Overruns
2) Engineering of river diversion canals is questionable. Is it possible to move a river? That is Difficult.
3) Volume of water relative to dam size. Is the river big enough to power a dam this big? No, the River is not big enough. They are building a dam three times the size of the river, and that’s why the dam if finished would be the 3rd biggest in the world.
Brazil can fix their electricity distribution grid and solve all of their electricity woes that was. So, getting together and fixing the grid is what can save the Amazon Rainforest and remove any need for the dams.
The HidroAysén Dam Complex in Chile and the Inambari Dam Complex in Peru have both been stopped by popular uprising. Will Belo Monte be the next major dam project stopped by popular uprising? We can make this happen, by taking coordinated action to protest the dam. Send Starbucks an email- their email is under the Starbucks tab- and tell them to stand up for the rainforest and protest dams in the rainforest by buying coffee from countries outside Brazil.
Did you know Brazil is building the Belo Monte Dam? And Belo Monte is the first of 100 hydroelectric dams in Amazon!
Dams create roads and development in untouched rainforest, and cutting trees in the tropics threatens the Starbucks coffee supply chain. Because trees in the Amazon create rain on tropical coffee plantations.
To protest Belo Monte and protect the coffee supply from deforestation, Starbucks should temporarily Stop buying coffee from Brazil and buy coffee from other tropical countries.
No Brazilian Coffee! For earth, and coffee that comes from earth,