Chilean Dam Project Broken Up Thanks to Activists and Locals

Activism works, just ask the Chilean communities that stopped a hydroelectric dam from being built. The dam was going to cause a lot of local ecological havoc with little actual gain to the local populace. The Chilean government has backed down from building the dam and the communities that were to be affected are celebrating the decision. Chile is committed to supporting other forms of renewable energy that won’t cause such environmental damage.

The committee “decided to side with complaints presented by the community,” Environment Minister Pablo Badenier told reporters. “As of now, the hydroelectric project has been rejected.”

Opponents complained that the plan required 5,700 hectares (14,000 acres) of land to be submerged and would involve cutting through swathes of forests to build the dams along the Baker and Pascua rivers. Fears were also expressed that the project, which would have involved the relocation of some three dozen families, would destroy vital habitat for the endangered Southern Huemul deer.

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Six Britons can Change the World

They have already influenced the world and now they have a chance to change the law in the UK, thus making our planet a better place. In 2007 six Greenpeace activists climbed a coal tower to protest the use of finite fossil fuels and were subsequently arrested. Their court case has attraced scientists worldwide to voice their support and the charges were dropped against the six – making this a case that shocked the British legal system.

The Guardian has an article on the case and how a movie is being released that celebrates the six activists.

When a demonstration at the Kingsnorth power station in north-east Kent in late 2007 led to the arrest of six climate change activists, what had until then seemed a rather dry local planning issue exploded into a story of national and international concern. The verdict at their trial turned out to have far-reaching implications for activism, the future of coal, even the planet.

Now a 20-minute film, A Time Comes, by the much-admired documentary-maker Nick Broomfield, cuts police and Greenpeace footage of the occupation together with news clips and interviews with the activists. What emerges is how ordinary the Kingsnorth Six are – they could be the bloke next door or the woman across the office – but also how brave and tenacious. The film is released just as the government’s review of its coal policy is expected and campaigners hope and expect the review will define a seismic shift in official attitudes to carbon emissions.

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