Following the appeal of indigenous Indians, a laundry list of environmentalists and high profile Hollywood figures such as Avatar director James Cameron and actress Sigourney Weaver, plans for the world’s third largest hydroelectric dam in the Amazon have been tabled for the THIRD time due to its potential to trigger “serious social and environmental damages.” What would have been a project comparable in size and scope to the construction of the Panama Canal — ultimately submerging 193 square miles along the Xingu River – surely would have compromised the local ecosystem, causing “grave harm to the economy,” “irreparable harm to (40,000) indigenous people” and far-reaching devastation to wildlife.
Fortunately, the Brazilian judge on the case was really listening to the facts surrounding the 11,000 megawatt Belo Monte hydroelectric dam, ruling in favor of Mother Nature…at least for the time being. Weaver noted that the judge urged everyone to develop “a process that deals more ethically with the communities on the river”, while her partner in crime, Cameron, added that even though construction on the dam is just momentarily stalled, it buys environmentalists time in which to “help build global and local awareness that Brazil needs a sustainable vision and a different energy policy.”
Despite President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s insistence that his country needs the $11 billion dam in order to fulfill their increasing need for energy that is renewable and clean, Weaver thinks that their countless “solar and wind opportunities” are the more sensible way to go. Similarly, Cameron feels that by abandoning plans for the Belo Monte project and instead pursuing more eco-friendly options, Brazil’s president could become “a hero”. Take a look at this brief clip of Sigourney Weaver while she discusses her perception of why this is a mini-victory and then for a different perspective of Cameron’s role in the whole Amazon situation, the gents at Polliwood offer their take (below).