James Cameron is back in Belo Monte, Brazil – and this time, he brought along an old friend.
Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger excitedly tweeted this week that he was headed to the rainforest for “an adventure” with Cameron; all the while posting pics and some video of their journey. It’s a good thing Arnold loves social media – otherwise, we’d have no idea Cameron and Co. were back in the thick of the controversy surrounding the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam project. (Cameron hasn’t updated his Twitter account since Feb 3rd.)
You might remember Belo Monte, construction site of what would be the world’s third largest dam, as a passion project for Cameron during “Avatar’s” epic run at the box office. He even produced a short documentary on the dam’s potential to displace tens of thousands of ingenious people (as well as the environmental effects) that appeared as part of the bonus content on the “Avatar” DVD disc set.
Unfortunately, while slow, movement towards the dam’s groundbreaking is inching ever closer. Earlier this month, work was started on roads that will eventually lead to the $11.3 billion construction site. However, planners thus far have only received a partial environmental license; barring full construction from proceeding. “The struggle to resist the Belo Monte Dam and protect the Xingu river is far from over,”Christian Poirier, the Brazil programme co-ordinator for environmental group Amazon Watch told the UK Guardian. “Resistance on the ground will not waver.”
It appears that Cameron and Schwarzenegger are part of that resistance – though it’s currently unclear how they will drum up support against the project back home. Hopefully Arnold will tweet something shortly to let us know how he’s involved. Stay tuned.
For an overview of the consequences of the Belo Monte Dam project, check out this 10-minute video from Amazon Watch: