In terms of the Three Gorges, I think that it was almost equally positive and negative. Out of the three categories, social, economic, and environmental, the disadvantages outweighed the advantages.
Social disadvantages: the Three Gorges caused flooding in villages and is not aesthetically pleasing so the villagers don’t like it. The Three Gorges caused cracks in village buildings and houses, making villagers afraid for their safety and their family member’s safety. The cracks make it very hard to keep warm at night in the winter because it allows the cold to seep in. Many homes have been lost because the Three Gorges dam caused the water level to rise meaning that some houses went under water.
So although the Three Gorges provides water to a 12th of the world’s people, the people living nearby have to suffer the consequences. I think that the wellbeing of the people who live near the dam are a lot more important because their lives are the ones that are being negatively affected, and there are a lot more ways to provide energy.
Environmental disadvantages: There are many environmental impacts such as, rubbish floating into the river, water level rising, and natural disasters becoming more severe. This has caused annual fluctuations – an increase and decrease in water which affects the soil, making it unstable. Landslides can happen due to this, and collapse into the river, causing water to rise even higher, therefore putting more houses under the water. China’s carbon emissions were also high due to this, but they are currently trying to reduce it. Also another negative effect, which I think is really upsetting, is that the Yangtzee river dolphin is extinct. With the help of the Three Gorges dam.
There are so many negative environmental impacts which completely outweigh the one advantage which is that it’s renewable. The Earth gave them the Yangtzee river in the first place, why are they destroying it in return?
Economic disadvantages: The government needs to pay for the repairs of the cracks in townspeople’s homes since they themselves can’t afford it. The costs for making the dam were very high, around 22.5 billion US dollars. In the winter there isn’t much electricity, and a few more disadvantages.
The economic advantages outweigh the disadvantages but I think that there are many other ways that electricity could be created that is more environmentally friendly and is not so taxing on the townspeople.
Overall, I think that all the time and money going into making the Three Gorges dam was a bit of a waste because they could have put all that effort into something that doesn’t effect the environment and the townspeople as negatively.