Large Dams In India Produce Methane Gas: Contribute To Global Warming, True Or False?

global warming threat which is supposed to destroy the earth eight years from now if preventive measures are not taken, this invention" by the International River Network is bound to create even greater hype in days to come.
By: Dipayan Mazumdar and Associates
 
 
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* GLOBAL WARMING
* Methane
* Dam
* Climate Change
* Ipcc
* Government

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* Environment

Location:
* New Delhi - Delhi - India

May 29, 2007 - PRLog -- After their total defeat in attempts to stop the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam across the Narmada and efforts at demonizing the Bhakra Nangal Project by seeking to "unravel" the "truth" behind its contribution to irrigation and power generation, India's self-appointed guardians against environmental degradation have hit upon a new gambit-condemning the dams as producer of the green house gas, methane.

With the hype created by some people about the global warming threat which is supposed to destroy the earth eight years from now if preventive measures are not taken, this invention" by the International River Network is bound to create even greater hype in days to come.

More particularly in India where the "network"s local unit, the South Asian Network of Dams, Rivers and the People (SANDAP) has publicized the reported finding that the dams in India contribute 27.86 per cent of the global effective emission of 33.5 tonnes. The finding has been organized, to be sure, by the Brazilian Government which has said that the dams in that country contribute 21.8 tonnes of methane every year

The report could be described as credible had not Mr. R.K. Pachauri of India, head of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC) been quoted by the Hindustan Times ( May 21,2007) as saying : "the study figures may be "speculative". He had added :"One needs to study the method of assessment before making any comment. Methane emission from hydro plants was not found to be substantial during the IPCC's assessment".

The newspaper also quoted Mr. Surya P. Sethi, principal adviser (energy), Planning Commission as saying that hydro plants emit methane but the contribution of Indian hydro plants to global methane generation should not be huge. The figures were not so when compared with the total methane generation in the world.

You would be wrong if you conclude from these two remarks by Mr. Pachauri and Mr. Sethi will stop the propaganda against large dams. Just recall how doggedly these elements had opposed the construction of the Tehri Dam earlier and the Sardar Sarovar Dam later. Recall how the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and even the World Bank at one time had set up the World Commission on Dams which would certainly have condemned the Sardar Sarovar project had the Gujarat Government not warned the "commissioners" of arrest if they would set foot on Gujarat soil.

And who were the "Commissioners" from India? First, Mr. L.C. Jain, a Gandhian, who was the High Commissioner of India in South Africa then and Ms Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan. Both were known opponents of the Narmada Dam. And yet one were to rely on their "objectivity" in assessing the benefits or otherwise of the Dam.

So one can now expect "people's" movement to be launched against on-coming Dams like the one across the Godavari in Andhra Pradesh, the Polavaram Dam, the hydel projects in Arunachal Pradesh (Kameng and Subansiri among others) and the Ajudhia Hill pump storage project in West Bengal. A whole lot of dams are to be constructed in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand – the Renuka, the Kissau and the Lakhwar Vyasi dams for augmenting drinking water supply for Delhi

Although not directly connected with the methane emission issue, one is reminded of certain environmental do-gooders describing the National Highway Development projects in these words "Highways are a means of centralized control, of fascism and dictatorship and are detrimental to human freedom and democracy'. Since ancient times, people could undertake pilgrimage on foot without any highways. So, where is the need for highways now? ("A brief rebuttal of Unraveling Bhakra", Indian Water Resources Society, May 2005).

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Tags:GLOBAL WARMING, Methane, Dam, Climate Change, Ipcc, Government
Industry:Environment
Location:New Delhi - Delhi - India



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