Saturday, 16 March 2013

Fracking, Bonobos, and the Three Gorges Dam Region in China

My recent reading helped me learn about fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, a method for getting oil out of deep horizontal seams. It had exploded in use in North Dakota since 2006. It has provided huge economic benefits for the area and also put massive pressure on the infrastructure and employment market. It is not sustainable and the boom is due to end within a generation.


Bonobos are a species of ape who are separated from chimpanzees and gorillas by the Congo River. They have a distinctly matriarchal society and are much more interdependent than other apes. Bonobos don't have "alpha males", instead mothers and sons remain close and females share power.

"Return to River Town" was an article I read about a Western man who taught English in Fuling, China, on the Yangtze River in 1996. He returned there to visit since the town was altered by the Three Gorges Dam, 450 km downstream. The dam's construction raised the water level by 120 m and displaced the city's residents (and had many other impacts). He described an underwater museum where visitors can see a historical carving which is now submerged under 40 m of water.

No comments: