Thursday, November 20, 2008

I hate the dog outside

So there is a guard dog that lives below me and lets just say that he does his job. Always barking, its very bothersome........Que lata...The problem is when it gets warmer outside and I have to leave my windows open. Man, I am never going to sleep!

Good week. So, since I moved into my place, there has always been a TV in the room, but I turned it on and it didnt work, and that was the end of it. But, 2 months later, I found out that all I needed to do was to plug the cable which was behind the bed for 40 channels of cable! Why didnt I think of that before! I am trying to watch TV very day and learn something..

Tuesday, I shot another protest, this one a lot smaller, but very interesting. It was about the potential building of Dams in the south of Chile. Here is the article for the paper with my photos:

Written by Benjamin Witte
Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Protestors want Patagonia to be dam free
Photo by Kyle Weaver

Several hundred demonstrators gathered outside of Endesa’s Santiago headquarters Wednesday evening to protest the Spanish-Italian electricity company’s plans to build a huge hydroelectric complex in Chilean Patagonia.

Accompanied by a musicians and a troupe of colorful costumed dancers, the demonstrators crowded around the building’s entrance carrying signs that read “Protect Patagonia” and “Let’s Get Chile’s Water Back.”

“I think there are different ways to produce energy and in this case, although it would be relatively clean energy, I don’t think flooding Patagonia is the best option,” Fernando, a natural resources engineering student, told the Patagonia Times.

Endesa, working in collaboration with Chilean energy company Colbún, plans to build five massive dams in far southern Chile’s Region XI: three along the Pascua River and two along the Baker. Together the dams – which have an estimated price tag of US$3.2 billion – would add some 2,750 MW of electricity to Chile’s strained central grid. Chile’s current overall generating capacity is approximately 13,000 MW.

The project is currently being evaluated by Chilean environmental authorities, which must approve the plan before construction can begin.

Dancers added a festive flare to Wendesday's protest outside of Endesa's Santiago office
Photo by Kyle Weaver

Backers say it will go a long way toward meeting the country’s growing appetite for electricity, estimated to increase by some 6 percent annually. Patagonia’s glacier-fed rivers, furthermore, represent clean and efficient energy sources, Endesa and Colbún insist. And, because the water is located right here in Chile, it is not – unlike imported oil and natural gas – subject to uncertain price and supply variations.

The project’s many opponents, on the other hand, say the dams will devastate the Baker and Pascua Rivers and open up Chilean Patagonia – considered one of the world’s last pristine wilderness areas – to further industrial exploitation. Of equal concern, they say, are plans by Canadian-owned Transelec to build a 2,300 kilometer power line, potentially the world’s longest, to transport the electricity from Region XI to energy hungry central Chile. The estimated US$1.6 billion transmission line, critics warn, would mean clear cutting countless acres of wilderness land and promises to leave a lasting scar across southern Chile’s unique landscape.

“Even though there are other ways to produce energy, (Endesa and Colbún) choose what’s cheapest for them and most harmful for us,” said Angelo, a Greenpeace volunteer. “There’s wind and solar energy. Also tidal and geothermic energy. In they end those options require a bit more investment, but it has to be done. In Spain they’re already doing it, because the laws require it. Here, companies do what they want.”

By Benjamin Witte ( patagoniatimes@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it )

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