Brazil has major plans to get the Jirau hydroelectric dam completed by 2015. It will span five miles across the Madeira River and contain more giant turbines than any other dam in the world. According to the article, the dam will hold as much concrete as 47 towers the size of the Empire State Building. There are the power lines, draped along 1,400 miles of forests and fields to carry electricity from here in the center of South America to Brazil’s urban nerve center, Sao Paulo. The article states that this dam will only produce 5% of what energy planners need in the next ten years.
Brazil’s goal from building this hydroelectric dam is to become a modern and efficient world-class economy with an ample supply of energy for office towers, assembly lines, refineries and iron works. Although this is good for a growing economy, the article i read seems to show some skepticism about this huge dam because the dam will “Inundate at least 2,500 square miles of forests and fields — an area larger than the state of Delaware.”
One woman, Telma Santos Pinto said she had to leave her home of 36 years because of the assembly of this dam and only received $18,000 compensation which was very, very low. This was the case for many others, as well.
I think this situation involving the new dam and the older residents of Brazil being basically forced out of their homes is relevant to our conversation in class about most of the emperors we have talked about in class coming in and taking over economic situations without consulting with the people of the land they just took over. I think Telma Pinto would have been a little more appreciative of having modern power and electric if she had a say in what was going on and got a little more compensation for being forced to leave her house of 36 years.