Few creations of big technology capture the imagination like giant dams. Perhaps it is humankind’s long suffering at the mercy of flood and drought that makes the ideal of forcing the waters to do our bidding so fascination. But to be fascinated is also, sometimes, to be blind. Several giant dam projects threaten to do more harm than good.

  The lesson from dams is that big is not always beautiful. It doesn´t help that building a big, powerful dam has become a symbol of achievement for nations and people striving to assert themselves. Egypt´s leadership in the Arab world was cemented by the Aswan High Dam. Turkey´s bid for First World status includes the giant Ataturk Dam.

  But big dams tend not to work as intended. The Aswan Dam, for example stopped the Nile flooding but deprived Egypt of the fertile silt that floods left - all in return for a giant reservoir of disease which is now so full of silt that it barely generates electricity.

  And yet, the myth of controlling the waters persists. This week, in the heart of civilized Europe, Slovaks and Hungarians stopped just short of sending in the troops in their contention over a dam on the Danube. The huge complex will probably have all the usual problems of big dams. But Slovakia is bidding for independence from the Czechs, and now needs a dam to prove itself.

  Meanwhile, in India, the World Bank has given the go ahead to the even more wrong headed Narmada Dam. And the bank has done this even though its advisors say the dam will cause hardship for the powerless and environmental destruction. The benefits are for the powerful, but they are far from guaranteed

  Proper, scientific study of the impacts of dams and of the cost and benefits of controlling water can help to resolve these conflicts. Hydroelectric power and flood control and irrigation are possible without building monster dams. But when you are dealing with myths, it is hard to be either proper, or scientific. It is time that the world learned the lessons of Aswan. You don’t need a dam to be saved.









  assert vt. 主张, 坚称, 断言

  例句:You must assert yourself or they will continue to bully you. 你必须维护自己的权利,否则他们还会欺负你。

  词组:assert oneself 坚持自己的权利; 表现自己的权威

  同义词:affirm declare insist on pronounce state

  Advisor n. 顾问, 劝告者, 指导教师

  例句:His amiability condemns him to being a constant advisor to other people's troubles.他那和蔼可亲的性格使他成为经常为他人排忧解难的开导者。

  bidding n. 命令, 邀请, 出价

  例句:He was bidding他在设法争取大众的支持。 for popular support.

  词组:at one's bidding/at sb.'s bidding 依嘱,遵命do one's bidding/do sb.'s bidding 照……的命令做, 照……的话办

  barely ad. 几乎不

  例句:He has barely enough money to live on. 他的钱仅够勉强维持生计。

  词组:barely enough勉强够be barely of age刚成年a barely furnished room陈设简陋的房间

  同义词:hardly just scarcely

  capture n. 抓取, 战利品, 捕获之物vt. 抓取, 获得, 迷住

  例句:They would offer a bounty of $100,000 for the capture of the murderer. 他们愿出十万元赏金捉拿凶手。

  同义词:apprehend arrest imprison seize


  civilized a. 文明的, 有礼的

  例句:His new theory has caused a sensation throughout the civilized world. 他的新理论轰动了整个文明世界。

  反义词:barbarous; uncivilized; wild

  dam n. 水坝, 障碍vt. 控制, 筑坝vi. 控制, 筑坝

  例句:The mouth of the river is dammed and a freshwater lake created behind the dam.河口筑起了拦河坝,坝后便形成了淡水湖。

  词组:devil's dam 鬼婆娘(骂妇女的话)

  deprived a. 穷困的, 丧失了受良好教育权利的, 贫穷的

  例句:These misfortunes almost deprived him of his reason. 这些不幸的事情几乎使他失去理智。

  词组:deprived children失学的孩子们

  drought n. 干旱, 缺乏

  例句:Soon afterward drought不久之后又发生了干早。 set in.


  environmental a. 周围的, 环境的

  派生:environment n. 周围环境. environmentalist n. 环境保护者

  例句:Living creatures must be adaptable to environmental change. 生物必须能适应环境的变化。

  词组:an environmental factor环境的因素

  fascination n. 令人着迷的事物, 入迷, 魅力

  例句:Old churches have a certain strange fascination for me. 旧教堂对我具有某种奇特的魅力。

  guarantee n. 担保, 抵押品, 保证书vt. 保证, 担保

  例句:Blue skies are not always a guarantee of fine weather. 蔚兰的天空并不永远保证晴朗的天气。

  词组:stand guarantee for ... 替……担任保证人

  同义词:assure back certify endorse pledge promise secure sponsor stand for swear underwrite warrant


  hydroelectric a. 水力电气的

  词组:a hydroelectric power station水力发电站

  Imagination n. 想像, 听觉, 想像力

  例句:Dragons are creatures of Chinese fancy. 龙是中国人幻想出来的动物。

  词组:beyond(all) imagination (完全)出乎意料地draw on (one's) imagination 杜撰, 编造

  irrigation n. 灌溉, 冲洗

  例句:Public irrigation is the heart of cotton farming. 公共水利设施是棉花生产的命脉。

  词组:an irrigation channel (canal) 灌溉渠bring the farmland under irrigation使农田水利化

  myth n. 神话, 虚构的事, 虚构的人

  例句:He was a myth that had been created out of desperation and poverty and despair. 他是从绝境、贫困和失望中创造出来的一个神话般的人物。

  meanwhile n. 其时, 其间ad. 同时, 于此时

  例句:Meanwhile, two other actors had carried two large food baskets to a shady spot under some trees. 与此同时,另外两位演员把两个盛着食物的大篮子拿到树下荫凉的地方。

  symbol n. 符号, 象征, 代号, 信条

  例句:The private car was still a cherished status symbol. 私人小汽车仍然是一种地位高贵的标志。

  词组:a chemical symbol化学符号

  status n. 状态, 情形, 地位, 要人身份

  例子:We celebrate our regained status as a sovereign and independent nation. 我们为重新取得了主权和独立国家的地位而欢欣鼓舞。

  词组:the status of affairs事态, 形势status nascendi (nascens) 初生态class status阶级成分a status seeker想往上爬的人

  同义词:class condition division grade position rank standing state station

  silt n. 淤泥vt. 使淤塞vi. 淤塞

  例句:The cadres were digging up river silt干部同社员们一起在挖河泥。 with the commune members.

  词组:silt content/ the total volume of silt淤泥含量

  scientific a. 科学的, 系统的, 符合科学规律的

  例句:Scientific科学技术统计数字为2000年北京市科技资源清查数字。 statistical figures are from Beijing scientific resources check 2000.

  词组:scientific experiment科学实验scientific point of view科学观点


  troop n. 军队, 装甲部队, 骑兵队, 部队vi. 群集, 结队, 成群而行

  例句:There were troops of friends to see him off. 有很多友人为他送行。

  词组:get one's troop 升任骑兵连长household troops 王室禁卫军

  同义词:band body bunch company crew crowd gang group mob party unit






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