Bolivia and its Lithium: The Next Saudi Arabia? (via The COHA Blog)

Bolivia and Brazil seem to have this conundrum in common: both are on the verge of massive mineral wealth– Brazil with oil, Bolivia with Lithium–and both are still emerging democracies with spotty, if not weak governmental institutions. A book by Terry Lynn Karl of Stanford University called “The Paradox of Plenty” does a noble job of explaining why countries with ample mineral wealth paradoxically tend to become refuges for corruption and inequality, a la Nigeria, Venezuela, Angola, Russia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and...

Continue reading

61 Hydro-Electric Dams Threaten Amazon, Forests

I was surprised and delighted by Jornal Globo’s gutsy report (portuguese) on the 61 hydro electric plants planned from here until 2019, which will destroy 5300 square kilometers of forest– an area approximately four times the size of São Paulo, South America’s largest city. The hydro projects will require 7700 kilometers of transmission wires, and will therefore also require the construction of roads and settlements, a further threat to Brazil’s forests. The proposed hydro projects will generate 42 kilowatts of...

Continue reading