Blogs

Patagonian Myths: Plan Andinia

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This “plan” has become just one more of the already hundreds of Patagonian myths. Never the less, inventing stories about little known mysterious places will always bear fruit, and there will be many dreamers and innocents who will buy them. Apparently, fantasy is more entertaining than fact. Some years ago there were famous Patagonian myths about dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures that made it to the front pages of the Argentinean press. This mythology has even been used for political ends, such as the conveniently publicized inaugurations of the “Austral Highway” at some concrete bridge, so that further to the north people come in summer to visit Aisén expecting to find a paved motorway. Certainly, in recent decades, myths have been added and disseminated as a means of marketing by the promoters of some megaproject or other.
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¡No Pasaran!

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Todavía no me repongo del asombro que me provocó leer la primera entrevista que le realizó El Mercurio al flamante embajador de la hermana República de Chile en la Argentina, Adolfo Zaldívar, donde declara: "Si se hacen las hidroeléctricas en Aysén, sería factible que la línea transmisora venga por Argentina." De esta forma Zaldívar confiesa un plan que estarían urdiendo los gobiernos de ambos países para encontrarle una salida a la confrontación que mantiene en vilo a toda la Patagonia: el intento de construir entre 5 y 19 mega represas hidroeléctricas desde Aysén hasta el Río Puelo.
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Magallanes Under Attack: the Salmon Farming Invasion of the Ultima Esperanza Province

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According to the registry of the Sub-Secretariat for Fishing (SUBPESCA), in September 2009, nearly 1000 applications for concessions for a “portion of water and depth” were presented in the Ultima Esperanza Province, whose capital is Puerto Natales in the Magallanes Region. 
 
This is the probable last try by the salmon industry to reach the production levels that they once registered in the Lakes and Aysen regions of southern Chile. Its now impossible to recover their prior production levels in these regions alone due to the environmental degradation that they themselves caused to the aquatic environment.  
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Myths and the Electric Mafia

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One of the aspirations of residents of the Aisen Region is low-cost energy. Lately, Aisen residents are also demanding better quality energy.
 
This issue has been exploited, like so many others, by practically all of the political candidates. But afterward, unfortunately, they remain mere promises. It is also how began the myth how the myth that Aisen has the most expensive energy in Chile.
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La nevazon y el viejito pascuero troyano

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Tras el casi terremoto blanco (“chubasco de nieve” según el pronóstico de meteochile) que nos ha afectado en la región y tras todo lo que ha pasado, no puedo dejar de hacer algunas comparaciones con lo ocurrido con el terremoto del 27 de febrero en las regiones del centro sur. Si bien los daños y consecuencias son incomparables, nos encontramos en ambos casos con algunas similitudes, especialmente en lo que respecta a la vulnerabilidad y la improvisación con que se actúa.
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La pesca artesanal en Chile: el fin de una cultura

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La Pesca Artesanal es una Cultura, el producto neto de la relación social entre el Hombre y la Naturaleza que le rodea y que le sustenta, a decir de Fernando Mires, cientista social chileno radicado en Alemania. Una Cultura de producción orgánica, que no usa antibióticos, pesticidas, colorantes, pinturas antifouling, balsas jaulas de cobre, hormonas de crecimiento, modificaciones genéticas… ni una red de influencias en los Poderes del Estado ni en la prensa oficial.
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Interview: Chile President Piñera Speaks to Patagon Journal About Conservation, Dams and Patagonia

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The center-right government of new Chilean President Sebastián Piñera is nearing its first major environmental decision: whether to approve HidroAysén, a controversial US$ 7 billion project to build five hydroelectric dams on two rivers in Chilean Patagonia.
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Big Hydro Falls Behind

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The big hydro industry always used to consider the "new renewables" as Mickey Mouse technologies that could never match the billions of kilowatt hours humming through the lines linked up to the world's megadams.
 
But times have changed. Big Hydro is learning that lots of small projects can add up to a lot more juice than a small number of very big ones.
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In Memoriam: Fernando Siebald

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I met him in 2006, when I worked for the Regional Council for Small Fisherman in the Lakes Region and we had just started a decisive fight against the salmon industry. Fernando Siebald was one of the lawyers for the Pumalin Foundation, and there, whenever he could, he would give us some legal advice to help us become more efficient in the fight that had just begun. 
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