Not My Favorite Martian

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My Favorite MartianJust a final volley before I leave on three months of sabbatical.

First, a couple of Quotable Quotes – we´ve often wondered what planet Jerson Kelman, head of Brazil´s electricity regulatory agency comes from, and perhaps he´s now given us a clue. On October 1, Kelman told a meeting of electric sector executives that "there is an ideological, nearly religious objection to hydroelectric dams in Brazil", and that "if a Martian landed in Brazil, he would not understand why Brazilians are ignoring their great hydroelectric potential". Only an alien would not know that nearly all (85%) of Brazil´s electricity comes from dams, and that in the future, if his electric sector colleagues have their way, nearly all the rivers of Amazonia will be dedicated to their genuine vocation – turning hydroelectric turbines.

But, the winner for most enlightened contribution to the debate about Brazil´s energy future goes to the president of Brazil´s nuclear power agency, Othon Luiz Pinheiro da Silva, who on Sept. 17, categorized opponents of the plan announced by Brazil´s Mines and Energy minister to build 50 nukes in the next 50 years as "people with the reasoning ability of a pigmy". I´m sure this is what the World Bank would term a sign of a healthy, democratic, public policy debate.

And, a nod to what is probably the most outspoken blog at the moment on dambuilding in Brazil by Telma Monteiro, in Portuguese, who posts images in her most recent blog of the beginning of work on Santo Antonio Dam on the Madeira River.

Together, we can save the rivers of Amazonia! See you in 2009!