>A project to dam the gorges is in progress now, it will (...) raise the water level a bit,

135 meters over the sea level. Quite a bit, yes.

Building huge reservoirs to generate electricity or to increase irrigation coverage or flooding control is a distincitve feature of states with strong governments. We little Frenchies had the Tignes "Barrage", which involved the drowning of a village and the relocation of its inhabitants. The Turks are still pretty much in it too, covering their southeastern lands (see Kurdistan - having no interest in experiencing DMan's flaming talents I won't even try to draw an analogy between Kurds and Tibetans), which led to the destruction of archeological treasures such as incredibly well conserved Roman cities (see Pompei). Let's mention the Aswan dam as well, which would have destroyed the magnificient Abu Simbel temple if some Europeans oranisations/government had not decided to dismantle it and rebuild it on a safe area.

The 3 gorges dam is the most ambitious project of this kind to date, and although its positive impact is unquestionable, by any standard it will probably be the most damaging. I won't even bother mentioning the archeological disaster (this zone has been a center of Chinese civilisation for several millenia). I'll simply state the most likely outcome for the inhabitants: something between 1 and 2 million people will be expelled and relocated, sometimes in disastrous conditions (uncultivable lands, unemployment-plagued cities) by corrupt bureaucrats who will then falsify reports and figures to please their superiors (which is quite an understandable behaviour given the, say, intense pressure they are under).

DMan, we like you, but your tendency to fall into the Politically incorrect trap ("Politically correct media say this and that, ergo I must always say the exact opposite in order to look clever and independant") sometimes gets a little bit unnerving.