[109] On the road – burning down

‘They are burning down the forests,’ I think while watching the pristine greenery and karst mountains on the road from Vientiane to Vang Vieng.

Besides burning forests, there are a lot of construction works going on. China Power constructs hydro-electric plants and highways. The landscape is changing while I’m looking at it. Not because of moving on, but because of the burning and the construction works.

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Both aspects of the surroundings look meaningless to me at the moment, but they will present their selves in more extreme ways in the upcoming days and weeks.

Forest Fires

At one side, there are the forest fires. I was right, they were burning the forests. Even though I would have hoped for a short while that it happened by accident, that drought cause nature to naturally ignite. Yet, in Luang Prabang I will get to know the real cause. My longs will understand more than anything else what is going on.

Chinese Construction

At the other side are the Chinese construction works. Both the dams and the highways will from now on become a part of the scenery. My entire way up north of Laos will be determined by Chinese construction works, dams, highways, concrete. I’m afraid this is only the beginning, a short way to unveil the future of one of the countries with the most beautiful nature I’ve seen so far. I watch at the green forests, the karst mountains, the astonishing rivers, and I soon realise it is all about to change. Maybe even faster than we wished.

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Evolution, Devaluation

This is called evolution, industrialisation, progress. I’m not sure if that is what it is. I’m not sure if these kinds of things will bring prosperity, if they really will benefit the country and its inhabitants in the long term. In fact, I’m afraid it might not do any of these at all.

I know these countries became independent, yet I’m not sure if colonization is over yet. They are just taken over by other countries again. And again. This time they might not have bring in armies or replaced the government. Yet, they are bringing in their own companies and funding to make the current government do whatever they want them to do. It is all the same. History repeats and repeats. I’m not about to judge, I just see around and try to understand what is going on. And at the same time, I feel sorry, because we’ve seen this before, we know the majority of the people will not benefit, yet the few companies and politicians will.

Genuine Sustainable Energy

It does not mean there should not be construction projects, nor renewable energy, but once again I plee for distributed centres, in which the energy goes to and is controlled by the local community. It serves them, it belongs to them. Small-scale distributed renewable energy projects don’t harm the environment (planet), they are built by and for the local community (people), and they don’t affect local economies such as fishery and agriculture, while giving people access to reliable, accessible and affordable electricity (profit). That is the way to go.

A way I hope to see unveil itself in the (near) future …

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