Lori Pottinger

Lori Pottinger's picture
Connect the Drops
Personal bio:
Lori worked with International Rivers' Communications and Africa Programs.
Date: Friday, May 7, 2010 - 14:00
Kihansi Spray ToadWhat will the world be like for your grandchildren – and their grandchildren – if tigers disappear from the planet? Or sharks? What will their planet be like if Nectophrynoides asperginis goes the way of the dodo?That last was a trick question; N. asperginis - the Kihansi Spray Toad - is already extinct in the wild. Your kids can visit it in the Bronx Zoo.       The Kihansi Spray Toad was a victim of a large dam in East Africa. It joined a sadly long list of species that couldn't survive the huge hydrological changes to their riverine habitat brought by big dams. The list of the dammed includes the famed river dolphins of the Yangtze, a victim of Three Gorges Dam - the first human-caused extinction of a dolphin species.  Most dam-threatened species are less charismatic than the Baiji dolphin, but no less important in the planetary picture.
Date: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 - 09:13
In a reversal of the animated movie Madagascar, all of the world's Kihansi spray toads suddenly found themselves living in the Bronx Zoo, far from their home at the base of a waterfall in Tanzania. The tiny toads were no match for a dam that destroyed not only their life in the wild, but a beautiful waterfall too. "Maybe the story will have a happy ending," The New York Times wistfully mused. The UN has declared 2010 the Year of Biodiversity as a wake up call on the state of the planet's endangered plants and animals. "The latest data from scientists indicates to us that the loss of species is occurring at anywhere between 100-1000 times faster than has traditionally been the case," says Achim Steiner, head of UNEP.
Date: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 - 10:24
A short documentary by the Dutch group BothEnds offers a clear, concise "you are there" view of problems being caused by the Bujagali Dam, now being built on the Nile River in Uganda. This well-done piece of activist filmmaking shows the viewer firsthand what is at stake in this controversial project. You'll see what the dam will flood, visit a village forced to move for the project, hear from Ugandans who hope their businesses can afford the project's costly electricity, and see the beautiful Bujagali Falls themselves – soon to be submerged by the dam. People on both sides of the debate give thoughtful commentary on key issues – all against the backdrop of the mighty Nile.
Date: Thursday, January 21, 2010 - 12:49
China has pulled the 2D version of the blockbuster hit, Avatar, from the big screen in what is being billed as cinematic protectionism -- reportedly, to keep its theaters focused on showing a new state-sponsored biopic about Confucius. But many believe there is another side to the story.
Date: Thursday, November 12, 2009 - 13:51
It’s been a bad week for dams – and a very good one for the world’s rivers. In Queensland, Australia, river protectors thrilled to the news today that their long fight to Save the Mary River from the ravages of a large dam is, finally, over. The nation’s Environment Minister announced the rejection of the proposed Traveston Dam due to its ''unacceptable impacts on matters of national environment significance.''
Date: Monday, October 26, 2009 - 10:54
Cahora Bassa power lines bypass Zambezi villagersLori PottingerThe world is greening its electricity supply at a fast (if not fast enough) pace. Germany is slapping solar on every building it can, Spain is becoming a world leader in big concentrating solar plants, and the US stimulus package includes a plateload of subsidies for renewables. At the same time, the price of solar technologies have fallen 35% since last year, and new breakthroughs in storing energy from the sun and wind appear to be on the cusp.
Date: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - 17:30
More evidence that dams really are a dirty business Muddy waters of the Tekeze River, EthiopiaThe world could see an epidemic of “Hurricane Katrina” destruction from storms if dam builders persist in bottling up more rivers. Most of the world’s major river deltas are sinking, thanks in large part to dams withholding land-building sediments, a new scientific study reveals. The authors estimate that the subsidence is increasing flood risk for half a billion people. Hundreds of scientists from dozens of federal labs and universities around the US were involved in the study, which looked at 33 major deltas (24 of which were found to be sinking).
Date: Monday, August 3, 2009 - 11:34
Kenyans have more freedom to protest Gibe 3 Dam than Ethiopians. (Photo courtesy Friends of Lake Turkana)We recently received the good news that the African Development Bank’s independent investigative unit (known as the CRMU) registered our request to investigate problems on the Gibe 3 Dam in Ethiopia. Investigations by the CRMU and the similar World Bank Inspection Panel are just about the only way that project-affected people can get recourse for problems caused by Bank-supported big dams and other infrastructure projects. Although we at International Rivers are not directly affected, our request was meant to supplement a claim on the project made by people who will be affected in downstream Kenya by the huge dam. Ethiopian villagers were, we knew, in no position to make a claim against the government-led project.
Date: Friday, April 3, 2009 - 14:03
With all the controversy over Ethiopia’s Gibe 3 Dam – which has stirred up negative coverage from the BBC to the East African Standard – it’s easy to forget that a greener energy future for Ethiopia is possible, and that some positive steps are being taken to get there.Ethiopia is rich in clean renewable resources – some of the best on the continent. Developing its abundance of geothermal, wind and solar reserves could make it a green-energy leader among African nations, rather than the dam-nation it is fast becoming.
Date: Wednesday, February 4, 2009 - 11:08
Desertification of African soilAfrica is the least electrified place in the world, with just a fraction of its citizens benefiting from the miracle of electricity. Solving this huge problem is made more difficult by widespread poverty, poor governance, and because a large majority of Africa's people live far from the grid, which greatly adds to the cost of bringing electricity to them.