If you are not watching Three Gorges Dam, and the situation unfolding along the Yangtze River where historic flooding is testing the limits of the world’s largest hydroelectric dam, you might want to. Central China has been hammered by non-stop heavy rains for the last two months. It is the worst flooding seen there in decades, and forecasts indicate much more is still to come. The greatest concern is Three Gorges Dam. It is presently buckling under the strain brought on by a massive flow of water from flooding, and problems at dams located at higher elevations upstream. There is increasing concern in the West about the possibility of a catastrophic failure at the dam. As the world found out in January when the COVID-19 pandemic really started gaining momentum in China, the Chinese government downplays events that are either its fault, or will cast China in a bad light, thus disrupting its overall economic and geopolitical wellbeing. At the moment, it appears Beijing is trying to downplay the gravity of the flooding, and the situation at the dam.
Should Three Gorges Dam fail, the results could be catastrophic not only for the People’s Republic of China, but for the entire world. It holds the potential to be a black swan event which is, briefly summarized, an unexpected event of large magnitude that comes as a surprise and brings about emphatic change upon society and the world, for better or worse. Right now, there is no point in explaining in detail the impact a failure of Three Gorges Dam would have on China and the world. As time goes on, and if the situation worsens, that will change.
For the moment, I advise everyone to monitor what is happening in central China, and research what some of the consequences of a Three Gorges failure or collapse would be for China, and the world. Because if the dam does go, it will impact all of us in one way or another.