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The Enforcement of the Self-Interests of Nature Transformers

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The Spiritual Dimension of Business Ethics and Sustainability Management

Abstract

This paper describes morally questionable practices of designers and builders of water megaprojects to gain political and financial supports for their ambitious plans. History of the Gabčǭkovo -Nagymaros hydroelectric power plants on the Danube, the Grand Canal of Alsace on the Rhine and many other megaprojects show numerous examples of manipulation, like overriding reasonable engineering limits; underestimating the project costs; cheating the common weal; giving false promises of benefits; promising success against rivals to politicians,; making fit the argumentation to the ruling political ideology; suppressing and censoring critics. In many cases, such practices lead to success which brings negative economic, environmental and social impacts of the megaprojects. The Grand Canal of Alsace (abandoned at half), and the Gabčíkovo -Nagymaros project (stopped the construction of the Nagymaros dam and restored the free-flowing river) are rare exceptions.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Emphasis in the original.

  2. 2.

    The group has member and honorary members who are also members of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. http://realzoldek.hu/external.htm. Last accessed October 6, 2013.

  3. 3.

    http://realzoldek.hu. Last accessed December 22, 2013. The declaration in German: “Die Rechte ist die erste parlamentarische Partei, deren Meinung über unsere Wasserwirtschaft auf den seit einem Jahrhundert bestehenden ungarischen Traditionen und den in der Welt vorherrschenden Tendenzen beruht”.

  4. 4.

    http://www.realzoldek.hu/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=3019. Last accessed December 22, 2013.

  5. 5.

    The phrase apparently derives “from the frenzy of the hungry slaves on Southern plantations when their owners marked an occasion by rolling out a barrel of salted pork” (McCully 2001).

  6. 6.

    This information comes from top secret records about a meeting held on 18 April 1953 to discuss the Danube Power Plant in the office of the then deputy Prime Minister Ernӧ Gerӧ (published in 1985 in Beszélő, a samizdat journal).

  7. 7.

    It must be suspected that this simply derives from the use of the decimal notation in continental Europe.

  8. 8.

    Not to speak about the amount and dynamics of the water flow required by wetland ecosystems of a wide floodplain, interwoven with numerous smaller and larger river branches.

  9. 9.

    This involves how the power plant meets changes in demand for electricity (river water is used for energy generation when demand is high and is collected in a reservoir during non-peak periods). This method of operating may have significant impacts on the river ecosystem.

  10. 10.

    Further research may clarify the details of this story.

  11. 11.

    A facsimile of the typed text with hand-written ’editions’ was published in a book about the decision of the International Court of Justice on Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros (Vargha 1997).

  12. 12.

    Footnote in the original text: “whole” means not less than 95 % (I.L.M. 1993).

  13. 13.

    This agreement relates to questions submitted to the Court for judgment by Hungary and Slovakia.

  14. 14.

    Comenius was a teacher, educator and writer in the XVI. Century. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Amos_Comenius.

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Correspondence to János Vargha .

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Vargha, J. (2015). The Enforcement of the Self-Interests of Nature Transformers. In: Zsolnai, L. (eds) The Spiritual Dimension of Business Ethics and Sustainability Management. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-11677-8_12

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