I used an ocean of pixels in attacking Lee Myoung Bak’s plan for a canal from Incheon up the Han River to Gangwondo and across to the Nakdong River (which also starts in Gangwon Province) and south to Busan. The whole canal idea was ridiculous; the ocean offers a open water route between Incheon or Seoul and Busan and there are never traffic jams or delays for locks to fill and empty. See here and here if you are interested.
A new canal is in the news, and although not in Korea, it might be similarly redundant. Nicaragua may soon get a canal to compete with Panama’s.
The environmental impacts could be considerable.
A final route for the canal has not yet been announced, but the proposed routes pass through Lake Nicaragua, which covers about six times the area of Los Angeles and is Central America’s largest lake.
The lake is a major source of drinking water and irrigation, and home to rare freshwater sharks and other fish of commercial and scientific value, Huete-Pérez and Meyer say. The forest around it is home to howler monkeys, tapirs, jaguars, and countless tropical birds–not to mention several groups of indigenous people (some of whom have challenged the project in court, so far to no avail).
I’m a citizen of the world and benefit from international commerce. I know nothing about the environmental impact of either Central American canal but I know I benefit from the one that currently exists. It will be interesting to see what arguments are made against the proposed new canal and how the current one succeeds or fails on those aspects.