In this innovative book, Ashley Carse traces the water that flows into and out from the Panama Canal to explain how global shipping is entangled with Panama’s cultural and physical landscapes. By following container ships as they travel downstream along maritime routes and tracing rivers upstream across the populated watershed that feeds the canal, he explores the politics of environmental management around a waterway that links faraway ports and markets to nearby farms, forests, cities, and rural communities.
Carse draws on a wide range of ethnographic and archival material to show the social and ecological implications of transportation across Panama. The Canal moves ships over an aquatic staircase of locks that demand an enormous amount of fresh water from the surrounding region. Each passing ship drains 52 million gallons out to sea—a volume comparable to the daily water use of half a million Panamanians.
Infrastructures like the Panama Canal, Carse argues, do not simply conquer nature; they rework ecologies in ways that serve specific political and economic priorities. Interweaving histories that range from the depopulation of the U.S. Canal Zone a century ago to road construction conflicts and water hyacinth invasions in canal waters, the book illuminates the human and nonhuman actors that have come together at the margins of the famous trade route. 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal. calls us to consider how infrastructures are materially embedded in place, producing environments with winners and losers.
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DeBenedetti, An American Ordeal, p. 177. The specific FBI instructions noted here were issued in July 1968 but may be assumed to apply to earlier operations. See “Operation MHCHAOS,” ; and U.S. Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities (Church Committee), Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, April 26, 1976), . The latter study examined efforts of the FBI, CIA, NSA, and other security agencies to “disrupt and discredit the activities of groups and individuals deemed a threat to the social order” (p. 1).
The Pentagon Papers, Vol. IV. C. 11. “The United States Re-Emphasizes Pacification – 1965 to Present, An Examination of a Major Trend in our Effort.” This summary report focused almost exclusively on organization and agency relationships to the exclusion of program results, noting only that Washington’s demands exceeded realistic possibilities.
Critics of the war might offer a different set of goals: (1) beyond thanking veterans, to discuss whether the war itself was necessary or honorable; (2) in regard to the Armed Forces, to examine the debilitating effects of U.S. aerial assaults, ground operations, and counterinsurgency doctrine, especially on civilians; (3) on the home front, to recognize the contributions of those who opposed the war as patriotic and honorable; (4) with respect to science and technology, to examine the environmental and human devastation wrought by high-tech weaponry and poisons such as Agent Orange, and to reassess the slavish dependence on statistical benchmarks that obscured the inhumanity of the war; and (5) to recognize that America’s most important allies did not support the war and that the United Nations and other nations strongly advised against it. Such goals would likely produce sobering lessons that would strengthen efforts to prevent future wars.
Morning: Our first field trip in the Panama Canal area will begin with a bus ride and a brief stop at Lake Alajuela/Madden Dam. While there, we'll enjoy insights from our Group Leader on the impact of Lake Alajuela/Madden Dam on the lives of people in the region and in the daily operation of the Panama Canal. Lake Alajuela came into existence in 1924 with the construction of Madden Dam. In addition to helping maintain water levels in Lake Gatun, Madden's reservoir is also the primary supply of drinking water along the Canal. During a brief visit to the starting point of the Las Cruces Trail, we'll learn the historical connection between the trail and the California Gold Rush. Then, we will make a couple of stops to observe and discuss some of the work that was recently done to expand the Canal. The project cost an estimated $5.25 billion to add a third lane with larger locks, thus making it possible for bigger container and cargo ships to make use of the shortcut.
Afternoon: After returning to the hotel, the remainder of the afternoon is free. You might like to explore some of Panama City's other highlights on your own such as the Biomuseo with its fantastic design by Frank Gehry and galleries that illustrate the origins of the Panamanian isthmus and its impact on biodiversity. One of our buses will drop off participants at the museum, along with a group leader, before returning to the hotel with the rest of the group. The museum entrance fee, taxi fare to return to the hotel and any other expenses incurred during this activity are not included in your program cost. The museum is within walking distance from our hotel (about 1.5 miles) if you wish to forego taking a taxi to the hotel. We'll regroup at the hotel for a 5:00 p.m. presentation on the Panama Canal past, present, and future.
Afternoon: We'll stop at the French Cemetery Monument and review the role of immigrant workers in making the Panama Canal a reality. Then, driving to the Miraflores Locks Visitor Center, we'll view the museum's interactive displays and see the locks at work.
The Pedro Miguel locks lower ships 9.4 metres to a lake which then takes you to the Miraflores Locks which lower ships 16 metres to sea level at the canals Pacific terminus in the bay of Panama.
Morning: During our full day transit through the Panama Canal, we’ll be accompanied by a Canal expert who will enhance our experience with historical insights and detailed explanations of the transit process. Once the Panama Canal Commission Pilot, who will guide our vessel throughout the transit, comes on board we will be ready to start our Canal adventure. We will follow our companion vessel for the transit of the Miraflores locks (by Canal standards, we are a small vessel, so we rarely transit the locks alone). The transit will take us through Miraflores Lake, Pedro Miguel Locks, Gailard Cut, Gamboa, and Gatun Lake. We will exit the canal at the Atlantic Ocean and dock at Cristobal. Throughout the transit there are numerous opportunities to see dolphins, birds, monkeys and crocodiles.
It was realized that the solution to all the problems encountered, was that the construction of a high-level lock canal would reduce an enormous volume of excavation and prevent the landslides.
Morning: We'll depart by bus on a field trip to the New Locks Visitor Center to learn about the expansion of the Canal, including a video on the expansion project and construction of the new locks in addition to pictures of various stages. Then we'll accompany our Group Leader on a slow-paced walk on the Center's nature trails for a chance to spot resident wildlife before ending at a lookout point to view the new Panama Canal locks.