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Sigourney Weaver narrates new Google Earth video
Sigourney Weaver is lending her activist's voice to a new Google Earth video on Brazil's controversial Belo Monte Dam, sans unusually tall blue people.
Posted August 31, 2010
Amazon Watch and International Rivers have teamed up to create a 10-minute Google Earth 3-D video tour, narrated by actress Sigourney Weaver.

With technical assistance from Google Earth Outreach in support of Brazil's Xingu River Forever Alive Movement, the video can be viewed or downloaded at

Aptly titled "Defending the Rivers of the Amazon," the tour allows viewers to learn about the impacts of the massive Belo Monte Dam on the Amazon's Xingu River and suggests alternatives.

If built, the Belo Monte Dam would be the third-largest hydroelectric dam in the world. The video explains that dam would divert the flow of the Xingu River, an important tributary of the Amazon River, in order to produce electricity for industrial mining operations in the region. The dam's reservoirs would flood 668 square kilometers and displace more than 20,000 people. The video also illustrates the impact that diverting the river along a 100-km stretch will have on the two indigenous tribes who have lived there for generations. It also animates the flooding associated with the dam, impacts on the region's biodiversity, and maps over 60 dams planned for the Brazilian Amazon over the next two decades.

Reportedly, the original concept for the Google Earth interactive video tour emerged when Avatar director James Cameron and his wife Suzy Amis Cameron, along with Avatar alumni Sigourney Weaver and Joel David Moore (pictured with former Brazilian senator and current Green Party presidential candidate, Marina Silva) traveled to the Xingu River in April, accompanied by Amazon Watch and the Brazilian environmental organization Instituto Socioambiental (ISA).

Photo courtesy of Atossa Soltani / Amazon Watch
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