Coincidental juxtapositions can be interesting.
Today I finished King Leopold's Ghost, a book about the Belgian king's ruthless exploitation of the people living in Congo (then Zaire, now Democratic Republic of Congo). The story is one of a colonial owner using force and cruelty to extract wealth (ivory, slaves, rubber) from vulnerable land and people. Rape and pillage was the norm, and the white colonials who raped, maimed and pillaged justified their acts by claiming that the natives were not human and the land was without owners. 10 million people died during Leopold's regime of terror (about 1880 to 1910). Unfortunately, that pattern was repeated in many colonies -- in the same period and even in recent years.
James Cameron's Avatar is a movie worth watching for its fabulous visual effects (and even the love story), but the plot echoes the colonial story: Earthlings invade another planet to get a valuable mineral ("unobtanium" is its cartoon name). Along the way, the natives are seen as beasts and Nature raped.
Of course, this is Hollywood and it includes a love story and happy ending. Formerly colonized people on this planet did not get the Holly-Happy ending. The Belgians established a pattern of corruption and lawlessness and a system for concentrating and abusing power that local "leaders" have adopted, with poor results for their "free" brothers and sisters.
Addendum: Here's a "Pandora" view on dams and rivers.
Bottom Line: People are much quicker to destroy what's not theirs and abuse people who are powerless. Stronger property rights and human rights are the key to the sustainable use of resources and progress in human development. I give the book and movie FIVE stars each.