An engineering project restructures the landscape
Ross is impressed by an enormous artificial irrigation system surrounding the Rio Negro, because it shows that man can significantly alter the natural landscape in a way that alters humanity in return.
During the interwar period, a popular strain of utopian science fiction imagined large-scale engineering projects powerful enough to restructure entire landscapes. In Argentina, Ross finds a living example of such an engineering project in the artificial irrigation system created near the Rio Negro. Agriculture has been industrialized, freed from nature’s caprice. The effect that this project has “is greater than that of any other technical creation, because here, man has intervened in the course of nature”. With the irrigation of the valley, the Argentinians have changed the local climate, and, as a result, the character of the people who are raised in this region.
Colin Ross. Das Land der Kanäle. In: Südamerika. Die aufsteigende Welt. 1. Aufl. Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus; 1922: 105-111.