Reasons Why Large Dams Have to Go Now; 5 Ways to Help Make That Happen

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Much of today's environmental conversation revolves around personal choices (perhaps an offshoot of An Inconvenient Truth.) However, while every change we make--e.g. shorter showers--is a tiny step, we can't lose sight of the big picture. For example: dams. More than 45,000 large dams (45 feet or higher) were built in the 20th century and these structures are a serious green issue that impacts all life on earth. How serious?

"I've written books and done activism, but it is neither a lack of words nor activism that is killing salmon here in the Northwest. It's the dams. Anyone who knows anything about salmon knows the dams must go," says Derrick Jensen. "Anyone who knows anything about politics knows the dams will stay. Scientists study, politicians and business people lie and delay, bureaucrats hold sham public meetings, activists write letters and press releases, and still the salmon die."

Dams are expensive, destructive, and ineffective. In California alone, dams have resulted in the loss of 90% of that state's river environment and 95% of the salmon and steelhead habitat--all at a cost fifty times higher than more efficient solutions.

FEMA may tell us, "Dams provide a range of economic, environmental, and social benefits, including recreation, flood control, water supply, hydroelectric power, waste management, river navigation, and wildlife habitat." But Jacques Leslie, author of Deep Water: The Epic Struggle over Dams, Displaced People, and the Environment, explains: "The world's dams have shifted so much weight that geophysicists believe they have slightly altered the speed of the earth's rotation, the tilt of its axis, and the shape of its gravitational field."

Yeah, it's that serious--and there's more. We've already touched on the threatened salmon, the water loss, and the earth's impacted gravitational field, now read on for the rest.

5 Reasons Why Large Dams Have to Go Now: