I’ve been reading the opinions about tearing down existing dams that are actually producing power for our electric grid, apparently, because the salmon need to swim upstream. Now we get an article throwing global warming into the mix because gases are generated by the dam-formed lakes.

The global warming impact of the dam-formed lakes, when you consider the number of lakes made by nature, doesn’t represent a cogent factor to me. Should we drain all the lakes? It’s about as impressive as the Global Environmental Change study that promotes not having children because of the potential 9,441 metric tons of carbon dioxide the child will generate in its lifetime. There are things I’ll do to be a good steward of our world’s existence, but not having children, draining the lakes or giving up a good steak (because of cow gases) are not on my list.

No one has even mentioned the potential impact to the ecosystems that have developed as a result of the dam-formed lakes. If we drain the lakes are we going to put a new species of “snail darter” at risk or take away the bathing area for a spotted owl? Are there migrating birds that use the lakes? Then there’s also the loss of my lakefront property.

As far as the poor salmon are concerned, the dams have been in place so long they don’t know that a river ever existed. So what’s the real concern here? If it’s really about having more salmon, then why haven’t we heard about a major effort to modernize and enhance the capacity of our fish hatcheries?

No matter what the government says, hydroelectric dams are the perfect example of “green energy,” and the cost of building an equivalent structure with today’s dollars boggles the mind. They’re also important in flood control. So, if the dams are functioning, useful tools, why are we even talking about tearing them down?

Shouldn’t we be more concerned with improvements and enhancements of our aging power grid and finally developing a way to store and use all the generated energy?

JOSEPH MRAZ

Long Beach

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