Hydropower dam/reservoir complexes are a global warming (and other) threat

Now that Dick and Pam have provided some information for Question One, here’s my take.

Other aspects of Question One that are not being discussed very much, if at all, are:

Why is Massachusetts using this corridor and this kind of power as a way to meet its renewable energy requirements? Instead of the state of MA putting up more solar, more wind, more offshore wind, more locally based renewable energy, the state is going for one very large, solves-all-our-needs form of energy. This is an example of trying to overcome nature more than trying to be part of nature, which is a major reason why we are facing climate catastrophe. Putting almost all of its eggs in the Hydro Quebec basket takes Massachusetts off the hook to find or create more renewable resources and to make a greater commitment to serving its residents directly and locally, rather than getting its energy from one big mega-project that has destroyed acres and acres and taken away the land of the Cree Nation. 

Are Massachusetts utilities realistic in their expectation of energy needs, or can they do a lot more to emphasize conservation? How many utilities, or states, have a really robust conservation campaign? Ultimately, I think we should talk much more about using less, not how to meet a higher amount of usage. Doing a lot of local energy projects and reducing energy use helps our energy awareness and is really good for the economy as well. And, as Dick points out, the kind of “renewable energy” that the state is hoping to use isn’t really renewable either.

I’m also looking at what Pam Person wrote. Yes, wind and solar are not perfect solutions either. Yes, there are benefits from the Mills-HQ plan. Yes, Maine may get some financial rewards. 

But, ultimately, we have to say either “yes” or “no” on Tuesday and to any policy proposals that we have no opportunity to contribute to once negotiated. I will say “yes” to this one and oppose the corridor,  because I think small, local renewable energy is better than big corporate energy, even if renewable, being more a part of nature is better than trying to overcome nature (which is why we are approaching climate catastrophe now), and because Massachusetts needs to develop much more its own local renewable energy resources and long term plans. 

Larry Dansinger
(207) 262-3706 or larryd@myfairpoint.net
(No pronouns, not Ms., Mx., or Mr.)

On Oct 31, 2021, at 11:36 AM, Dick Atlee <atlee@dickatlee.com> wrote:

In case anyone on this list has been persuaded that hydropower is “green”
and “sustainable,” I’m offering two reality checks (not “fact checks”) on
that topic. I hope these will help to disabuse anyone of the notion that
voting NO on Question 1 on the CMP Corridor is anything remotely resembling
an “environmental” vote.

The first is the following article, which elaborates in some startling ways
on some of the “usual” environmental reasons for opposing megadam complexes:

A “Climate solution”? Big Hydro Is Anything But
A growing body of peer-reviewed scientific evidence shows that large-scale
hydropower generation is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions
By Ana Simeon
Watershed Sentinel
October 5, 2021

The second is a piece I’ve written summarizing the seldom-if-ever-discussed
— but very real — consequences of the manipulation of the normal hydrologic
cycle of rivers in the Northern Hemisphere by megadams in Canada and
Siberia, in terms of both the death of marine fisheries and the significant
contribution to global warming feedback loops. I hope those of you who take
the time to read it will find it interesting and sobering, and perhaps move
you to go out and vote YES on Question 1:

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