Hydropower is this weird “renewable energy” source that no one really knows how to talk about in the popular media.
I don’t recall once hearing a campaigning Barack Obama mention it when he discussed the merits of renewable energy.
Sure, hydropower doesn’t produce as much carbon as a big barrel of oil. But it’s certainly not good for rivers. It’s not about dirty water or dirty air, but it is about fish and now it’s about energy. And it’s definitely about climate change.
Hydropower is caught between conservation and environmentalism.
You see, you can argue about whether or not hydropwer contributes to climate change or if dessicated rivers are as important as clean air.
But with climate change happening, hydropower is no longer a reliable option. As more and more developing countries become dependent on it, their energy circumstances seem to be more precarious than ever.
Call me crazy, but doesn’t it make more sense to not dam up every river — wrecking the abundance it provides for people — and instead look to sustainable sources and other more sustainable development of resources than just putting a bandaid on a problem?
Just a thought.
(Image: Turner’s Falls canal, Massachusetts. Source: Jerry and Marcy Monkman.)