I am writing in response to a recent commentary (“Salmon won’t wait for us to be ready to remove dams,” The Herald, Oct. 2).
The author cites the film “Damned to Extinction,” which said the Bonneville Power Administration is losing money largely because of the emergence of cheap and abundant wind and solar power. The thing about electricity is that it needs a place to go, when there is too much being created, there is nowhere for the excess to go, so the government says to favor wind and solar. It costs more to shut down hydro than what the value of wind and solar are generating! Hence the loss of money by the BPA. What is not said is that hydroelectric power is nearly 100 percent reliable: power is produced 24/7, 365 days a year. Can the same be said about wind and solar? Wind and solar are too unreliable to count on as our only source of power generation!
As far as the extinction of salmon, everyone seems to be focusing on dam removal and ignoring the elephant in the room that is overfishing. Even if the dams are removed, the salmon population will never be what it was 200 years ago. Back then, they didn’t have nearly as many people wanting to eat salmon nor did they have fishing trawlers with electronic fish detection systems scooping up fish by the thousands.
Let’s talk about global warming, it’s a fact that the oceans temperatures are rising, salmon are a cold water fish. How is dam removal going to help lower the rising ocean temperature? If anything, the deep cold water in the dams reservoir provides a place for salmon and other fish to get away from the warmer surface water.
I have a hard time understanding how removing a nearly 100 percent reliable source of power generation in favor of unreliable wind and solar is going to help restore the salmon population when overfishing and rising ocean temperatures are a bigger problem. Where’s all the electricity going to come from in 2035 when everyone is going to be driving around in all-electric cars?