Hydroelectricity Argument

June 3, 2013
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Did you know that Hydropower murders the animals surrounding the dams? It floods the banks of the rivers, causing humans to relocate their families. It takes in fresh water and replaces it with oxygen-deprived water. This kills the wildlife that lives in and depends on the waters. Many dams hold water for a while, and then releases it all at once, making the stretch of the river below the dam very dangerous. These dams cost billions and billions of dollars that our country just can’t afford.
I have been researching the topic of hydroelectricity for our 8th grade culminating project. Some key things I’ve learned about it are that when the dams floods riverbanks, the plants decay, releasing a harmful greenhouse gas. There are many different types of dams. Masonry dams are the most massive and destructive of them all. They are created from concrete, and are unimaginably expensive. Embankment dams are much better. They are created from mostly natural materials, including clay, gravel, mud, and dirt.
It’s really incredible how nobody realizes how destructive hydropower can really be. They see that it is considered green energy and automatically assume that it is perfect and does not have any negative environmental impacts. The world does not realize that this “perfect” form of electricity creation is not perfect at all. Our population is oblivious to all of the negative impacts that accompany the evolution of hydroelectricity.
One other impactful aspect of the topic I explored described how there is many other types of renewable energy. However, they all have flaws. Solar power is extremely expensive; Wind power needs a large stretch of land, etc. We need to pick a universal type that is affordable and effective.
This has shown me that in order to truly understand a topic, you need to really dig deep into the facts. When I started this project I believed that there were no flaws in hydropower, but that was not the case. I realized this almost immediately. I wish I would have known that there were so many cons from the beginning, so I would have not wasted as much time oblivious to the truth.
I think the way I want this project to impact me is by it opening my mind to a whole new way of thinking. I want to learn more about green energy and why there is so much hesitation in its development. I want to improve our environment by creating an affordable way of electricity creation without having so many negative consequences.

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