Climate Change Mythbusters, Part 1 | Teen Ink

Climate Change Mythbusters, Part 1

December 7, 2022
By DarkTetra GOLD, San Jose, California
DarkTetra GOLD, San Jose, California
10 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"We can't hide from the reality of what anti-vaccine conspiracies do: they kill babies too young to be vaccinated. They kill healthy children that are just unlucky. They bring serious diseases back from the verge of extinction. And, the biggest side effect of vaccines is fewer dead children."
-Kurzgesagt-In A Nutshell 2019

Myth: Hydropower is as safe as solar and wind while being safer than nuclear energy.

Hydropower, while being vastly safer than fossil fuels, has caused a considerable number of deaths in the past. While some come from construction and maintenance accidents, most happen when hydroelectric dams break, spewing ungodly amounts of water into the lower level and drowning out entire towns. Due to inconsistent and conflicting resources and reports, the exact number of hydroelectric dam accidents is unclear, but most of the studies agree on one thing: it has, beyond a shadow of a doubt, caused more fatalities than solar, wind, or any other renewable source of energy.

One of the most serious accidents in the last 50 years is the 1975 Banqiao hydroelectric dam failure in China. After an unfortunate typhoon rained an ungodly amount of water into the basin, the dam failed to hold it and catastrophically collapsed, creating a massive tidal wave that obliterated nearby towns, farms, buildings, and villages. Estimates for the death toll of that one accident alone range from 85,000 to 240,000 (as counting the exact number of people who died from the resulting famine and epidemic is not exactly an easy task).

Many people might now compare this to the laughably small amount of casualties caused by solar and wind power, and even to the considerably smaller death toll of nuclear accidents. Some people might conclude that hydropower is too dangerous to mess around with. But despite these staggering figures, hydropower is the future of clean energy. It provides 6.4% of the global energy mix, which is more than solar and wind combined. And it’s proven itself to work at large scales, providing vast amounts of electricity to countless countries. So what I’m trying to say is, hydropower isn’t bad. The world needs hydropower. But the world also can’t be naive and careless just because it’s renewable. Just like nuclear power, if used carefully, hydropower could be a game changer.

All information comes from here:

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