Saturday, August 04, 2012


This picture from the NYTimes looks like a war zone but isn't. Rather, it's the start point for resurrecting a river by blowing up dams, a tech that destroys rivers as seen in a 2008 BRT post titled 
The Last Flight of The Scarlet Macaw, a piece showing how dams negatively impact the environment, something Bruce Barcott's book of the same name eloquently explains without reservation. 

The Elwha River drains out from Olympic National Park, a pristine place in the world. And as recently as a year ago, the river looked the part: it babbled its final miles in water clear enough to see the bottom. Now it runs thick with grainy sediment the color of chocolate milk.

But believe it or not, that is a good thing, or at least the roundabout result of one.

But even as the river has turned cloudy going down, at least a few fish have found a way back up.

The first dozen or so wild steelhead — their spawning run blocked for a century by the now-demolished Elwha Dam — were spotted last month upriver from the dam site, four months after its final concrete pieces were hauled away.

“With the dams down, fish are going to move, and these fish proved it,” said Brian D. Winter, the Elwha project manager for Olympic National Park.

When looking at this, the cautionary tale of creating powerful tech and the possibility of blowback using said tech on any given endeavor always comes to mind whether it be damming up rivers, creating GMO products or fracking for oil as everything comes at a cost. The question to ask is, do the benefits outweigh the costs? In the case of damns, we already know. In the case of GMO products and fracking, the answer's becoming increasingly clear.

It's evident the impact technology's having on the world is increasing at exponential rates. In every part of the planet, man is modifying nature with results beginning to become catastrophic regarding environment degradation, global warming and resource depletion, conditions yours truly believes every pre Type 1 civilization, we're pre Type 1, goes through when trying to advance to Type 1, let alone Type 2. From this perspective, it's logical to assume not all civilizations make it, something to consider when looking at what we are doing to earth using technologies whose eventual costs greatly outweigh short term gains as we move further into the 21st century.

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