Ben Knight's Damnation

1084 Words3 Pages

The narrator of DamNation, Ben Knight, said it was sad how little he knew about dams when he started this film, but I think it’s sad how little everyone knows about them. “Dams and hydropower represent a pivotal time in US history, but just like any other research development in the US we took it too far,” said Ben Knight. In 1889, one of America’s worst disasters in history happened; Pennsylvania’s South Fork Dam failed without any warning. “A Roar Like Thunder” explained how Johnstown was leveled taking 2200 lives. The only thing slightly comical about this was that they called it a natural disaster, but there is nothing natural about creating a wall to stop the flow of a river. In 1902, the promotion of the West began to take over the United …show more content…

Dams continued to take over our nation’s rivers. After seven years of protests from environmental activists, I found on Wikipedia that Congress still gave the go ahead to flood Yosemite’s National Park in 1913. Then during the great depression, America started its two biggest projects, The Hoover Dam and The Grand Coulee Dam. According to John Harrison in “Grand Coulee Dam: History and Purpose”, both these dams created thousands of jobs and were thought of as national treasures. World War II created a huge demand for hydropower for building plans, ships, and bombs I found out from the article “History of Hydropower Development”. If it flowed it was dammed. At one point half of America was being powered by hydropower. Our country was becoming more and more dependent on electricity and technology struggled to keep up. Finally president Nixon passed the endangered species act. The Endangered Species Act Overview explains that this act protects animals that are affected by economic development. If any dam is at fault for endangering a species they are accountable by …show more content…

Yet, there is no such thing as “clean hydro power,” with the exception of very small-scale hydropower dams at the individual or neighborhood level. Hydro powered dams can cause major fluctuations in downstream flows, and even dewater the stream channel, leading to direct death of fish and other species. The main effects of a dam on a river is that it disrupts flows, lowers water quality, blocks the movement of rivers vital nutrients and sediment, destroys fish and wildlife habitat, and eliminates recreational opportunities. Reservoirs slow and broaden rivers, making them warmer, reducing water quality, and harboring destructive nonnative species that scatter throughout the watershed and prey on and compete with native wildlife. The environmental, economic, and social impacts of a dam and reservoir may run the entire length of the river from the highest mountain peaks that feed the headwaters to the river’s outlet at the ocean according to

More about Ben Knight's Damnation

Open Document