Here’s a nice little news tidbit that is currently escaping media hype – federal officials are flooding the canyon in hopes of reviving its dying ecosystem. What? You mean the 25 or so dams that currently control the Colorado River and provide most of the water to Las Vegas and half of California may have been not a good idea? Of course, this particular flooding is only the release of the Glen Canyon dam. The article states “The canyon’s ecosystem was permanently changed after the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam in 1963.” Um, ok. What about the Davis Dam, Parker Dam, Palo Verde Diversion Dam, or Imperial Dam? Did they not affect the canyon’s ecosystem? What about the Hoover Dam? I’m sure flooding 20% of the Canyon in the 40s didn’t have much impact.
While I do typically vote for human rights over animal rights (I.e., I’m a meatasaur and if natural resource limitations mean starving children or starving deer, I’m voting to starve the deer), I think in this instance there should be some limitations. Do we really need to have Vegas in the middle of the desert? Really? Can’t we just move the whole blitz to someplace with an annual rainfall of more than 4″? Texas, perhaps?
If there’s one thing that all the debate about global warming has taught us, it’s that we don’t know what we’re doing. Intelligent people criticize all possible solutions, as well as the very existence of global warming. In a scientific atmosphere where no real general trends have yet to be ‘proven’ for the globe, how do we have the pride to determine what far-reaching effects our actions might take? How do we know that forest farming is not going to harm the plains region, or that selective logging will both prevent forest fires and preserve a forest ecosystem? How do we know what impacts chemicals in our crops or steroids in our meat will have on our children or our children’s children? How do we know that preservation of national parks and refuges will increase biodiversity or simply waste a valuable resource? how do we begin to discrimiate between the wide variety of information and research that is available to us?
I continue to seek answers.