You Can’t Dam Your Way to Paradise
The proposed Temperance Flat Dam would be the second tallest in California and the sixth dam on the San Joaquin River. The estimated $2.6 billion project would increase storage capacity in the basin, but it would also drown the scenic San Joaquin River Gorge. Although a new dam might make California politicians feel better about the state’s ongoing water problems, it would add only 1 percent to the Central Valley Project’s yield. In a time when all the economically feasible dams have already been built, this short proves that adding another won’t get us any closer to Eden.
The Last Green Thread
“When I was your age, that was an orange grove,” Mallory Dimmitt recalls hearing from her parents. Formerly of Telluride, Dimmitt is now back in her native Florida, where she is devoted to conserving what is left of the state’s natural world. In 2018, she led an expedition along the most endangered stretch of the Florida Wildlife Corridor, a patchwork of public and private lands tightly hemmed in by subdivisions and highways. “Wild Florida is still here, it still exists, it still has a chance to be saved,” says biologist Joe Guthrie. His optimism is all the more impressive given the harsh reality onscreen.
The Balkan countries of Eastern Europe are home to some of the planet’s last wild rivers. However, thousands of pending hydro-power projects threaten to stop the rivers’ free-flows with dams, creating reservoirs that will drown towns, destroy cultural heritage and damage biodiversity. And, like man-made reservoirs the world over, they will produce carbon dioxide and methane, greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. To raise awareness of the threat to Balkan rivers, Slovenian extreme kayaker and former Olympic rower Rok Rozman leads a kayak caravan of protesters down 23 rivers in six countries. Along the way the group enlists the support of other boaters, fishermen, farmers, local politicians, university students and school children. By sharing the natural beauty of the riverscapes they pass through, sometimes soft and undulant, sometimes rugged and stunning, the kayakers make a convincing pitch for our support, too.