Nature Is Always Speaking
June 20, 2019 4:59 AM   Subscribe

Proposed dams threaten indigenous people and wildlife in Central America.

If you were to somehow snorkel up the Sixaola River from the Caribbean Sea to its source in Costa Rica's Talamanca Mountains—charging up rapids, scaling waterfalls, and gaining more than 10,000 feet of elevation in the process—you would notice an apparent paradox: The further from the ocean you ventured, the more marine fish you would encounter.

posted by poffin boffin (2 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
"Who needs a military when you have weaponized biodiversity!"
-Costa Rica, maybe

Seriously though, it's a sad situation to have to weigh low-carbon energy production against displacing people and destroying ecosystems/arable land. I've heard heaps about what the Reventazón Dam project did for Costa Rica's green energy goals but didn't know it disrupted jaguar migration :(

Riparian systems have such cool nutrient cycling with oceanic fish. It's like a giant ecological jenga tower that people need to really stop trying to pull blocks out from.
posted by Drosera at 6:58 AM on June 20 [3 favorites]

In the spirit of giving credit, the author is Ben Goldfarb, who was the author of at least one previous FPP about beavers -- he is one of the best environmental/riverine writers that I have read recently.

This is a great article. There are really complicated trade-offs with dams, with low-cost and low-carbon energy on one side and really bad ecological and human costs on the other, along with the other pluses and minuses of dams (navigation, flood protection, risk, etc). Almost always, the people who bear the costs are not given a voice, much less the ecosystems that are impacted. At the same time, the critics of dams don't always have better options to offer.

Thanks for posting this!
posted by Dip Flash at 7:19 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]

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