Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Dam stupid

Its time , as thankfully Tony Abott has said , to wean the environmentally naive off their paranoia over some words like the word " dam ".

There are different species of dams, and lumping them all into one big fat evil category is irrational and stupid. Thinking environmentalists need to protect the country from those who would simply label an idea evil  and thereby completely avoid any discussion of the biodiversity within that word.
Nature creates its own dams with natural erosion , siltation ,  fault movement and geological flows . While  our old and relatively landscape tends to obliterate lots of them , or keep them ephemeral ,  flood flows in rivers and channels ( Like the beavers in America ) years of red gum ageing, siltation and erosion leads to damming and course changes . Is it the channel Wong wants us to protect or the machinery of nature ?  Many naturalists will be dissapointed that even dams die ,evolve and can't be put in a musuem , or a "list of eternal worship "relevance as they like to do - "endangered dams" ??? .
The famous narrow  focus of one paranoid poly named Wong was wrong (L Alexandrina is a dam - a  natural dam) . We too create dams with roads and bridges,  levies and weirs . Do we really think these works are wrong ?
We better stop driving cars across our landscapes if we want to avoid "unnatural "dams .
I am not saying all types of dams should be supported as OK . Design and respect for nature means we support things to be where they should/can be ' where , when and how.
As a a competent earth and ecosystems planner  its much  harder to justify a huge wall in the headwaters of  river system where complex issues of natural resource protection can be impacted - if they will be impacted permanently - i would want to be the first to know  . Our Country however clearly needs more offstream storages ( dams !)_to be built .The right time place and design .
Finally,  we seem to have weaned ourselves off the simple talk of good and evil actions and started talking about diversity. Finally there is some recognition that there are different species of dams .
Dams aren't dammed;  it just depends where, when and how we build and support them. Design with nature -----not design against nature .

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