Why We Should Stop Building Dams


Canada’s Syncrude Tailings is the largest.
Tajikistan Nurek is the tallest. Brazil’s Itaipu is the most powerful. Damn dams are
everywhere and they’re getting bigger all the time dammit! Hydropower is one of the oldest methods of
power generation in the world. Today, we often think of Hoover dam, but ancient Greeks used
the power of turning waterwheels to grind grain. That power was harnessed even in the
early Americas when colonists built mills on creeks with enough drop to run waterwheels.
Today, instead of a waterwheel on a creek, hydropower often involves building a massive
dam to hold back a water source. With enough water pressure and drop, the water can turn
giant turbines and generate electricity.The Department of Energy says “70 percent of Washington
State’s electricity comes from hydropower… and 11 states get more than 10 percent of
their electricity from hydro.” The thing is, only 3 percent of the 80,000 dams in the U.S.
generate electricity, and even if they do, dams inevitably alter thousands of square
miles of waterways in both directions, affecting fish and wildlife, forests, farms, and (of
course) human populations. China is the largest producer of hydroelectricity, followed by
Canada, Brazil, and the United States, according to the Energy Information Administration. The Xayaburi dam is a three-and-a-half billion
dollar project on the Mekong river in northern Laos scheduled to be completed in 2019. It’s
one of 11 dams planned to be completed by 2025. Though they’ll provide 8 percent of
the region’s electricity, and 3.7 billion a year in income; it will affect more than
200-thousand people in the region and result in “possible extinction of fish species, reduced
fish populations, inundation of river bank gardens, and loss of nutrients for floodplain
agriculture equivalent to 500 million dollars a year,” according to a 2011 International
Rivers report. Plus, construction of the dams could expedite the extinction of these cute
but weird-looking Irrawaddy dolphins. Most people are aware of the impediments these
dams make for spawning and migrating fish, but it’s not just that… Water in a reservoir
is stagnant, gathering more sediment and growing more aquatic weeds and algae — causing problems
with downstream life. Fish are used to certain temperatures and levels of oxygen in their
river water. Dams not only block the fish, but the deep reservoirs held by the dam result
in damn cold water with VERY little oxygen. Opening the reservoir to respond to a sudden
demand for electricity causes this cold, barely oxygenated water to rush into rivers, suffocating
and killing fish, this is according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. On top of all
that, the river itself suffers, because sand, rocks, wood and other natural sediment builds
up in the reservoir rather than spreading downriver. On top of ALL THAT, The Union of Concerned
Scientists found large hydroelectric dams DO pollute with greenhouses gases. As the
reservoir behind the dam grows or floods over plants; that material decomposes releasing
CO2 and methane; especially in tropical areas. Emissions vary, but are just underneath the
lowest levels from a natural gas plant. The Balbina hydroelectric dam in Brazil flooded
over 900 square miles (2360 sq km) of land — an area the size of Delaware, that’s a
lot of decomposing vegetation. Dams are considered symbols of human achievement
and national willpower, but that can come at the expense of our national resources and
still cause pollution and destruction. We didn’t even talk about earthquakes or the
construction of the dams themselves — which can take as long as a decade. So what can
we do? Two, century-old, dams on the Elwha River in Washington state are blocking a key
salmon spawning channel — and they generate very little electricity — so they’re being
demolished! Aside from tearing them down, some hydropower plants simply divert water
rather than daming a whole river, and you can even generate power using natural wave
surge in the ocean! Another way companies are using nature to
power our appliances is with wind energy, but what about when the wind’s not blowing?
Then you just capture the wind in a cave and use it later! It sounds like a cartoon, but
it’s REAL. Check out this REALLY OLD DNews video about
it here And if you love DNews, you really
should click that subscribe button, that’s how we know you’re coming back to watch more.
Go ahead and do it dammit! No, i mean, don’t dam it. But click the button. Also come follow
us on twitter!

100 thoughts on “Why We Should Stop Building Dams

  1. The best thing about this channel, 'Seeker', so called, is, that it steals videos from D News so that D news loses views. Good job!

  2. well were FUCKED we need to stop making more humans who votes WW3 and who wants a deadly virus well personally
    I think we need to kill all the idiots in the world so only smart people live

  3. Remember, it was environmentalists who pushed for dam construction in the 60's. Environmentalists are rebels always inventing new causes. The anti-dam movement is just the latest farce.

  4. I love liberal "scientists"….  They don't like coal, oil or natural gas because it produces green house gas. Now they attack the renewable sources of energy like hydro because it damages the local environment, wind turbines kill birds and solar panels are made with deadly chemicals and are hard to dispose of.  Nuclear power is a liberals worst nightmare. Im starting to think they wont be happy until our population is reduced to living in dung huts like our ancestors did tens of thousands of years ago. At some point they either need to compromise or maybe complain less and spend more time coming up with a solution to the energy problem.

  5. Why you compare a lake to the emissions of a fossils-fuel plant that's misleading because it's a one-time emission. Also, didn't mention a single benefit of dams.

  6. Dams have stars with water floing through so the fish can get up 🙀

  7. there are no free meals when we employ d alternatives we would just find the problems they have too

  8. Hahahaha, currently studying for my river management exam on Tuesday and killing my self laughing at these videos. Love that it counts as studying. Brb off to binge watch all your vids.

  9. New nuclear is a good baseline energy replacement for fossil fuels. Does it produce waste? Yes, but that waster is contained . Your plant, your waste, your problem. With fossil fuels your waste wafts up in the atmosphere becoming everyone's problem. Hell, you could securely bury the waste then put wind turbines or solar panels on top, and make them protected wild lands.

  10. Yea, lets get rid of dams. It's not like we need electrical power or drinking water or water for crops (read food we eat)

  11. Please help me to answer the following question:
    what are the distruction phase effects of the hydroelectric power plant on the environment?

  12. in the bohol Philippines my friend told me he only had 1 earthquake he encountered in his hometown because there's no dams

  13. The drought they have had in California has been caused by people like this caring too much about the stupid fish and not enough about people. They need more dams there to hold the water like they just had for the past months, but instead they will be in another drought that will kill the crops and put farms out of business. Way to go idiots

  14. 2:40 I would not call that white spray flying through the air "barely oxygenated"

  15. This is SHIT. Where are we going to get the water we drink??? Gobshite, majority of dams are used for drinking water. Also, cold water holds more oxygen and when realised in the manner shown will become oxygenated. This is a really poorly made video.

  16. The left wants to destroy all means of effective and efficient energy. He cares about the fish, but not the millions of birds killed every year by wind turbines. Pretty moronic? Yes, but not as moronic as denigrating a truly effective source of energy because people used to use water to do things in the "old days". If you think the technology is the same, visit Hoover Dam. By the way, the Greeks were using wind mills in the first century (2000 years ago). You want something really modern? Try nuclear.

  17. Oh dear me . It looks as though that all forms of generating electricity ( including wind and solar ) are bad for the environment .

  18. This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. This is like the un-science channel.

  19. Is there a way to harness hydro-electricity using ocean's current instead?

  20. They should stop this. Use solar panels and windmills. Though they will kill birds and rocks.

  21. Once again, consider dams from around the world (not just USA) For example, take the Three Gorges Dam into consideration, it is located in China, on the Yangtze River and it generates nearly 18,000 megawatts supplying nearly 60 million individuals. This dam single-handed lay produces more energy than all of the U.K's dams put together.

    Although dams may effect the near populations of fishers and farmers most dams ultimately benefit more people. For example, if we take the Three Gorges Dam into consideration again, the dam put a end to flooding in the region; previous to this there was a reported one major dam every ten years, followed by many more, and the dam help put a complete stop to this.

  22. India make more dam in Nepal to cause flood in Nepal and many nepali innocent people killed by india's dam

  23. Where you going to get the power to do your manscaping?  Wind power, not   Coal?, wait, you probably don't like the either.  Nukes, I won't even go there.  Give me a break.

  24. Yeah, massive dams are complicated project because of all of what you explained. However, multiple small dams could be a better alternative. Hydroelectric power is still way better than thermal or gas plants, and also more efficient than ocean or wind electric power generation.

  25. All ways to produce energy have environmental impact. To produce solar pannels is necesary to extract extrange and hazard minnerals from mining, Wind energy kills birds, and both need bateries which have very contaminant chemicals. Coal and hydrocarbons produce greenhouse gasses. At the end Hydropower is the best. Yo can create multipurpose reservoirs to store water wish allow to supply water for cities, control flooding, and you can produce fish in the reservoirs. The new standards of desing of hydropower plants that take in count all the environemntal concerns. I am sure the water you drink came from a reservoir. Your city and your food is feaseble because of them too.

  26. How is the water that is pushed through the dam have less oxygen? It’s the same water..??? And how is it more cold??? Isn’t it the same? Am I an idiot??

  27. This person has very little understanding of the varied watershed management roles that dams fulfill and should not be taken seriously. While the concerns he parrots are generally valid the presentation is biased and one dimensional, you would be far better off reading the reports he cites yourselves.

  28. Dams cut carbon emissions. I used to be against dams. But the benefits of carbon footprint made me rethink. Lakes above dams are also wetlands that earth breathe, not just methane source. Wind farms should be coupled with hydrogen fuel cell systems, not lithium-ion battery or compressed air.

  29. King 1: i have problem with floods…
    King 2: damn it!
    King 1: What did you said?

  30. This is ignoring the main reason dams are built, which is to control water. Storing it to allow for irrigation, which is critical in a changing climate, and preventing flooding.

  31. we really need to work on solar, its cheaper and more efficient than people realize but still needs improvement.

  32. dislike for the lie about greeks, propagating fake concepts and connecting everything with greeks to brainwash new generation won't going to work. bring facts not your oriental views.

  33. picture drawn about Dams halurious impacts is FALSE. the *American speaker didn't provide any solid proves of time-based studies.
    fishing &fisheries are increased due saving water bodies as dams. e.g lakes in many areas of Pakistan.
    stagnency create smell, diseases and many uncontrolled issues but around dams no such conditions arised so far. rather dams neighboring is full of natural vegetation.
    stored water channel to the water bodies when there is snowfall, hailing & No rain so dams become a source of water availability.
    when throughout the year water flow through rivers, canals then water table of nearby areas never go down and vegetation sustain with good yield.
    Lahore has been greatly affected by India by stopping n diverting the water from Ravi to their canals n many of their area changes from sterile to fertile however opposite is facing by Lahore and river side areas of Ravi in Pakistan.
    cost-effectiveness of dams can be measure by cost of water go un-used to the ocean leaving huge areas dependent upon precipitations(rain, snow melting, hailing) only.
    wind machines costs more than GDP of a country in comparison to big dams and repairs demand huge expenditures in comparison to hydal power. moreover noise of wind mills is alarming n dangerous to affect listening of thousands who have to pass through such area n live nearby.
    Agriculture has been greatly improved in countries with more dams.
    Dams improve economy and Super power counties never want to see other countries stable like them because its a matter of their business n ruling on underdeveloped ones.
    think think n re-thinks how you can improve your agriculture, health, economy, education, defense and other needs. Dams the best solution.

  34. Humans are already messed so fast up in the name of innovations in last 200 years, one fine day mother nature will say enough is enough and clean up everything, the mess we created and starts fresh.
    even then we humans don't understand and don't respect mother nature.

  35. No oxygen below dams?? Some of the best trout fishing in the world is below western dams.

  36. Brilliant. Thanks for this video. People are generally ignorant of any cons of hydro power.

  37. Reduce consumption. Use biomass fuel, or, whatever new technology…or even clean coal! That'll provide jobs… and no need for anything that kills wildlife directly. There's billions of tons of storm debris that can be burned for power. Many damns are ecological disasters. Maybe worse than ethenol, wind power, and solar reflection power plants… combined. All these technologies are directly and immediatly killing birds and fish. The Earth can only take so much. Read Revelations 11:18

  38. I considered that breaking down all of these dams and replacing them with sealed reservoirs made of plastic liners/cement that are covered to eliminate evaporation losses may work. Water can then be taken directly from a clean river to top them up as necessary.

  39. you can filter coal into an algae tube to capture the emissions and then burn the algae way better than hydro

  40. Really? that the water is less oxygenated after it comes out of a dam? I mean has anyone ever had a fish bubbler in their fishtank? It is basically the same thing as the dam in a way. The bubbler creates bubbles in the water to oxygenate it and the dam is causing a whole bunch of bubbles as it slides down the spillway. Decreases oxygen my ass.

  41. Globally 75% of all the worlds’ rivers have been dammed and there are plans to build even more. To understand the negative effects dams have one only has to look down stream and the devastating impact can be seen. This video does not talk about the effects dams are having on our oceans and it is disastrous to say the least. Dead zones have been traces to dead zones all over the world. The Biochemical process that goes on in free flowing rivers is crucial to the health of this planet and us along with it. This planet would not be what is today if weren’t for free flowing rivers. Think of it this way, Dam 75% of all the veins in your body and see what happens you would not be very healthy and would die a slow death and this is what dams are doing to this planet. With the technology we have today dams are not needed any more and there should be a global effort to remove ALL dams and return this planets rivers back to their original natural free flowing cascade down to the oceans. Most people are not aware of the the magic that goes on in free flowing rivers on this planet and the survival of it. We treat this planet like it is ours and we can do whatever we dam well please. Eventually we will have to wake up to the reality we are only one species of many on this planet and it is not ours to do whatever we please. Dams and the ponds behind them are toxic time bombs our children will have to clean up.

  42. The title should be why we should improve our dams. What materials we should be using. What we should do with the stagnant water.

  43. Bruh you are retarded. We build dams to catch water from flowing to ocean. Energy is just extra and can be made tens of ways.
    There is no life without water

  44. So 3% of 80,000 dams are bad because they generate power, ie:the majority of dams are used for irrigation and flood control. Should we get rid of irrigation too, or just the minority of bad apples that produce electricity?

  45. to goes a lot deeper than co2 and methane. the over all effect of dams on the planet is devestating. Dams are killing our oceans. if it wasn't for free flowing rivers this planet would't be what it is today. If life came out of the oceans and the oceans are what they are today because of dams

  46. how about survival of the fittest? Evolve or die. If it weren't for the extinction of thousands of species, we would not be here.
    If you think people are the causes of major issues in the world then you need to pick up a book and read it.

  47. What a stupid title! Only a moron who knows nothing about the positive impacts of dams can dredge up all the negative impacts of dams. The Three Gorges Dam cost about $ 33 billions. It already paid for itself in about ten years. It’ll be producing 100 terawatts for the next 100 years! Together with her sister dams upstream currently under construction as well as planned, the danger of flooding will be a thing of the past. There’s probably no single project that can provide a comparable cost/benefit ratio anywhere in the world, except perhaps the Itaipu dam project,

  48. I agree with the man in the video because the dams are killing a lot of fishes and it effect the people that live close to the rivers.

  49. Nuclear is the way. Especially for developing nations. The safest and cleanest way to get huge amounts of power.

  50. we cant even handle earth and these westerners wants to ruin other planets too…secularism and westernization of the world is the biggest curse for planets

  51. What if you had a giant waterwheel spanning the entire river? Multiple ones… They don't dam the river up. Minimal impact on local wild life… I would think they would not generate as much power possibly… with it not being falling water, but just water moving at 3mph or what have you… but if it saves the environment? One that spanned even a small river would still be quite a bit of force…

  52. I'm sorry to say but hydropower is the most optimal "green" power source there is. Nothing man made has zero impact on the environment, however compared to coal, gas, oil and nuclear power, hydropower even with its side effects is the best option. Engineers can try and mitigate the side effects of dams by using other forms of diversion for the waters. This report also gave a really posive spin on wind power and glossed over the damaging effect wind farms have for killing birds and other lying life forms. It has been researched that wind farms are helping in the exctinction of rare bird species just proving the point that all man-made engineering has a side effect.

  53. sorry waves dont produce as much energy as a dam, nuclear and coal. trust me im an engineer

  54. LIBERAL and CAPITALIZATION ideology will ruin world civilisation by hindua is the truest

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