Who needs those old dams?
By Tracy Warner, editorial page editor, The Wenatchee World
They had a good laugh over it, the reports said. What a knee-slapper. Candidates for the United States Congress, at a recent climate change forum at a Ballard brewpub, indicated through their mistaken answers to a simple question that neither has any idea where electricity comes from. What a hoot...
Electricity doesn't just show up. It is not produced by flights of fancy, moonbeams, cool articles in Wired or a Harry Potter character waving a wand. It required the intense effort of generations, the labor of tens of thousands of people, and investments in the multiple billions to produce enough electricity to supply Seattle and provide the energy without which its thriving economy wouldn't be worth a 500K RAM chip from a 1984 IBM PC.
To feed the city energy there are hundreds of turbines, turning ceaselessly through the power of falling water from the great river of the West, harnessed by blocks of concrete so large we can scarcely imagine larger...
Of course, you don't get rid of such assets. You don't speak of it, even in jest.