Last time we visited the subject of hydroelectric dams, it appeared that no one knew what to do about them without (a) plunging parts of the Pacific Northwest into darkness, or (b) making life nasty, brutish and short for salmon trying to migrate upstream on the Snake River to spawn. See Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven, But Nobody wants to Die, August 12, 2009, http://gideonstrumpet.info/?p=286
So as the sun set in the west, and as we duly reported to our readers, the New York Times folks announced that as far as they are concerened, no solution appears to be acceptable, and therefore — what else? — the matter would be handed to a federal judge who would do what no one else seems able to do — namely, come up with a solution to the insoluble.
His Lordship, U.S. District Judge James A. Redden, has already rejected a couple of federal plans to aid the Snake River salmon, and now faces another plan, this one submitted by the Obama administration. According to the Times, that plan proposes $100 million a year funding to “improve salmon habitat,” pledges new efforts to control invasive species and other predators, and promises to monitor the potential impacts of climate change, an important factor since salmon are cold-water fish. So is that it? Not on your life. At least not as far as the New York Times mavens are concerned. They want the judge to send this plan back to Washington, and to insist on something better. And what might that be? The Times talls us not. At least not in so many words.
But if you read this stuff with minimal care, it becomes clear that nothing will satisfy the Times’ environmental armchair generals, secure in the knowledge that their lights won’t be turned off, except the breaching of four out of the eight hydroelectric dams on the Snake River. Which is why the Times piously recommends that the buck be passed, that Judge Redden should send the latest federal plan back to Washington and insist on something else. “Something”? And what might that be? Will anything other than the breaching of those dams satisfy the Times?
We don’t think so, but then again, what do we know?
So once again, stay tuned and find out.