Editor’s note: this article, which appeared in Sunday’s Seattle Times, is a typical corporate media peice: it illustrates the problem passably — hundreds of thousands of salmon are dropping dead due to rising stream and river temperatures — but neglects to speak to the true solutions: taking out ALL the dams and dismantling the industrial economy that drives global warming.
These solutions are simple, but within the culture of business as usual, the life of an entire species (a keystone species at that) is worth less than hot showers and industrial electricity. So cheaply this culture sells out our kin. A true resistance movement is needed.
HOME VALLEY, Skamania County — In a quiet, green pool off the Lower Columbia River, upstream from the Bonneville Dam, dozens of sickly sockeye salmon spend their final days. They shouldn’t be here. Instead, the fish should have forged deep into the drainages of North Central Washington, the Okanagan region of British Columbia or Redfish Lake in central Idaho.
But their journey has been short-circuited by a startling surge in water temperatures that has turned the Columbia into a kill zone where salmon immune systems are weakened and fish die of infections. At Bonneville Dam last week, water temperatures were more than 72 degrees, nearly 5 degrees higher than the 10-year average for this time period.
So, rather than pushing forward, these sockeye made a last-ditch effort to escape the warm water. They veered off the Columbia to swim into a short inlet that leads to the mouth of the Little White Salmon River, which is fed by glacier melt and provides cool water.
Some still are chrome silver, though suffering from a bacterial disease. Others have backs covered with a mottled white fungus. All are expected to die here — hundreds of miles short of their spawning grounds.
“The water temperatures in the Lower Columbia are physiologically unsustainable for salmon,” said Mary Peters, a microbiologist who works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Read the rest of the article at the Seattle Times website.