Of the 265,000 square miles of the Columbia River drainage (size of France) none of its tributaries flow free to the ocean, trapping all particulate matter as well as co2, methane, and sediments behind its dams, effectively halting the natural processes the earth performs to maintain equilibrium.
The Columbia is only one system. Over 70% of the worlds rivers no longer flow free, to irrigate crops and produce hydroelectric power. The natural ecocycles of planet earth are effectively ruined.
And it appears now that hydroelectric power has a greater impact on the worlds carbon cycle than fuel powered generators. (1)
Irrigation traps the particulate matter in a never ending cycle, re-spreading it on the land over and over what should be washed out to sea and cycled.
There are 70,000 large dams worldwide and another 3700 planned. These are huge carbon sinks, whose impact has been dismissed as “renewable” and “clean” for a hundred years or more. Over the next 15 years 90% of the worlds rivers will be dammed, and along with it so will we.
Whatever we do to mitigate climate change will most likely be a bust, as long as our rivers and dams are used as they are.
“Dams are a major driver of global environmental change”(2) But as usual, humankind will continue to address the wrong problem having no idea that their fixes are only going to make the problem worse.
It is really no wonder why climate change has accelerated with the building of dams. Electric cars will not solve anything at all.