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The dirty face of “clean” energy

The dirty face of “clean” energy

Hydroelectric energy may be lauded as “clean” power generation that doesn’t affect air quality or produce greenhouse gasses, but the effects on the ground can be devastating.

In my own country, Canada, 59% of the electricity on the grid comes from dammed rivers. However, these projects have also led to decimation of native salmon in New Brunswick’s mighty St. John River (as well as losses of sturgeon and other species elsewhere), and incursions into aboriginal lands in Quebec. The massive 3 Gorges Dam in China displaced upwards of 4 million people from their own ancestral lands. In Egypt and Turkey, new dams are destroying the archeological and cultural sites of thousands of years of human civilization.

And in Chile? Now the unique natural ecosystem and life of Patagonia is being threatened:


I realize that the world is hungry for energy. But the damage we have done with dams to rights, cultures, and environments is massive and scary. Next time you waste energy, it is worth reminding yourself that it has a wide variety of devastating costs.



Creative Director: Daslav Maslov
Editors: Andres Tampassi, Monica Garcia
Art Director: Daslav Maslov
Illustration / Photography: Astro LC

Fundacion Rio Baker
Ella Entro Por Mi Ventana, Chile
Ads of The World

I am Creative Director at Acart Communications, a Canadian Social Issues Marketing agency. Read more