But the reality is, as we bitch and moan about those rascals, we do it living a life style that would not exist without those fucking dams and the people who built them.
Not sure most of us actually get benefits from places like Powell though. In fact, I can say, as a resident of SW Utah that the water agencies current actions are trying to hurt us here. They want us to stop using a local water source and pay exuberant fees to tap into Lake Powell for water that exists on paper but not in reality. Pretty little mess here actually. Or consider how artificially cheap water has made places like Vegas even more hungry for growth, enough so to create a massive legal over aquifers elsewhere. Not sure that benefits most of us in all honesty.
Power? Most of it goes to California, as the SW is stuck with their pollution. Ever notice how fast our horizons are changing? Its one of the ironies of CA as they get to claim alot of green measures because so many of their power sources aren't there. Over the last decade the Colorado Plateau has become increasingly polluted.
Agriculture? Maybe. I buy mostly from regional sources east of CA for that reason. Was part of a CSA locally that allowed me to get veggies, meat, cheese and eggs locally. Still get a portion from there. Still don't buy everything local or regional which sucks but trying to improve. When you actually research food though you realize not a ton of it comes from southern CA, at least what we purchase. But still some. Most of my grains come from the elsewhere which has made me realize how much I need to educate myself on other regions.
How else is my lifestyle made possible by damming the CO?
Or take a systems analysis of another river, like the Great Miss. It has huge benefits for local crops, etc. But it also has huge negatives like dead zones in the Gulf that use to support major fishing and harvesting for generations. Or that it has helped stratify regions economically in a manner that locals have little control over now.
Might want to think about just reducing arguments against the simplified "more is better" argument as "bitching and moaning". Its a complex subject that has lasting influences beyond such simplified rhetoric. I recognize that my comments on the internet don't change anything themselves but I do learn alot by engaging in these conversations. I think others do as well. Few instance, a new generation of students and citizens are making documentaries to expose the issues posed by these dams. Who knows how that is going to influence people down the road.
And trust me, I see the other side of the argument, but that does not mean I can't still stand by a differing opinion. I recognize how diverse the stakeholders are in water law and do my best to empathize with local interests. And like many others I have "made peace" with Glenn Canyon Dam, largely through spending human-powered adventures on the lake (sea kayaked its length solo over two trips).
Recognizing what we can't change in the present doesn't mean letting go of resistance and the hope of creating more sustainable solutions in the future (near or far). And part of that balance for me is no longer accepting the discourse of the "greater good" that has for so long defined the ecologically destructive placement of these dams on the CO. Hence my ideas that the benefits are shorter term than many explain (talking human not geologic scale). I place great value on the ecological worldview that informed many of my decisions over the last decades which means I am in direct conflict with the modern zeitgeist.
But I fully recognize those are my ideas and defined by my knowledge and experience. I seek out disparate views to better understand the limitations of my worldview all the time.