As the November 2nd Question 1 referendum rapidly approaches, we need to again, assess not only the impact on Maine of CMP’s 145-mile corridor, but also of the heat pollution generated by Hydro-Quebec’s massive hydroelectric reservoir dams and their aggressive impact in warming the climate.
The electricity via the proposed New England Clean Energy Corridor (NECEC) through Maine to Massachusetts will come directly from Hydro-Quebec’s massive dams and enormous reservoirs (heat sinks), located on subarctic Canadian rivers. The true environmental consequences? These dams are already rapidly melting the sea ice and permafrost in James Bay and Hudson Bay regions.
Through my research, I understand the importance of retaining the earth’s sea ice and permafrost, and am reminded of NASA Earth Observatory 2016 website posting on the subject: “Scientists estimate that 5 times as much carbon might be stored in frozen Arctic soils- (permafrost)- as has been emitted by all human activities since 1850.” A mind-boggling assessment of our planet by the space agency!
Hydro-Quebec dams are designed and built to store the spring freshet. This long-term storage allows spring and summer solar energy to be absorbed and create a warm thermal mass. These enormous hydropower projects deliver a seemingly inexhaustible supply of warm water to the hydroelectric turbines in frigid, cold winter months to generate electricity. Without these reservoirs and their continued winter releases of warm water preventing rivers from being locked in ice, the turbines could not function and generate electricity.
Hydro-Quebec and CMP deny any kind of heat pollution due to Hydro-Quebec’s northern mega dams. Conversely, as discussed in my recent book Arctic Blue Deserts, Russia shares publicly and with pride how their Siberian dam projects create heat pollution from their colossal man-made reservoirs, in order to warm the rivers and melt the Arctic sea ice.
This past March, in the Bloomberg Green Newsletter, Laura Millan wrote about Russia in: “Where climate scientists see danger Russians see an opportunity”
“In the meantime, Russia will do its best to profit from the opportunities unveiled by the melting ice, even as it struggles to deal with the impacts of climate change in its own territory. The Arctic is warming faster than the continent---this has a very negative potential, but also a very positive one,” said Aleksey Chekunkov, Russia’s Minister of Development of the Far East and the Arctic. “
“The Northern Sea Route, which links northern Europe and Russia to China through the Arctic seas, used to be blocked by ice most of the year, with navigation only possible in summer months, from June to October. This year, record-low sea ice and an increasingly powerful Russian fleet of icebreakers meant the season was the longest ever, from May to February. We believe navigation can be made year-round and we’re not waiting until it happens climate-wise.” Chekunkov said.
“We’re building the most powerful fleet of nuclear icebreakers in the world. All-year navigation could be a reality by mid-century,” he said.
For years, the Russians have publicly acknowledged northern navigation is directly linked to their mega dams driving climate change, thereby opening Arctic routes for sea traffic. In contrast to Russia’s self-proclaimed efforts, CMP’s ads in Maine try to assure residents that Hydro-Quebec’s mega dams are not melting the sea ice or permafrost or warming the climate by the increased absorption of solar radiation in the ice-free seas of James and Hudson Bays. Or, that these Canadian dams are in fact, not increasing carbon emissions by releasing carbon stored in northern Quebec’s rapidly melting permafrost.
For supporting scientific data, including my Introduction and Chapter 10 of Arctic Blue Deserts, visit www.arcticbluedeserts.com. I am convinced CMP does not want anyone to read NASA’s compelling data in Chapter 10.
The Question 1 referendum is almost upon us. It is critical we all understand how a “YES” vote is a very important step to stop NECEC and in suppressing this human-made heat pollution fueled by Hydro-Quebec’s northern mega dams.
NECEC’s billion dollar project must be stopped. The project offers no new generation of power or climate benefits as CMP has extoled to the public. Rather it will enable Hydro-Quebec to build more mega reservoir dams, and in the future transmit additional dirty energy through Maine. Share with me, this important, critical conversation and vote “YES” on November 2nd and please forward my email to your associates, friends, and family.
October 25, 2021