Fly Fisher, Environmental Journalist, Author
Steven Hawley is an environmental journalist who writes about rivers, dams, and the ecological impacts they have on salmonids in the American West. His book Cracked: The Future of Dams in a Hot, Chaotic World, was released in May 2023. He is the writer and co-producer of an award-winning documentary, Dammed to Extinction (2019), and the author of Recovering a Lost River. To follow Steven's journalist journey visit his website.
Listen to Steven Hawley's Show...
Cracked: The Ugly Truth About Dams
Steven Hawley, an environmental journalist, has revealed the ugly truth about dams. The estimated 800,000 dams in the world can’t be blamed for destroying the Earth’s entire biological inheritance, but they play an outsized role in that destruction. What started as an arguably good government project has drifted oceans away from that original virtuous intent. Join us to learn about the effect dams have had on our planet and what the future of dams can be in our warming world.
Just a few of the questions asked and answered during the interview:
- You recently published "Cracked: The Future of Dams in a Hot, Chaotic World." What inspired you to write the book?
- How do you see the role of dams evolving in the context of global climate change?
- What are some innovative alternatives to dams for water management and power generation?
- Can you share a story from the book that particularly moved or motivated you?
- Detractors to dam removal cite the financial and environmental benefits of dams. Can you provide a counterpoint to these arguments?
- How do you propose we balance the human need for water and power with the ecological necessity to maintain free-flowing rivers?
- How do indigenous and local communities fit into the narrative around dams and their impact?
- Can you talk about a specific dam removal project that you cover in the book and its outcomes?
- Can you discuss specific examples where dam removal has led to noticeable improvements in fishing quality or fish biodiversity?
- In some cases, a dam removal would destroy fisheries as we know them. What are your thoughts on those situations?
- What are the most common misconceptions about dams?
- Is it possible to remove a dam like the Glen Canyon Dam?
- Are dams still being built in the United States?
- How do you see the dialogue around dams changing in the next decade?