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Stopping the flow of discourse

| Friday, February 15, 2019

On our campus, it is all too common for important issues to be ignored and never spoken about. The Viewpoint section often contains arguments about the issues that are brought up time and again by the handful of students who enter into the political arena and put forward their arguments. We step forward from the shadows today to bring to the forefront of the discussion an overlooked and ignored issue that has gone unremarked upon for too long. We step forward to call attention to the Hoover Dam.

The Hoover Dam stands over 70 stories tall in the middle of the Colorado River. A popular tourist site, it powers the homes of over 8 million Americans. It is also a destructive force on the ecosystem of the Colorado River, having directly caused the extinction of at least three species of fish native to the river. These fish went extinct in the late 1930s and served as the first causalities in a brutal and effective war that the Hoover Dam has quietly waged on the environment.

As thousands of tourists gawk at its admittedly impressive height, they are blind to the damage that the Dam does simply by existing. Dams, by nature, block the flow and course of waterways. Many scientists have directly linked the Hoover Dam to the Colorado River’s current failure to connect with the Pacific Ocean, a shortcoming that costs the Southwest millions of dollars in trade each year. Its impact becomes even more apparent when considering the hundreds of people who died while it was being constructed.

We call on Fr. Jenkins and the organized student groups of Notre Dame to take a stance on this murderer that looms in our midst. For too long has the Hoover Dam gone unpunished for its crimes against man and nature. For too long has the true cost of its power gone unconsidered. For too long has this topic not been at the forefront of political and social discourse. We at Notre Dame are too intelligent and socially conscious to let one more day go by without recognizing the evil of the Hoover Dam. We ask that the administration speak out and stop the damming of information that surrounds this shameful symbol of American greed.

Jack Auer


 Michael Scully


Ramón Villafana


Patrick Huurman


Feb. 13

(Editor’s note: Patrick Huurman is a former News Writer for The Observer.)

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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