There isn’t a better way to get people to care about something than to have them experience it.
And when Travis Winn went to the Tibet region of China, he noticed what people hadn’t experienced was the river flowing through their own backyards. So we’re heading there on this Saturday’s Around the World to see how he’s gotten people into the Salween River while it’s still here!
It can be hard to separate the benefits from the losses when it comes to damming a river. The structures are built for a reason; they make it easier for us to travel, create energy, and retain water for consumption. But then, of course, there’s the flip side—you’re losing a river.
Free flowing rivers are majestic, powerful entities that have the ability to connect us to nature in ways that nothing else can. Well, that is, if you’re able to experience them.
So Travis Winn is helping people do just that.
There’s been talk of damming the Salween River for some time now, so, he and the program Last Descents have been helping people get in there and experience it in its natural state before it’s too late. 1 This beautiful piece from NRS Films shows us what he’s doing and how this is affecting the people who visit!
It’s important to notice what Travis says about the children—because they’ll soon become the leaders in the world. Even if this river doesn’t make it, they’ll have experienced what rivers have to offer us. And the more experiences we offer our children, the more informed they’ll be to make choices for us all in the future.
Rivers are the veins of the world.
And you don’t want to block them. They have the ability to connect us and transport food and nutrients to the people and creatures living along their shores. If we lose them, who else will be affected? Not only will we no longer be able to kayak through their rapids, but we’ve all seen what happens when a part of an ecosystem no longer performs in its natural ways.
When you build a house of cards and one card falls out… what happens? If you need a reminder, take a look at this following article. It shows, rather beautifully, how truly connected everything is.
With so many new ways to generate energy that don’t have a lasting effect on the earth, are we still living in a time where dams are necessary? Haven’t we developed the capabilities to create what we need in sustainable ways?
Stories of leaders like Travis Winn act as a welcomed reminder that there are people out there working to keep us connected to the natural world. It’s easy to get swept up into our societies today, but it’s best not to forget what we’re a part of.
“Our vision at Last Descents is simple. We believe that by bringing people to the rivers of western China, and showing them a once in a lifetime experience, that we can create a reason to preserve them. If we persist, some of these rivers will be saved for the enjoyment of generations to come.” 3
Want to learn more about Travis and what Last Descents is up to? They’re bringing people to more than just the Salween River. Just jump on over to their website to discover more! You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram.
If you’re looking for a few more rivers to jump into, may I suggest one of these?
Bonus: What happens when a river is dammed? And what happens when that dam is removed?
This fantastic video from National Geographic gives us a look into the biggest dam removal in U.S. history! If you have a few moments, please take a peek.
As always, stay open to new possibilities!
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” —Albert Einstein
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- “Current Status of Dams on the Salween River – February 2016.” International Rivers, Salween Watch, 29 Feb. 2016, www.internationalrivers.org/resources/11286. Accessed 3 Oct. 2018. ↩
- “Salween Spring.” Vimeo, NRS Films, 21 Mar. 2016, vimeo.com/159848031. Accessed 3 Oct. 2018. ↩
- Last Descents River Expeditions, lastdescents.com/aboutus.html. Accessed 25 Oct. 2018. ↩
- “After Largest Dam Removal in U.S. History, This River Is Thriving | National Geographic.” YouTube, National Geographic, 2 June 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=VipVo8zPH0U. Accessed 24 Oct. 2018. ↩