Explain “Balanced”

Power, trout needs must be balanced

Someone had better explain to me what “balance” means here.

Here’s the lede, so you can understand what the story is about:

Table Rock Dam was built to control flooding along the White River and, secondarily, to generate hydropower electricity for the region.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers runs the dam in concert with Southwestern Power Administration, a federal agency that markets electricity produced by White River hydropower dams.

Both find they must balance the needs of power generation and flood control with maintaining the health of the trout fishery below the dam.

They also have representatives on the White River Dissolved Oxygen Committee, which has worked for years to solve the problem.

Fritha Ohlson, civil engineer with Southwestern Power Administration and a committee member, said keeping oxygen levels up at Lake Taneycomo has not been cheap.

Southwestern Power buys liquid oxygen by the ton to inject inside the dam’s four turbines. Liquid oxygen mixes with the lake water and also cools it, both beneficial for Taneycomo trout.

“Our average use since 2001 to 2009 has been over 100 tons a year,” Ohlson said. “Liquid oxygen costs about $200 a ton, on average.”

Please, someone tell me how the needs of the trout outweigh the needs of the people who use power. For example, how many trout balance against the need of a single ventilator for a human? That’s determining balance, brothers and sisters. On one side of the scale, some number of fish and on the other side of the scale, people.

You might say I reduce it to extremes, but really, that’s what it comes down to. If you cannot defend a simple equation like this, you cannot defend the position that the needs must be balanced.

I’d happily accept considered, as in Trout Needs Considered in Power Generation.

But to put some number of fish on balance with a single human life, I cannot do it.

No, no, Brian J., one might say, we don’t mean turning off the ventilator for someone, we mean excess power consumption.

Like air conditioning, maybe some refrigeration for food storage?

Oh, no, excess.

You mean like electric cars?

Heavens, no!

How about those snazzy entertainment centers that hipnocrats have? A pile of recharging cords for iPhones, iPads, and laptops?

There’s your excess, brothers and sisters. But don’t expect a hipnocrat to go back to writing his or her thoughts in a paper diary instead of tweeting. Instead, expect hipnocrats to compel you to give up incandescent light bulbs and to turn your air conditioners up. For the greater good of a fish.

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