Large corporations have skewed the planning process towards large, destructive solar projects in the desert, at the same time rooftop solar programs are being starved of funding. The Oil Age is just a flash in history's pan, but the Solar Age is capable of lasting indefinitely. What kind of world are we creating? Will it be a future where everyone owns their own source of power, or we will live in an Empire of The Sun, dominated by towers and transmission lines, with a meter placed on every sunbeam?
Here's an excerpt:
Industrial-scale solar development is well underway in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. The federal government has furnished more public property to this cause than it has for oil and gas exploration over the last decade — 21 million acres, more than the area of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties put together.
Even if only a few of the proposed projects are built, hundreds of square miles of wild land will be scraped clear. Several thousand miles of power transmission corridors will be created.
The desert will be scarred well beyond a human life span, and no amount of mitigation will repair it, according to scores of federal and state environmental reviews.
"The scale of impacts that we are facing, collectively across the desert, is phenomenal," said Dennis Schramm, former superintendent at neighboring Mojave National Preserve. "The reality of the Ivanpah project is that what it will look like on the ground is worse than any of the analyses predicted."
Full Article at L.A. Times
Sunday, February 12, 2012
L.A. Times editorial on industrial solar and loss of desert habitat
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