I recently stumbled across a blog--which is an unabashed cheerleader for unimpeded solar energy development--that criticized opposition to BrightSource Energy's Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, and labeled the Mojave Desert as "useless land" that was perfect for solar energy siting. The blog obviously did not acknowledge the compromises that need to be made as we pursue renewable energy in California, let alone a basic understanding of the Mojave Desert environment. Yes, some desert land will need to be developed with utility-scale solar. But the Mojave is not devoid of life, and many Americans appreciate un-interrupted wilderness. As for Ivanpah, science clearly shows that the site is significant for its unique desert tortoise population, and occurrences of rare desert plants. While these counter-arguments are likely not news to regular readers of this blog, I had to overcome my initial shock and remind myself that the "useless land" argument is unfortunately one that can gain traction in much of the US, especially since solar energy's economic benefits are touted from Wall Street to the White House.