Many national environmental groups urge followers to think "Beyond Oil." I am thinking "Beyond Oil," but I'm not sure they have taken their own advice. Many in the self-appointed environmental elite have become cheerleaders for a neutral, amoral man-made beast of steel and glass that they are convinced will solve the world's problems--renewable energy. Speaking against this beast is blasphemy. Don't remind them that some of the worst (ongoing) ecological disasters in America are the the fault of hyrdopower dams--also a form of renewable energy. Don't tell them that 30-story tall wind turbines can kill up to 14 birds per megawatt generated. Don't tell them that even a thousand square-miles of public land will be carpeted with solar panels and wind-turbines before you even reach 25% of California's energy demand. They won't hear it.
Environmentalism has lost sight of what John Muir called "God's cathedrals," referring to nature's majesty. What I fear today is that elite environmentalists are beholden to the technology that will beat their opponent. Environmental groups are becoming more familiar with the landscapes and lexicon of government policy and markets than with "God's cathedrals." Determined to protect some, and wreck the rest of them with something of their own creation. "Clean" Industry.
Look at how a Grist article started on new wind turbine technology:
"Is there any image that represents a renewable energy future better than a stately white wind turbine turning on a hillside?"What about this Sierra Club blog that suggests we better get used to industrialization of our landscapes:
"Producing 10 percent of the energy the United States used in 2009 from wind farms, for example, would require turbines covering an area the size of New Hampshire. Meeting global energy demand from solar power would mean covering 1 percent of the earth's surface with solar panels....it won't be an easy transition. But having taken the position that it is a necessary one, it's something we need to start envisioning now."The Natural Resources Defense Council boasted about it's support for a...
"...transmission line that will bring renewable resources from the east Mojave desert to the Los Angeles metro area along the Interstate 10 corridor."Keep an eye on any of the major environmental group's facebook pages, and you'll see frequent and jubilant updates about increased profit for the solar sector, rising production of wind energy in the Midwest. Sometimes you feel like your on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
A representative of the Wilderness Society told me during an open house for the Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement--a Federal plan to bulldoze thousands of square-miles of pristine desert to make way for solar facilities throughout America's southwest--that "polling" showed the desert was not popular with the Wilderness Society's followers.
When did John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Edward Abbey, Rachel Carson, David Brower, or just a younger version of that Wilderness Society representative ever give a sh!t about "polling"?
Wake up! Think "Beyond Oil," but don't be fooled into thinking industry will save the planet. That's nature's job. The kindest solutions may also be the simplest. Shutting off the lights when you leave a room. Encouraging rooftop solar where we live. Switching from incandescent to LED bulbs.
Protecting nature is every individual's responsibility. Don't outsource that to Wall Street.