"Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." - Benjamin Franklin
|Fire fighters at the World Trade Center in 2001.|
|NYPD vehicles submerged by Hurricane Sandy.|
We all lose sleep over the events that are most representative of climate change's destruction. Hurricane Sandy, the derecho storm that hit the East Coast, wildfires, drought, and disease outbreak. We beg for acknowledgement from the mainstream that climate change is a present and enduring threat. Climate change is a threat that demands immediate action. A swift shift to renewable energy, and the preservation of ecological treasures.
But many have proposed a solution without examining the costs. Industrial wind and solar facilities on wildlands may seem to offer the quickest solution to carbon emission reduction, but accepting this path sacrifices the very fabric of the system we seek to salvage from ourselves -- our soils, plant and animal life. The industrial solution to climate change is the recycling of the very same problem of human burden on the planet upon which we depend. The loss of biodiversity, pristine landscapes, water and food. Take a portion of our country as an example. Generating enough electricity to meet California's power demand would require well over 2,500 square miles of wind and solar facilities, and still require natural gas "peaker" plants. In California alone, we are talking about the extirpation of plant and animal species. The depletion of aquifers, and the loss of God's "cathedrals", as John Muir described the untouched landscapes that inspired his writings.
|[click on image to expand] BrightSource Energy's Ivanpah Solar project under construction in the northeastern Mojave Desert. The project has already displaced or killed over 300 desert tortoises, and threatened the survival of rare desert plant speices.|
|[click on image to expand] A Google Earth image of the Las Vegas area provides a scale to understand how much public lands will be destroyed for renewable energy development in the southern Nevada area. Each block represents the square mileage proposed or approved for public land destruction in the southern Nevada region, broken out by solar, wind, and transmission projects approved and proposed. If built, all of these projects would only meet a small fraction of Nevada or California's energy demand.|
|A photo of the cave-dwelling evening primrose, a rare desert forb found near the BrightSource Energy Ivanpah Solar project, and threatened by industrial development on desert habitat. Photo by James M. Andre, copyright 2008.|