|[click on image to expand] The Ivanpah Solar facility creeps across once pristine desert in the northeastern Mojave Desert. Built in three phases, this photo was taken when desert for only two of the phases had been cleared and bulldozed.|
|[click on image to expand] This photo shows only part of phase 1, with the "power tower" rising in the middle, and thousands of solar mirrors -- each the size of a garage door -- beginning to blanket the naked desert floor.|
The Ivanpah Solar project is just the beginning. Several other large solar projects are destroying desert ecosystems, and the Department of Interior expects to approve the equivalent of 58 more Ivanpah Solar projects, according to its "reasonably foreseeable development scenario," for a total of over 334 square miles of destruction of ecologically intact desert wildlands. Wind energy projects could destroy and fragment even more wildlands in America's southwestern deserts. Yet rooftops and parking lots across our cities make much better places to generate clean energy.
|Solar panels cover a parking lot in southern California.|