Some people argue that the desert ecosystem will be better off with the clean energy generated by these projects, as if there was only a binary choice between clean energy that destroys wildlands and climate change, when in fact solar panels can be just as productive on rooftops or already-disturbed lands. With just a year or two of tactical patience, First Solar could have found a better place for these solar panels. The impacts of emissions already generated by humans guarantee negative impacts on all of our wildlands for decades; it is more important that the next step we take is toward clean and sustainable model. The fact that anybody would insist on the sacrifice of the Ivanpah Valley - a largely intact desert ecosystem that hosts an above averages richness of species - is unreasonable and ignores smarter alternatives.
|The Mojave yucca pictured above will be destroyed when First Solar bulldozes over 3.7 square miles of prime desert tortoise habitat to build the Silver State South Solar project.|
We should be deploying clean energy with the long game in mind, not with some rushed fervor that tramples on our conservation ethic. Furthermore, Interior's dutiful execution of the President's climate action plan runs in parallel with continued leasing of public lands to coal, oil and gas extraction, pouring salt on the wounds of Ivanpah.