The Mojave and the American Spirit

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has not yet updated the Ivanpah docket to include BrighSource Energy's proposed changes to the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, but I plan to post a review of any details presented by BrightSource to the CEC.  My blog has been a bit quiet lately, but I just wrote a letter for Congressman Lewis asking him to support the California Desert Protection Act of 2010--which I may post here later--but if you feel inspired to do the same you can find the Congressman's contact information on his website.  I'll leave you with a quote from "The Frontier In American History" written by a historian who assessed that open wilderness fostered the American spirit:

"The disappearance of the frontier, the closing of the era which was marked by the influence of the West as a form of society, brings with it new problems of social adjustment, new demands for considering our past ideals and our present needs...we shall do well also to recount our historic ideals, to take stock of those purposes, and fundamental assumptions that have gone to make the American spirit and the meaning of America in world history."  --Frederick Jackson Turner

I do not think that the frontier has disappeared.  I think there are still pockets of wilderness left that inspire the "intrinsic excellence of the common man," and the "ideal of individualism," American traits that Turner felt were endangered by the loss of wilderness.  The CEC's eventual ruling on Ivanpah will be another incremental step toward preserving this inspiration, or paving it over.


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