Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mean spiritedness …. and some thoughts on Ivanpah.

That’s my reaction after reading some of the comments to the
Las Vegas newspaper article after the native american elders
visit to the Ivanpah site and their climbing the same hill that I did
on Tuesday, September 14th.

I mean have you ever such narrow minded, mean spirited, and
quite frankly thinly veiled racist remarks? Go here and after reading
the article, scroll down to the bottom. Makes you want to hop into the
shower with lye soap after reading some of those “comments.”

Here we have native american elders whose ancestors lived in this area
of the desert for thousands of years. Maybe they didn’t leave behind any
famous statues but they did leave heirs who still remember the old ways
and the sacred places, maybe they didn’t list them on the approved bureaucratic
document in triplicate, but to them, they are still sacred. That feeling should
be respected by us. Who knows, we might learn something that could nourish
our souls in this modern life full of such marvels of technology but still lacking
in some way that we can’t quite put a finger on but we know is missing, deep down inside our hearts.
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Of course, to some “comment”writers, there
is nothing sacred and the word itself is enough, once heard or seen in print,
to launch an all out assault, as in this case. I have full confidence that if painted
on that black metamorphic hill were ancient pictographs from long ago, and that
was part of the project, the hill and the ancient paintings would be the first to go,
most likely vandalized and destroyed by these mentally deficient types prior to
the state sanctioned destruction. I don’t think I have ever seen such idiots so
full of arrogance, displaying their lunacy online for all the world to see. It’s incredible
yet at the same time, it makes you sad.

Of course, this narrow mindedness is nothing new here or anywhere else. Mankind
has been afflicted with it for thousands of years, and we can probably count on it to
lead to our inevitable extinction as a species one of these years. The coarseness of
modern society as expressed in day to day interactions and in what passes today as
politics, are one and the same and my fear is that as our circumstances as a nation
worsen and people see nothing being done, that the call may go out(manufactured in
the media most likely) for a strong hand to emerge and take charge. Morning in Amerika!
Mourning in America actually would be a better saying at that point.

And let me point out to these “writers” that some who are in a position to know, and with
years and years of experience in these matters, believe that this whole “fast tracked
approval process” has resulted in superficial and careless environmental impact
reports and on point, but not this particular project, will result in ancient native american
artifacts and sacred areas being erased wholly from the face of the earth as in Blythe, with no mention in the EIS at all of their existence. If it happened there, it could happen at any project.

As some, including this blogger, have been saying, what’s the big hurry? Why the rush?
New scientific results seem to be coming out on almost a daily basis- just the other day,
I read where MIT researchers have found a way using nanotechnology to funnel photons
down through a funnel of atoms, to the light receptors, a process they believe will result
in huge size reductions in the amount of surface area required, and that this could be
developed cheaply. Again, we ask what’s the big hurry?

Now here, let me say, speaking only for me, perhaps the hurry has to do more with money
and maintaining the public utilities control over the process than anything else. Not stopping climate change, or global warming; nothing like that, just maintaining “command
and control.” I have long argued with my friends against term limits, saying how could you
possibly learn enough about your job in just a few years, heck, I have been driving buses
for only 4 years, and I am learning new things everyday. So what I am saying is you have
a bunch of political hacks and neophytes, having to lean on the lobbyists for help and
advice, I bet they even ask the lobbyists to write the bills and you get crap like this bill
these plants are being built under, with the “blowback” being the deserts will be destroyed
for our lifetimes and our descendents lifetimes, for what- a 30-40 year project lifespan?
What will be the next great thing then to replace these boondoggles? Will we pave over
the Yosemite Valley then for the next great energy savings idea?

Here’s what I say- if you need a power plant built in Ivanpah, build another natural gas
peaker plant, say next to the one in Primm, and you wait to see what technology will
develop for renewable energy. Sure it will release carbon into the atmosphere, but in
the grand scheme of things, what harm will it do to build that now, while we work on
better siting of these renewable energy plants and waiting for the technology to improve
on concentrated solar as well as rooftop solar. After all, why should we sacrifice the
Mojave just because China is bringing two new coal-fired power plants a week and
we ain’t talking “clean coal” either.

Speaking of rooftop solar, I just read about new micro-inverters designed to work with
pv and to work with the utility grid system, so the utilities would still have some control of the process.

I for one would be open to allow the utilities to maintain some control in such a fashion, if it
meant the deserts could be saved.

Yes the view out here on the backporch is getting cloudier by the day, but at least so
far, there isn’t a wind turbine or heliostat in sight. But that will be changing soon, I fear.
All we can do is just keep on keeping on and fighting the good fight.

Folks, I know how hard it is to try and stay optimistic and to keep a dog in this
hunt. I have had my moments where I rued the course this blog seems to have taken. But then when I finally escape the big city and the teeming mass of
humanity and come sit atop the hill which I now know that some still today, and
before, and always will consider sacred, when I sat atop this metamorphic hill with
the wind up there whistling right through me it seemed, cutting right into my
very soul, prying deep into my heart, I knew then and now that I will just keep on going, tilting at the wind mills.
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I hope you will continue at my side, with an open heart and mind, and together
we will try to do what’s right and just, not what’s expedient, and open to teachings
from our elders, so that we can save this planet and these deserts and other
wild places from this seeming mad rush to destruction, all in the name of saving


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