Wednesday, November 17, 2010

To the Sierra Club leaders- toss the talking points and drive down to Ivanpah and Blythe, give penance for your sins against these wild places by laying down in front of an earthmover.

Folks, I just came across an interview on Alternet.Org, which is a news outlet, where Michael
Brune, the Czar of the Sierra Club, made his case for the SC moving forward on the climate change battle. Being a little aware of the overall context of his words, the timing of them and
knowing what is going on at Ivanpah and Blythe, with thanks in part due to his organization-
well, let’s just say the Morongobill vented a little steam in the comments section, which I will repeat here:

“Just a couple of thoughts to throw out there in the froth here.
The SC leadership has done a masterful job of marginalizing their base of committed activists- that's my opinion from anecdotal sources from within the group. These real activists are sitting on the sidelines with the exception of a bold few who are saying "screw the club" as regards the desert solar issue.
So now they are putting together their talking points to roll out to the proletariat, got to have everybody on the same page, of course without any meaningful input from the before mentioned activists, who have fought in the trenches for years.
Oh and I just had to laugh at this quote-"We don't seem to have the same passion, we have not yet given evidence that we have the same enthusiasm and the depth in our organizing and so we need to reconnect to our base -- we have to lead with our values"- they don't have the same passion because just like at Glen Canyon decades ago, the leadership has again sold out the environment to the industrialists, this time at Ivanpah. AND THIS TIME THERE IS NO DAVID BROWER TAKING IT UPON HIMSELF TO GO FIGHT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, DESPITE THE CLUB. HE WAS AT A GOV'T OFFICE STILL FIGHTING TO SAVE GLEN CANYON WHEN THE WORK BEGAN!
Contrast that righteous and manly position to the clown running the SC now, sitting on the sidelines
while the earthmovers move in and the desert tortoise's get whacked. And by the way, these events were set
in motion long ago, as the SC and the NRDC had highups in place at the table, when the rules were set down for energy development.
Yes sir, in my opinion, both groups stopped being environmental groups dedicated to saving the wild places long ago, and morphed into being carbonmentalist groups, worshiping at the altar of carbon reduction, got to save that environment by mirrowing over vast areas of wilderness to reduce carbon, never mind China building 2 coal fired plants a week.Of course by doing this, they are signing death warrants for at least 50% of the desert tortoises they run across and run over in the process. As Will
Sonnett used to say, no brag, just fact.
Another quote- "The two areas of real growth are desert Southwest solar facilities"- no mention at all
that I could see anywhere about rooftop solar, just this mention which obviously is a reference to concentrated solar plants, you know the giant 5 square mile or so scraped earth monstrosities that the promoters always want sited on pristine desert habitat, hundreds of miles out, that can only get funded with the feds help, because no self respecting investment banker would touch the deals with a ten foot pole, that make no economic sense but make plenty of sense to the utilities because they merge perfectly with their top down, command and control model- and evidently somehow fit smoothly with the SC and the NRDC, perhaps because of corporate donations?
If you think I am kidding, check this out. Call Harry(never met a desert boondoggle I couldn't support)Reid's office and ask how that million dollar fundraiser went for him at BrightSource Energy's headquarters before the election, BS being the developer of the Ivanpah SEGS project which he is supposed to be regulating and/or legislating.
Now that is truly BS and pretty much applies to the SC leadership today, as it is currently constituted, not a David Brower or John Muir amongst the bunch, just some carbonmentalists enamored with their power point presentations and math models, who wouldn't recognize a desert tortoise if it bit them in the ass! “

I am going to make a suggestion which like most that I have made will be falling on deaf
ears. Why don’t some of you backporchians make a comment on that article as well? Bring
some facts to the folks attention out there in that alternet, who are being spoonfed the pablum the Sierra Club leadership wants them to get- before it blows over and they go back to talking about space ships or whatever it is, that a few of the longtime commenters there are into.

Speaking of deaf ears, that is exactly what activists have been talking to at Sacramento and our imperial capital all along judging by what has been and is about to transpire, out in the deserts. No matter what is said, the answer that comes back is always the same- we have to over-ride the findings of fact in order to meet our state’s renewable energy mix requirements.
I noticed a remarkable similarity between those words and how this guy Brune spoke in the interview, like everybody is reading off the same sheet of music.

In my opinion, and it may be a distinctly minority viewpoint, these so called environmental
leaders have got a lot to answer for. But since they hold the reins of power, I won’t be holding
my breath, nor should you. I fervently believe in the title of this post, they would make a strong statement by protesting at those plant sites, after all they were in on the beginning,
helped set the table so to speak, it’s a human thing to realize your mistakes after the fact, and want to make amends in any way you can, but somehow I don’t think that will happen any time soon.

So you rank and file members who surfed over here today out of curiosity, you are warned.
Your leadership has sold you out, pure and simple, not much you can do about, either resign in protest, or try to change things down from the bottom, or just go along with the flow from upstairs, becoming implicit partners with them when all the destruction out in the Mojave really starts in earnest.