Thursday, December 30, 2010

So now our Governator is looking for an energy policy job at the White House! I think he’ll get the job.

As talked about on Uprising Radio this morning. Check out the story and listen to the
segment where Sonali Kolhatkar talks with Robert Cruickshank here, by the way in an
interesting twist, the title of the segment is “ Despite greenwashing, Schwarzenegger’s
tenure followed right wing republican agenda.”

Let me give you the backporch definition of “greenwashing.” On the backporch, it means
following an anti- environmental policy agenda and cloaking it in “green respectability” by
talking about saving the environment, helping turn back climate change, etc, ad nauseum.
This our Governator did very well during his tenure, saying one thing and kicking the dog shit
out of the environment and environmentalists when he had a chance. Remember his famous
words as he surveyed the beautiful desert vista at the Ivanpah SEGS groundbreaking
ceremony, and I paraphrase here, forgive me, “some see open space for miles, I see miles of gold mines.” You get the drift, I am sure.

This clown can’t get out of town fast enough to suit me. Go back to Hollywood, and go back
to making B movies. But of course, after Sacramento, Hollywood is too small a stage for
our Governator. As reported on Uprising this morning, he’s looking to latch onto a job helping
craft national energy policy in the Obama administration! Stop laughing, I know this is a riot,
but think about it, he just may get a job with those fools.

Who has been the point man for the Obama “destroy the desert to save us from climate change” agenda out here? Who has been a more vocal supporter than our Governator? I am telling you that this lapdog is almost a lock to get a job at the White House,
after all our president likes nothing better than to reach across the aisle and french kiss any
republican ass that he can get his hands on- this is a match made in heaven for D.C., and our
and the desert’s hell.

A leopard doesn’t change his spots, you put the Governator in a position of influence with
this nation’s energy policy and I guar-damn-tee there won’t be a desert or wilderness area
in the country that won’t be in danger. I base that prediction on his performance here, as he
did all he could to push through these giant renewable energy boondoggles despite any and
all arguments that they were poorly sited or that they made no economic sense, to the contrary.

By God, there was free money available from the fed’s and they were willing to weaken
the rules, let the gold rush begin! That was our Governator’s motto from the get go!

Feel free to use the search button on the left side, enter “governator”- there are about 5 pages of results for this term on this blog, in case you doubt where I stand with him.

We can’t let our guard down for a minute as long as the crowd comprised of the Governator
and his appointees, Obama and his minions like Salazar, and Harry”let’s bulldoze the desert”
Reid is still around- you can take that to the bank, trust old Morongobill on this.

Just as an afterthought, it may seem unrelated but look at this photograph for a second.
archivecd19 043


There are serious proposals, endorsed by Harry Reid, to send 2 million acres of pinyon/juniper
woodlands straight to the woodchippers, to be used in biomass “green energy” plants in
Nevada. Do you really think our Governator would overlook such a proposal if he was in
Washington working with this administration. “Ve must burn the junk trees to reclaim the land
for cattle ranchers and in the meantime produce green energy, ve von’t worry about the little
carbon and other gases that vill be produced. Let the girlie men vorry about such things.”

This guy needs to retire and go do something productive for once instead of being a facilitator
for the destruction of the last wild places left in the west.

That’s how I see things out on the backporch.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In case you missed it, federal lawsuit filed to stop 6 desert solar projects. Thoughts from the backporch.

Read the latest at the above links.

Long time readers will note that Ivanpah SEGS is included in the lawsuit.

Let’s hope and pray that a federal judge issues an injunction halting construction now before
further harm comes to the area.

What I am about to say is my take on the overall situation and is not meant to be construed as criticism of anyone.

I am grateful that these groups have put their money where their mouths are, and as the
saying goes, have skin in the game. That said, there is a lot left unsaid. Unfortunately for
them, if you look at this country’s history, there has been and to be brutally honest about it,
no real concern now for the native people’s heritage,etc. After all, this nation’s “manifest
destiny” was built on their attempted extermination as a people, and failing that, their being herded onto reservations.

I noted that they are suing over several issues, one can only hope that other public interest
groups will file amicus briefs on their behalf for some of those issues- as an example perhaps
a major environmental group might help out with NEPA issues? Or have they all morphed
into carbonmentalist groups, with the risks that their corporate checks might stop flowing in, if they get involved?

There is great good to come from the lawsuits, no doubt. It will gum up the works for a while
at least. Some issues will be clarified, and then the bulldozing will begin again in earnest.
Does anybody really believe that without a change of regime at the governing agencies involved, that miraculously the policy will change from desert destruction
to an enlightened policy of distributed power generation?

Here is what I think will happen. The lawsuit will continue, work will probably go on at Ivanpah since BrightSource was smart enough to hit the ground running, and a judge will
probably go along with it, the other sites may or may not fall by the wayside depending on
events in the capital markets, but the gold rush for solar and wind will not stop, it
will just show up at another desert location.
There is just too much money involved and
too many empty suits pushing the idea in Washington and Sacramento. But that is not all.

To date, the anti-desert building crowd still has not made a convincing case to the
vox populi, and until that happens and they understand and embrace the “save the desert” side, we have lost and the desert and all it represents is lost.

It is only a matter of time.

I am sorry to say this but that’s the way I see things from the backporch.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Obama administration and the lame duck congress, how’s that hopey-changey thing working out for you?

Great, if your address happens to be on Wall Street or if you clip bond coupons
for a living. Or perhaps you work for the defense department or one of their billion dollar
contractors- ka ching! Maybe you work for big oil&gas or coal, ka ching! Or perhaps
a giant renewable energy firm, ka ching, ka ching!

Perhaps you work for one of the large carbonmentalist groups that are aiding and
abetting in the destruction of the Mojave Desert,
I mean involved in the process
to provide clean energy for the nation by sacrificing the deserts to save carbon buildup,
ka ching! I bet the big corporate donors just keep on giving this year, eh?

Yes, it seems quite a few elite, favored groups have been suckling quite hungrily and greedily
at the hind teats of the taxpayers all this year. And how could I forget the bankers? What
a greedy arrogant bunch they have turned out to be.
Just a year or two ago before
the Congress and the Federal Reserve bailed them out to the tune of over twenty trillion
dollars and yes I said trillions with a T, they had one foot in the boneyard and
one on a banana peel, now look at them, paying themselves billion dollar bonuses
for all that hard work that they have been doing loaning all that money to small
businesses to invest and create jobs. NOT!

My question for you readers is, how is that tarp and fed bailout working for you? How’s that hope and changey thing working out for you? All I am seeing is a lot of
money going out of our pockets and into others that are already bulging with all that loot they have stolen!

In the immortal words of singer/songwriter Tracey Chapman and I paraphrase, “poor folks
are gonna rise up and take what’s their’s”- one day. You can count on it, we may be down
now, but one thing about us poor folks, we keep getting right up. The elites better keep
that in mind. People like the “ninety niners” who got absolutely zilch from this great Obummer
tax compromise with the republicans, sure as hell ain’t gonna forget how they were tossed out
with the dirty bathwater by our backstabber-in-chief, no way in hell, no sir! And I don’t think
that they are going to stand by and watch their kids being fitted for a one size fits all refrigerator box on skid row either, which will be their destiny unless something changes.

Let me tell you guys something. As you have probably guessed, my patience has worn out
with our president. Besides doing everything in his power to singlehandedly destroy the
deserts, he has also made GW look like a piker when it comes to eroding our civil liberties
as well as further accelerating our military adventures overseas, a process that I and others
feel has gone a long way to cementing our future as a third rate power, so damned broke that
we can’t even pay attention. And pissing money away like a drunken sailor- sorry to any
sailors out there, next to Obummer and this Congress, you guys are paragons of thriftiness,
and did you hear this- they have extended the treasury grant program for renewable
energy for another year- so don’t hold your breath waiting for the threat to the deserts to ease up- it ain’t happening!

So when somebody asks how things are going, I am making a vow to tell it like it is. Just lay it
out there for all to see, warts and all. If that makes me persona non grata at all the tea parties, no pun intended, too f-----g bad.

The state of this union is terrible, for my economic status group, the average wage earner
and I don’t see it changing any time soon. And I won’t be clapping for Obummer and the dumbocrat/repubs any time soon.

As far as this blogger is concerned, they can go straight to hell.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

What did I keep telling you guys?

Look at the latest from Reuters and Planet Ark.

Hint- sources at the company told Reuters that BrightSource Energy is going public
in 2011.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Stick a fork in it, this damned year is almost done.

Annus horribilis, I believe I posted earlier in the month.

Amen to that.

From our teacher-in-chief who wasted all his momentum and flatlined his young
supporters hopes for change(as well as those of older ones like this blogger) in
his relentless move ever further to the right, in a search for bipartisanship, to
his henchmen in the DOIBLM who did everything that they could possibly do in an
effort to further industrialize the deserts, and further Obama and the investment
bankers agenda of covering every damned square inch of that desert with mirrors
and wind turbines, with the direct aiding and abetting from their carbonmentalist
allies- yep, stick a fork in the deserts, they are almost done.

And on to our economic masters who are just now recovering from the hangover
after voting themselves those gigantic tax cut extensions for another
couple of years, while tossing the rest of us a bone in the extra few piddly months of unemployment extensions and a grenade in the form of a one year social
security tax “holiday lower rate”, which looks good on the surface, till you
figure out that it is the right wingnut’s wet dream, the first step in their
long drive to eliminate that program- and all happening because our “negotiater-
in-chief” settles for crumbs when he could have fought and got the whole loaf!
Yes, these bastards capped off with a wonderful year, while most of us are fighting for
that last teat to suckle on, and it’s running dry.

How could we forget the war industrial complex? I am really starting to believe
those wars will never end, because the elites are making too much damned money.
This is a great deal for them, they don’t have any kids coming home blown all to hell-
all they have to do is count their loot, not bad work if you can get it.

The security apparatus has had a real good year as well, heck not only can they get off
on rubbing down the flying public, they now are even getting Walmart shoppers into the
spying on each other game. Only in Amerika!

Let’s not forgot our friendly multinational bankers and corporations, who were rewarded for
their incompetence and perfidy by receiving massive infusions of cash from the TARP and
the Federal Reserve, those trillions of dollars that they received virtually free, they then lent back to the government and collected interest on, not loaning the money out for productive purposes to
business and therefor assist in job creation, but by an amazing sleight of hand, have become
even more arrogant and paid themselves even bigger bonuses than before the crash! An insult to the taxpayers that would be considered intolerable if they only knew.

I am telling you what this country really needs is for someone to emulate the Lord
and go to Wall Street and scourge those bastards, overthrow their tables, and
kick their sorry asses to the curb. Unfortunately that’s not likely to happen
considering all the money that they have corrupted our political system with.

Annus horribilis!

Yes for me this year can’t end soon enough. I have just about had it with 2010. From the almost
30% income drop while prices keep going up, by the way oil is back above $90 a barrel, and
I believe you can take this to the bank- in my opinion the rise is strictly the speculators doing their magic once again, I wouldn’t be surprised if this time a $147 high will seem small, I think
the government proved by its’ inaction last time, that they won’t try to stop the rise- if it does
happen, you can kiss any chance of an economic recovery goodbye, that’s for sure.

You know I just remembered it is a holiday after all and maybe nobody is in a mood for
negativity. So I will shut up.

But I leave you with this one thought.

This really has been a terrible year for a lot of us humans. It isn’t all sweetness and light
in this world, to some, it is death and destruction, flooding and starvation, picking up
pieces of your kids from the ground and digging a hole to bury them in.

Think about it, and say a prayer for the less fortunate, they need all the help and goodwill
that they can get.



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

“Well it’s their fault for bringing their kids to a battle”- our callous brutality on display thanks to Bradley Manning and Wikileaks.

Before some of you start attacking me, I invite you to watch this video, the world famous
”Collateral Murder” video where Apache helicopters open up on a group of men which
included Reuters freelance photo-journalist Namir Noor El-Deen and his assistant Saeed
Chmagh. In addition, 3 small children were severely wounded when a van stopped, and men got out to pick up a wounded man, they were attacked by the Apache as well as the van with
the children inside. This occurred in July of this year.

The title of this post comes from the radio remarks from one of the helicopter pilots. Another pilot answered him with “that’s right.”

Here is the entire 38 minute video courtesy of Aljazeera English news channel. This is complete and untampered with video and is acknowledged as authentic by our military.

Warning! What you will see is real, this has not been sanitized in any way.

Outrage is too weak a word to describe the actions and conduct in this video. Same
with the military command’s handling of this matter. It is my understanding that no
charges were filed, it was swept under the rug. When this came to light, the military
had to admit, they don’t even have their copy of the video.

Let me say before going on to the larger issues that I am no lawyer or expert in
international law or military issues. What I am is an average citizen, formerly in
the navy in the early 1970’s, with some college and liberal political views. I am not
a church goer but I do believe in the christian god. I have a problem with the arrogant
and those with a sense of entitlement.

I will not comment on the first 2 attacks shown in this video. But I have a real problem
with the shooting up of the good samaritans in the van who arrived and attempted to get
the wounded man to the hospital. Those pilots who shot them and their van, along with the children inside, and then made those remarks about the children and the parents- they
deserve to be cellmates with Bradley Manning at the Quantico Marine Brig, under the same
psychologically torturous conditions he is having to endure.

No I take that back- those cowards should have been publicly stripped of their ranks and uniforms, forced to walk the gauntlet just like in the old tv show, “Branded.” And marched
right into the brig. As far as this blogger is concerned, they should have been charged with
multiple counts of murder.

We, as a nation and a people, need to step back and think about what these endless wars
are doing to us and to our young people who are having to fight them. Long time readers
will recall that I drove a bus load of soldiers up to Ft. Irwin, California a few months ago.
They were sent there for desert training prior to being deployed to the wars in the middle
east. I still have good memories of the ride, I don’t think that I have ever met such a group
of fine men and women. But these constant deployments over and over, I fear will not be
doing these folks any good. Being exposed to the brutality and violence of war can only
have a long term negative impact, look at all the homeless veterans throughout the
nation today, just for one example.

I am not tarring the whole for the acts of a few. I do not believe that such behavior as this
video shows is the norm. But if it is, we are done.

This is a personal blog with no pretense at being anything else. I understand that most
people will disagree, especially considering that, to the best of my knowledge, it hasn’t
been shown in its’ entirety, if at all on network television. However, I strongly believe
that if the average person watches this, they will come away a new person, one who
won’t blindly accept the government’s explanations in the future.

I believe that it is time to bring our troops home.

That’s the way I see the issue here on the backporch.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

It pays to get a rich, handsome, and connected celebrity on your side when trying to save the environment.

There is a controversy brewing up in Utah as the governor approves a massive coal strip
mining operation adjacent to Bryce Canyon National Park, one of the most beautiful parks
in our country as this blogger can personally attest, having visited both Bryce and Zion in
the early 1980’s.

This coal mine will be about 10 miles from the park and it will not be pretty. Think massive hole in the ground, mountain leveling, toxic water runoff, mudflows, coal dust everywhere-
think about the many hues of Bryce’s geological features covered with a gorgeous flat black
dusting. Sure would make you want to rush right up and get into your place in line with all
the other park visitors slowed up by the giant coal hauling trucks on the mountain roads-
ahhh, morning in Amerika!

A famous actor and environmentalist, Robert Redford has a great article up at the Huffington Post today entitled “Utah approves a mine next to Bryce Canyon for coal America does not need.” This is a very interest article which I suggest you check out. What I found
fascinating was the statement that his friends at the Natural Resources Defense Council filed
a court brief with the Utah State Supreme Court to try to stop this mine from happening.

Imagine that, the NRDC, an organization that helped design the system in place in
California which has directly led to bulldozing at Ivanpah, filing a lawsuit to stop a
coal mine.

Unfortunately for the residents of Ivanpah- the thousand year old creosote growth rings, the many desert tortoises including my friend, Senór Tortuga, the badgers, the wild burros, the gila monsters, the big horn sheep, the list goes on and on-----
alas, there are no coal seams at Ivanpah.

I seem to recall posting here some time ago about the need to have activists search their
contact lists, etc to try to beat the bushes to find if the desert had an important friend. This post was met with silence, as most are. Nothing new with that, after all what the hell does
a bus driver know about the environment!

Probably not too much. However what does it hurt to look at other alternatives?

What this action by Mr. Redford shows is the powerful spotlight that a celebrity of his stature
can bring to an issue. He can help mold public opinion and my understanding is he is tight with
some in the NRDC leadership, more power to him, good luck to him and the NRDC as they
fight the good fight to try to save Bryce Canyon.

If only such a fight had occurred here with Ivanpah. This blogger and others repeatedly
pointed out the uniqueness of the ecosystem there, the beauty and solitude, and the strategic importance of a fight at that place and at that time, a fight that need to

happen right then and there, to slow down and stop the desert energy land rush
while there was a chance, and to point out better siting alternatives and other means to reach the AB 32 goals.

Unfortunately for the Mojave and other deserts, minds were made up, important minds, decision makers long plied with corporate donations and largess, and assured by the
carbonmentalist organizations, that these sites such as Ivanpah were a necessary and
needed sacrifice required to slow down and stop global warming.Sad smile

So again, I know for a fact that I have some important readers, my web logs show that.
If any of my readers know of someone important that supports the cause of saving the desert,
talk to them. There is still time to get in and try to salvage what is left. Time is truly of the essence.

This is a turbulent, uncertain time with many things happening right now, one of which is the
latest tax scheme approved by Congress and the administration. Are you aware that the treasury energy grant program has been given a one year extension? So these big energy
developers will have continued access to the taxpayer’s hind teat for another year. So vigilance has to be maintained, rest assured more of these boondoggles will be coming down the pike.

Some of you folks may be first time visitors, maybe you read a comment I made at one of
the other news sites or blogs- this picture is for you, to show you what I am talking about, as
you look at this photograph, remember the governator said he looked out at the empty desert
landscape and saw a gold mine, I fear the rest of us along with the desert, will get the shaft.
archivecd18 119

I thank you for stopping by for a spell today, and hope to see you again out on
the backporch.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

A look at three mapping options to check on renewable energy development in your area or just to have fun with your computer!

Folks, here are 3 options that you can use at home to follow up on proposed energy
projects in your area- one, the Solar PEIS, however, is only for the 6 western states
that it covers which includes California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and I believe
Colorado. I will include links and how to obtain these mapping options at the end of the post
so if you are the impatient sort, scroll down and get started in your area.

These are some of the options that are available to the intervenors, energy types, government and bureaucrats, as well as environmentalists, carbonmentalists, and other
interested parties such as bloggers and regular folks concerned about their area. Now after
looking at that last sentence, allow me to say that I am sorry for putting the average citizen
last. They should have been first, after all it is their land and environment at risk here.

The areas in question are so huge, so spacious, that it is hard to know where to start so let’s
look at an area this blogger has visited this year, one that is smack dab in the middle of
proposed energy development, and is one of the 4 solar zones set up under the new plan-
Pisgah, California. After refreshing my memory, I chose this exact area as it is the turnoff
that led to where I made a trip report for Tessera Solar’s Calico Solar project.

First the Google Earth view:
ScreenHunter_02 Dec. 18 08.56

As you can see just type Pisgah, California in the search box and after it comes up just look until you find a landmark you recognize. In this case I knew the odd shaped 2 bridges crossing a road with no on or off ramp. Bingo! And here is where I parked my car and hiked that day:
ScreenHunter_04 Dec. 18 10.37

The above is a bonus, I will include the link to that trip report as well.

For your information, these are being shown from least to most valuable currently as
regards renewable energy development, in my opinion. Next up will be the new map
generated by the new SolarMapper website:
ScreenHunter_01 Dec. 18 08.43

The above map really only shows the new solar zone boundary recently established but new features are coming. My guess and fervent wish will be that tools similar to the BLM
GeoCommunicator will be added, next up is an interactive map of the same area from the
BLM site, showing my layers being added on, I have adjusted the opacity to show details:
ScreenHunter_03 Dec. 18 09.04

This mapping site as it exists currently provides the most detail and is the most interactive
with as you can see, many ways to tweak the map plus you can save a pdf file for printing
out later. Also the last map includes layering wind, geothermal, oil and gas, cattle ranching,
etc into the map, a one stop shop so to speak.

Did I mention that the above mapping options are totally free for your use? The
price is right, that’s for sure.

This post today is not intended as a primer, just to make you aware of what may be
coming your way. If you have specific questions, feel free to email them to me, if
I can’t answer them maybe another reader can.

Here are those links that I promised:

Solar Energy Environmental Mapper

Google Earth home

Geo Communicator homepage

My Calico site trip report,pt#1

My Calico site visit, pt#2

There you have it folks, just 3 extra tools for your toolbox. Even if you don’t live near proposed energy development, Google Earth and the BLM GeoCommunicator are fun to play
around with. You can amaze your friends and family with your new found knowledge!

One other thing. I am using Mozilla Firefox, the latest version, and these work well with
that browser. I did notice that my new Internet Explorer beta 9 version had difficulties with

There have been recent political and judicial events affecting California’s desert region, I will
be posting in a day or so about those developments as well. Below is a page where you can find some information about the new solar plan(I just downloaded about 3,000 pages myself):

government information site for the new PEIS

Have fun with the information presented here today and I encourage you to play around
with the interactive maps. With Google Earth you might even fly over to the Yosemite Valley
of California where this blog scooped the world with the government plan to install renewable
energy smack dab in the middle of it! Angel


Friday, December 17, 2010

“An ancient voice speaks out against war”- as appropriate now as when uttered over 100 years ago.

Chris Floyd has a remarkable post over at his blog entitled "Bethink yourselves!: An Ancient Voice Raised Against Modern Evil.” In my opinion this article is a must read for all people
of good will, and for those who have the slightest doubt that we are following the correct
path with our overseas wars.

I commented on the article and here is what I wrote:

These times are the precursor of far worst years to come. I believe men's lives will become ever more brutish, as the world races down to reach the lowest common denominator. We are literally the walking dead and don't know it.
Being both financially and spiritually bankrupt, our only answer to everything it seems is physical domination and destruction, which can be seen from our attempted subjugation of the people of the middle east, to our own political system, and yes, to how we treat the least amongst us.
Having come to the mistaken belief that we are the worlds' chosen people, we cannot figure out why everyone else on the planet keeps on defying our God given will- don't they know not to try to mess with the plan?
In keeping with a universal principle long known to the rest of the world, one day soon I fear we will find out just exactly how the rest of humanity has long felt, once that proverbial shoe is upon the other foot and starts administering the ass kicking that we so truly need and deserve for the outrages we have committed in search of our global hegemony. “

Mr. Floyd’s post is about a warning from Leo Tolstoy in 1904, talking about war then, which
applies just the same today. Back then, as he eloquently states, men were recruited by the hundreds of thousands, and killed each other with abandon by the hundreds of thousands, but
at least then, you usually saw who you were fighting and killing.

Now of course, with our drone warfare, men with joysticks in Nevada, can rain unheard of
fire and brimstone down from the skies on helpless men, women, and children halfway around the globe, all in this misguided war on terrorism, tearing limb from little limb, and
guaranteed to create as many or more people who will hate us for killing their families and friends, than we killed. I bet if the truth was known, and I guarantee it will never come out unless another brave soul leaks the details, we kill innocents the vast majority of the time.
That is my opinion, and in the absence of real truthful information to the contrary from our
government, I believe this opinion is just as valid as anyone else’s.

This drone warfare, at the core, is utterly and completely dishonorable, and a violation
of the many thousand years old warrior’s code, where you fought face to face and were victorious in battle or killed
. It is really amazing to me, how this country went from
being injured by a few men with boxcutters to heaping untold of death and destruction on the rest of the innocent populations in Iraq and Afghanistan and now, Pakistan.

Will this madness ever cease?

The one word answer is NO, it won’t.

Our ruling elites in both parties have decided, in their infinite wisdom, that endless war overseas is our destiny. You might as well get used to it. One day when enough young
people figure out that they are the new age cannon fodder, they’ll quit joining up and then
the draft will have to be reinstated. Don’t laugh, ye of little faith, it’s coming one day soon
as the elites come to the conclusion that they can do anything, take anything, kill anyone,
steal anything- and the american sheeple will just sit in front of their tv sets, drinking their
beer, and watching the latest “Dancing with the stars.”

I stand by my comment I made, if it pisses some of you off, great! As a people and a
nation, it is time, there is still time, to take our measure and decide- are we going
to collapse like every other empire before us, or can we take our republic back,
back from the elites, and go back to the old days where we minded our own business and attempt to rebuild this country, before it is too late.
archivecd18 205

That’s the view here from the backporch, a frosty and bleak one at the moment, but as they
used to say in the old days,”hope springs eternal!”



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The raping of the Ivanpah Valley- I hope the carbonmentalists responsible for this outrage are happy now as the blading begins in earnest.

You can see the photos of this most heinous of crimes against the desert environment
here and also more high resolution and aerial images here. You carbonmentalists reading these words, rush right over and get your jollies drooling over the screen as you see the
results of this dastardly action, you maybe can’t participate in the rape, but you
can get off like a voyeur looking at the bruised and battered victim.

To the rest of you readers, those of good will who have followed this story through this blog
from the beginning, those who thought as we do, that this Ivanpah Valley, this wonderful complete ecosystem, who only through an accident of history, and location, and bad timing,
was chosen by the BrightSource Energy folks, you know the’s, to host their so called
solar renewable energy scheme, I am using that word as americans do, the Ivanpah SEGS,
to help Kalifornia meet ‘the AB32 energy portfolio requirement, our worst fears have been
realized now- the site is being bladed and leveled.

I can barely stand to look at the photos, they are so bad. The devastation is almost too much
to bear, but bear it we must. I have purposely not driven back up just to avoid having to look
at the sight of this incredibly diverse and rich, plant and animal filled environment reduced to
the state it is in now, and the destruction is just starting up. What makes it so galling also
is knowing that it didn’t have to happen, if certain so called environmental groups had signaled
their opposition at the beginning, or had filed suit to stop it, but of course that didn’t happen,
maybe because of their high muckedy mucks being involved in the very drafting of the plan that has led us to this very moment.

Here at the backporch, we have a name for folks like this, carbonmentalists, not environmentalists. You see we still believe here that old fashioned view of folks like John Muir, just to name one example, who was about saving wilderness, and not
being the quisling involved in destroying it. So go ahead carbonmentalists, celebrate your victory, we’ll see how much damned carbon you’ll save with this plant here, while the rest of the frigging world belches out more and more of it, guess you’ll have to tear up more of the precious deserts to save the planet, oh but
wait, your Godfather, Harry Reid, said you could burn up the pinyon/juniper woodlands in eastern Nevada for your beloved green biomass energy, never mind all the formaldehyde and other noxious fumes such burning will result in.

Let me say it loud and clear to you carbonmentalists, and you know who you are:
you can stick your carbon savings where the sun don’t shine, you got that?

But the rest of you folks and the loyal backporchians, it isn’t all bad. As long noted here,
the industrialists and their government bureaucratic crack ho’s don’t have the final say in
some of these projects. The capital markets have a say as well. The CEC and the DOIBLM
may not give a hoot about whether these projects are viable financially but the bond market does. And as we just saw with Tessera Solar and NTR, money woes in europe put the big
kielbasa to a couple of these solar boondoggles here.

Don’t forget also that the republicans are taking over the House of Representatives soon, they
take a lot of dough from big oil and big coal, commodities that you won’t find in the Mojave.
Pardon the french here but their hardon will be for the Alaskan wildlife refuge, not here. Being
a stone cold liberal, it is a little bit of a surprise to me, that I reacted with such glee when I saw that the chief jackass Reid, barely won a squeaker of an election, because I got to tell you, as far as this blogger is concerned he is public enemy number one to the Mojave, a man
who knows how to pull on the levers of the bureaucracy and a tireless advocate of desert destruction in the guise of providing jobs. I stand by these words and defy anyone to prove
me wrong.

So I bring you tidings of great sadness, and believe me when I say that this hurts me more than I can say, a wound deep in my heart and soul, one I am not sure can be recovered from,
except by continuing to struggle and not to give in to the bastards, harsh words, but sometimes nothing is quite so satisfying as calling a son of a bitch, just that, to his face. Or as
the line goes in a book whose title eludes me right now,"there’s no law that says that you
can’t call an asshole an asshole.” And that’s what these carbonmentalists are, assholes plain
and simple, who by being moles in place at the beginning, set into motion the events that led to the scenes you just saw on your computer screens moments ago, and that when this Ivanpah Valley is completely built out with the two additional planned solar projects, will be fit
only for industry, as the habitat that remains will be so fragmented and built up, that probably the ravens and the workers will be the only ones left.

I’ll leave you with this thought. This did not need to happen.

Remember those photos you just looked at the next time one of these carbonmentalist
calls on you for funds.

Remember Ivanpah.
ivanpah032410hike 032
Looking down toward the sacred metamorphic hill. This plain will be covered with heliostatic mirrors in a year or so.



Monday, December 13, 2010

New York Times article on Ron Paul- thoughts on keeping your freedom of speech rights leading to a major R rated rant.

The article is entitled”Rep. Ron Paul, GOP loner, comes in from the cold” and it
can be read here.

Just in case my comment doesn’t get published, I will repeat it here:

I posted his video where he defended Wikileaks the other day to my blog.

I can not recall ever seeing a politician making such a speech, totally out of step with the mob mentality currently in place regarding Assange,

this was truly a \"profile in courage.\"

I believe most folks are sick and tired of these blow dried air heads that really look good on camera, until they start talking.

Here is a man putting himself out there, year after year, a lone man unafraid to show his warts, not trying to put on airs, a real old time man of conviction, used to swimming against the tide of conventional wisdom, a tortoise plodding his way through all the hares, getting closer to the goal, a little at a time.

We need more men and women like this, sure of themselves, willing to talk and to reason, uncaring of the latest poll results- we have let the other types run things, look what it has got us to, we have become the world's bully and policeman, afraid that the rest of the world may figure out the truth, that we have no real principles and can barely find two nickels to rub together.

I am a liberal and proud of it, but despite that, or maybe because of it, I really like this man Ron Paul and wish him the best and continued good health to stand up for what he believes in.

Bill Mcdonald”

Listen folks, let me talk to some of you who are not bloggers or writers, maybe you are
lurkers who go from place to place reading things, or maybe you go to sites that you may
be in general agreement with the point of view that is expressed.

I posted my comments for a reason, to show you that it is okay to make comments online, to
put yourselves out there with your opinions, despite what friends or family might tell you, that
you are drawing attention to yourself or that it doesn’t do any good, etc. I have heard those
remarks and have even thought on occasion that it might not do any good, but so what? We
still have freedom of speech in this country and if people don’t like what you say, so what, too
bad, or as we used to see back home, tough shit! It is called freedom of speech, use it or lose it.

Everywhere I look, I see freedoms being eroded right in front of my eyes. Who would have
dreamed that we would be throwing around the words- homeland security- that’s a word
that was bandied about by the communists and nazi’s wasn’t it? Now that’s an
agency of the United States government? And aren’t they the ones who are busy
getting off on rubbing the family jewels of the flying American public and leering at
their xray screens in the airports?

It seems you can’t do anything anymore without running afoul of one administrative regulation or the other, such as the 72 year old man evicted from his own land for the crime of living off the grid. Or you want to raise some alarm bells- try to fly one way somewhere, just show up with no reservation and then try to pay with cash. Don’t be surprised if the agents take you into custody when your plane lands, and interrogate you for hours. And
confiscate your money, then telling you to sue them to get it back. If you don’t believe me
google it, look it up, it’s true.

At this point in my life, I have just about had it with the way things are going. Here we are
all around the world, kicking asses and taking names, because we are so scared, scared of
our own damned shadows it seems, all because we can’t keep our big noses out of everyone
else’s business, and when a group of men, armed with box cutters, slips through our vaunted
multi-billion dollar security networks and wrecks havoc on our cities, we use that as an excuse
to spend even more billions of dollars with now 3 going on 4 wars, no closer to winning, and
leaving a horrendous devastation in our wake, guar-damned-teed to create even more hatred
for us, sure to appear as payback in some unanticipated way by the commissars supposedly
looking after us all- then that will necessitate spending even more billions that we don’t have,
a vicious circle jerk that has no end till we stop spending and meddling out of sheer exhaustion.

Then to top it all off, like a cherry on top of the shitpot served to us like a dessert, our president, the backstabber-in-chief, goes out and makes a deal to give our masters a
wonderful gift filled stocking in the form of tax cuts, which I predict in an election year next
time will be made permanent, and for the rest of us, a stocking with a few lumps of coal,
in the form of a few bones tossed to the unemployed, and a trojan horse “tax holiday” for
social security, which is the first step in the longed for by the right, gutting of social security,
the most successful government program in our countries history, I think I am finally starting
to get it, there can not be a good government program to some folks,period, so they do everything they can to sabotage it, welcome to Amerika, land of the drones and chickenhawk
laptop warriors, may they rot in hell for their perfidy and scheming.

This post started as a few thoughts on free speech, but as you can see, my demons got the better of me, and it turned into a major rant, but a rant which I feel needed to be said, perhaps not in such an impolite and impolitic way- and yes I am using those words correctly-
I apologize for offending some of you, but you can only take so much sometimes.

Freedom of speech, one of our God given rights, but in my opinion, a right that
has never been in as much danger as now, just about to be extinguished by our
so-called elected officials, in the guise of national, homeland security, unless we use it or lose it, folks.

That’s the word from the backporch.Steaming mad



Sunday, December 12, 2010

Taking the rest of the year off, from blogging that is.

If any real big news happens, I’ll probably write a little about it here. But first, if I were you
I’d go first to the sites below.

For your desert needs, I suggest the following:

Coyote Crossing

Basin and Range Watch

Mojave Desert Blog

Desert Blog

The Guzzler

For information on the right way to do renewable energy:
Solar Done Right

To reach me:

You will probably see me commenting on the above blogs and sites.

It’s been a pleasurable first year of blogging.

As far as the desert goes, I have made a few great trips up. But as for the
”progress toward the renewable energy future made possible by the sacrifice
of California’s deserts”- a latin phrase comes to mind:

Annus Horribilis.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ron Paul speaking in support of Wikileaks on the House floor, are we killing the messenger for the bad news?

Folks, what I am about to say will probably send some of you off the deep end.

In my lifetime, we have went to war based on lies, losing young lives by the tens of
thousands, and killing our enemies in the millions.

Those are facts, we have total military superiority and plenty of bullets.

But maybe, just as a thought, what if it is true that we went to war based on lies?

It’s up to each of you to watch this video or not, I watched it and Congressman Paul
makes a few compelling points.

No matter your politics, if you are at all in doubt whether or not, there is a smidgen of truth in the above statements, watch the video which is about 5 minutes long.

Say what you want about Ron Paul, I don’t think he is lying here.


Not a typical man on street tv video.Warning!Salty language!

Financial reporter asks an irishman about what happened in his country financially.

When asked about the problems with the country and what did he think was the cause, this man lets loose.

Best news interview that I have ever seen.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Of PIIGS, broken dreams, desert tortoises, and the saving of the Quechan’s ancestral home.


The PIIGS according to the world’s bond traders and the focus of the European Union’s
financial worries especially Greece and Ireland, recipients of bailout funds, all in a desperate
attempt to stave off economic disaster, circa 1929.

Ireland, home base and corporate headquarters for NTR, the conglomerate that owns controlling interests in Tessera Solar and Stirling Energy Systems, maker of the Stirling
Suncatcher, tens of thousands of which were to be placed in the Mojave Desert at the
Calico Solar plant and in Imperial County, on the ancestral homeland of the Quechan Indian
Tribe, which has filed suit in federal court to stop the project.

Calico has been the target recently of rumblings by the Sierra Club, something about a
possible environmental legal action being filed, so both projects were suddenly under a recent
litigation cloud- and now, out of the blue, both projects appear to be dead in the water.

What happened, you might ask?

Longtime readers of this blog will recall that this blogger suggested a few times that the capital markets might have a big say in whether or not these giant solar and wind boondoggles would be built. In this case, they have spoken and the answer is a resounding
no. Due to an inability to obtain financing in the initial stage, NTR has pulled the plug, in effect
walking away from their $100,000,000 investment in Stirling Engine Systems which
they had a controlling interest in
. Evidently both SES and Tessera have recently laid off
most of their employees and the projects, having no financing currently and with prospects of getting it by yearend virtually nonexistent, the projects are dead in the water.

I first heard about this at the Mojave Desert Blog earlier today and I commented that would it be possible that another company with financing could obtain these properties? Shawn commented
back that they might have to redo the applications or words to that effect(sorry my internet is down, cannot give the exact wording) but I did see on a tradegroup website that there was a
remote chance another company might resurrect the two projects, but really they are dead as
no company could now jump through all the required hoops at this late stage of the process.

So at least for a year or so, unless someone pulls a desert tortoise out of their hat, the desert is safe, at least in these areas. The Quechan’s homeland is saved from destruction and all the
plants and wildlife are safe at Calico for the next few years.

I want to say something here. I am sorry the folks got the layoff notices, in this era of hard times, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Hopefully, they will move on to other jobs, perhaps
even in rooftop solar. Having experience and skills, they should latch onto other jobs as quick
or quicker than others.

But I am very happy with this great news. After Ivanpah, the desert really needed this news.
We are talking about many square miles of prime habitat being saved from the bulldozers here, as well as the hopes, dreams and whole past of a sovereign people as well.

As mentioned here many times, this is a complicated situation, like chess being played on
many levels. What we opponents need is more time- time that can be used to lobby
and bureaucracies to consider the option of direct power generation, time for all the wonderful
advances being made in rooftop solar to percolate from being an idea to becoming a commercial product, time for the average person to be made aware of just how their environment would be irreparably harmed by the large scale industrialization of the desert,
time for them to be persuaded to at least find out the awe and majesty of the desert wilderness by being able to visit now before the damage is done- we just need more time!

And now we have it.

At 11:59 pm, the phone has rang, the warden has answered it, the guards have come into
the gas chamber and taken off the shackles, and we are breathing that clean, pure desert
air, it is time to thank our Maker for this blessing, for being able to live a bit longer, a bit
freer, with joy in our hearts, and courage and resolve flowing through our veins- we are
alive, the desert here still lives, the bighorns, the desert tortoises, the mojave ground squirrels, the fringe-toed lizards, the Gila Monsters, all of God’s creatures will live along
with us- it is a day to celebrate, but only a day or so…….

For all our joy, the opposite will be the case with the industrialists and their ilk. They will
regroup, I am almost certain that another company may take up the challenge of siting
on these areas, it wouldn’t make any sense to try to do so, especially considering the
impending regime change in Sacramento, possibly resulting in the ascendancy of direct
rooftop solar as the means to reach AB32’s goals- but I have learned at least one thing this year, and that is never to underestimate the opposition- so we will have to maintain vigilance
on behalf of the land and its’ inhabitants, lest another company tries to sneak in an application.

A personal note my friends. Ever since the bulldozers began blading at Ivanpah, I have
been depressed and have not had much to say. I guess as we used to say back home in
Georgia, I was walking around totin’ an ass-whupping. And I probably wasn’t much fun to be around either. I am still unhappy about Ivanpah, even more so now that I know that First Solar plans to build a multi-square mile solar facility 1/4 mile from, and on the same side of the road as Ivanpah SEGS. But I have learned that you take good news anyway and anytime that you can get it, and this is really great news here tonight.

What I am saying is- the dream lives on tonight as it has been given new life by this news.
The dream has not died, the Quechan’s dream of having their homeland safe and secure from being paved over lives on, and with this wonderful gift of time which we will use wisely, all of
us can work on, doing what each of us can do, in our own way, to make people aware, to
try to help the people understand what is at stake here, that these wild places can continue hopefully into perpetuity, being just that , the last wild and free places left, where man’s spirit
can soar with the eagles- forever.


Here are links for further reading:

Solar, wind renewable energy set for the Yosemite Valley- to be announced by the Governator and Secretary of the Interior Salazar!

Exclusive feed from Morongobill’s Backporch 12/9/2010.

The backporch has learned via leaked documents that a major announcement will be made
in Sacramento soon involving the governor and federal officials, regarding the opening
of the Yosemite Valley to renewable energy development, in an effort to avert climate change
and to help reach the ambitious goals for green energy sources in California state law AB32.

(To the readers unfamiliar with the Yosemite valley, it is roughly 7.5 miles long and about a mile wide, with high granite peaks alongside, evidently the plan is to place wind turbines atop the peaks, and put solar farms in the valley. This is part of Yosemite National Park- Morongobill)
This valley per the documents will be covered with solar arrays and the peaks will be topped with 35 story tall wind turbines.

According to the documents being reviewed here, first indications are the plan was actually brought to the Governator by DOIBLM at the behest of the White House, there is no  way 
of knowing if the president was involved in the drafting of the documents, although
the initials B.O. are typed in some places where an okay was needed.

It seems that a broad consortium of renewable energy firms are represented as participants in the scheme, including some foreign companies. The whole effort will be underwritten by the United States Treasury as well as top investment banks from all over the world. 

There were a few noteworthy quotes found in the leaked documents including a remark from the Governator that this would ensure his legacy as being the most energy conscious governor in the state of California’s long and storied history, as well as Secretary Salazar stating that it was about time that the National Park Service started paying its’ own way  and that he could see massive profits ahead, especially when he rolled this out nationwide, every park would pay its’ own way, or else, he chillingly mentioned per the documents.

Upon the initial skimming of the hundreds of pages long document, one thing stood out. There
appeared to be no concern at all about any major environmental group filing any sort of lawsuit in federal court to stop the industrialization of the National Park Service. In one telling
exchange between state and federal staffers, there was quite a bit of conversation along the lines of since they didn’t oppose Ivanpah and the other solar projects in southern California, they probably won’t oppose this either. The exact words were “we will just mitigate ourselves out of any controversy and if that doesn’t work we will advise them how much carbon will not be going up into the atmosphere thanks to these projects.”

Another document talked of the need for biomass energy plants to be built near the national
forests, the insinuation being that the burning of the trees there for the renewable energy
would reduce the need for imported oil from the middle east and that it would help reduce
our trade deficit, which has ballooned out of control and was a main source of worry for the writer of the letter.

These documents will be made available at this site in a few days upon approval of legal counsel. Stay tuned in the coming days for more news.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

He was taken from us 30 years ago today but the dream lives on.

John Lennon may have left us then but his legacy of music and activism for
world peace live on. Both messages are timeless but the need for peace has
never been greater it seems.

Everywhere you look are wars and rumors of war. From the Korean peninsula
to the middle east to the mountains of Afghanistan, shells have been exploding,
rockets have been fired, old folks and little children have been blown apart, limb
from little limb, some via joystick thousands of miles away. War is being sanitized
for some of the participants, and has become even more horrific for the innocents.

If ever there was a time “to give peace a chance”, it is now.

I an sorry to say this, but I am not sure that peace has a chance. Some call me a pessimist
and maybe they are right, would God that there would be peace, something John longed
for and did all he could to bring about, but I feel, like the ancient greeks said, “that
only the dead have seen the end of war.”

John was taken from us and his family 30 years ago in a horrible way, as were John
Kennedy, his brother Bobby, Medgar, and Martin, and the world is a lot worse off for
their loss. In their memory, can the rest of us try to honor their memories by giving
peace a chance?

Here is a video of one of my favorite songs by John Lennon.

The song begins about 30 seconds into this video.

The tears started flowing watching this video.

John we miss you and wish you were here with us now.

To Yoko, God bless you and we wish you continued good health and strength in
life’s journey, and hope that John’s legacy continues.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

The backporch would like to honor a great environmentalist, Mr. Rabary Desiré of Madagascar.

Who is also the recipient of the 2010 Seacology Award for exceptional achievement
in conserving the environment and culture on the island of Madagascar. I will write more
but I suggest that you first watch these two videos honoring this truly, one of a kind man,
a man self taught, who has and is accomplishing great things for his local people and
environment. The first video is from Seacology, an organization dedicated to conservation
of the world’s 100,000 islands. This video I recommend that you view at the 720 dpi

This video talks about Mr. Desiré’s achievement and highlights the area.

This second video is Mr. Desiré’s remarks accepting the award at Berkeley, California
inside the David Brower building, a fitting and altogether proper place for the ceremony
to be held. I believe that this man follows in Mr. Brower’s footsteps and is a living
legacy to Mr. Brower’s ideals. You will too once you learn more about Mr. Desiré; if
you haven’t noticed, there is a wonderful quote from Mr. Desiré at the top of this page,
where it will remain as long as this blog exists, as a reminder to all of what is
capable, if we just care, and persist in trying to do good- for the environment
and for ourselves.

Mr. Desiré accepting the award, and doing great vocalizations from the rainforest.

For the longest time, I have been wanting to write a post like this, in honor of someone
just like most of us, working a job, but accomplishing amazing results on behalf of the
local environment. This man is such an individual.

There will be links at the end of this article for further information about the man and his
great works, let me just say that he singlehandedly created a private nature reserve called
the Antanetiambo Nature Reserve which you can visit online here. Over the years using
money earned as a guide in the national parks, he bought up forest land, little by little,
saving it from logging and poaching, in an area which is very poor, and where people
use up the forests just to survive.

This nature reserve would be a remarkable achievement here in the United States, but
in Madagascar, is beyond the ability of most to comprehend as even being remotely
possible, much less to actually accomplish. He has done this despite attempts to stop him
or to illegally use the forest. It takes a lot of courage to practice conservation, when all
around, people are eyeing the reserve with the idea of using it to put food on their children’s
plates. We just can’t imagine that kind of commitment  nowadays in the first world, much
less in the third world.

A little about the man himself. He is self taught, has personally tasted the 100 or so plants
that the main species, the silky sifalka eats, does amazing vocalizations of the various animals
found in his forest reserve and other places, also works as a research assistant, and lives
with other family members in a 2 room house, with little in the way of possessions.

But he is full of spirit and of a love for the region and its’ environment, including its’ lesser
inhabitants, a joy for learning and giving and helping, that makes the observer’s own
heart soar, and rejoice that perhaps there is still hope for us and this planet, if such as a
man as this exists. Thank you Mr. Desiré for proving this by your example, and for what
you have done and will continue to do for your region and country, despite the high odds
against you.

The Seacology prize is for a sum of 10,000 american dollars, which will all go toward
purchasing and saving more forest to be added to the nature reserve.

Congratulations for the award, sir, and we wish you continued success with your nature
reserve and the valuable work that you are doing. Your fine example will stand as a testament
to the good,man can do for this planet that we all call home.

Here is further reading:

Courage and commitment, do not seem like hollow words, when spoken about this man.