Thursday, September 30, 2010

Time to wake up, people. Just as sure as the sun sets in the west, the California Energy Commission and the BLM will approve every damned project, every one- we need to start smelling the creosote bush! What we are doing, ain’t working!

And thanks to the “carbonmentalists” such as Wald and Zichella who quietly
worked hand in hand with the bureaucrats and industrialists, working the
machinations behind the scenes, for months and years, we are now getting
our asses kicked from pillar to post, no end in sight, with the Mojave desert and
other wild places about to be industrialized, MAKE THAT RAPED, right
before our unbelieving eyes.

I believe you can take this to the bank.

Those of you who think I am exaggerating or prone to hyperbole, take a reading of some
of my previous posts, a lot has happened as I thought it would.

The system has worked exactly as designed. It was made for one purpose, to streamline
the approval process for these renewable energy projects to be built on public
lands, period.
No surprise on the backporch that they’re being approved. There is of
course, a lot of outrage, a lot of sadness, and yes, a feeling that maybe I got suckered
in along with everyone else, and actually started believing in the process.

All I can say is what a damned jackass I was and I did it to myself.
ivanpah032410hike 033

I guess I am the balding jackass above, the one on the right. We are standing in the middle of proposed Ivanpah #3.

We activists for the Mojave, whether we have been doing this for decades or only a
few months, such as myself, now need to avoid the mistake of refighting old campaigns
from the past. They obviously are not working, and continually tweaking and re-tweaking
the same, old, tired battle plans can only result in another string of ignominuous defeats
for us and for the environment we are fighting for, each in our own little way.

My take of this and it’s not a popular one I am sure, is that we have been fighting with both hands tied behind our back all along. The major environmental groups, our supposed allies,
have given tacit consent to these projects, by the simple fact of not strongly opposing them! And as mentioned earlier, some of the old lions of the movement
have been in bed all along with the ones who want to destroy these last remaining
ecosystems and habitats. These “old lions” by virtue of their actions and in a misguided belief that the desert must be sacrificed to prevent global warming and climate change, have almost singlehandedly sealed the fate for the Mojave and other wild places threatened by this “renewable energy land rush!”

My advice is to quit membership in these groups, stop paying dues, so that their corporate sponsorship will be all that sustains them, and hopefully they’ll be consigned to the dustpan of history- sorry, their time is up. New institutions will arise to take their places, never fear, as a lesson to what forgetting where you came from and hubris can bring.

Let me be absolutely clear on this. I don’t care if my blog gets dropped from every
other site that it is listed on, or if all of my followers drop out, I really don’t care.
We are getting our asses beat like a drum here, and the time for the same old,same
old is over, at least for me. And I believe that you feel the same way as I do.

So we presented our case to the CEC and others, oh they listened carefully but the message obviously didn’t sink in or resonate with them. Why? It’s simple, they have the
power and we don’t. That’s it. I understand that we have the facts on our side, right on
our side, hell even the desert tortoises are on our side. I know that for a fact because
Senor Tortuga told me that when I interviewed him back in March or April. Note to new
readers, that was a tongue-in-cheek post I did which you can read here.

So we have a case where the fix is in and we were all playing our parts in the great
charade known as the evidentiary hearings, public comment sections, blah,blah.
But you see, since the fix was in, the outcome was never really in doubt. The only
drama and nervousness awaiting the death sentence being announced, was amongst
us. The other side has never worried, they don’t have to.

I don’t have the answers but I can flat out tell you, what will happen if I ever think my two
favorite places in the whole world are threatened again with imminent destruction, i.e.
as when the “Lame ass DWP” from Los Angeles tried to build those gigantic transmission
towers flat down the middle of the Big Morongo Canyon Nature Preserve, I am going on
record right now, that I will participate in a peoples direct action campaign, they will have
to forcibly remove me out of the way of the bulldozers, I guess. And the same goes for the
Mojave National Preserve, I would not be surprised to hear, at some point in the future,
a plan being proposed that would enable the NPS properties to pay for themselves by being allowed to install wind turbines and concentrated solar, all in the name of deficit reduction and budget balancing. Don’t laugh, after all the Mojave National Preserve is
already home to transmission lines and railroads, to the bureaucrats, what would be
the fuss with a few turbines or heliostats?

Direct action, may be the only way for the people to stop these projects, really. The
man has the remote site locations going for him right now and peoples apathy, but that’s
where we as an alternate source of shaping public opinion come in. People are apathetic
because it hasn’t been explained to them in a way they can relate to, just what the hell we
are all fighting for here. That’s one reason and being scared for their own personal
survival may be another. It’s hell out there, I am a bus driver, I bet I get it more than most
as I am experiencing it myself on a daily basis and have been since August of last year, when we lost a big contract at work, and drivers started missing one or two days a week of income. I get peoples pain.

Another way we have failed, is not in pushing the economic benefits of direct power generation enough. ROOFTOP SOLAR= TONS OF GREAT, GREEN JOBS. That
should be our mantra, it’s the jobs, stupid- to paraphrase. I believe if we could succeed
in getting that word out, those of you reading this with media contacts and I know that
some of you have them, get that word out that our side prevailing, will bring high paying,
local jobs with no 150 mile one way commute, where the workers will go home at night to their own bed and families, and not be two in a lonely hotel room with
strangers,
doing installations now and sevicing them long into the future, and not having
to pay sky high electric rates in the future due to the billions of dollars remote boondoggles requiring massive, hugely expensive transmission lines and grid
upgrades,
plus having the ability to finally lord over the SCE’S and PGE’s of the world
by producing our own power and selling it to them--- it’s really a no brainer if presented right to the people.

I guess what I am saying is that I like being part of a winning position, we have right on
our side, and we need to quickly change our strategies and tactics, or else it will truly
be crying time out in the Mojave and here on the backporch.

Folks, I am not going to ask you to comment here or do anything, except to say that if
you care about this issue, feel free to forward this to others that you feel may be receptive or have an open mind, if enough people like you care or begin to have an inkling of what is at stake, change may finally come.

I am sick and tired of hearing bad news, how about you?

Morongobill

Another thing, I am not short changing the arguments for and on behalf of the endangered
plant and animal species, those arguments will still be made in conjunction with others-
the whole point is we need to have our arguments gaining traction with the people, as well
as policy makers, etc.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A fellow blogger, Arthur Silber could really use some help right now.

The call went out on another blog I read occasionally the other day about Mr. Silber’s
plight. Evidently he is in poor health and this massive heatwave has just about done
him in.

Here is the original blog that I discovered his predicament at.

My understanding of the situation is that he depends on his blog for his livelihood, when
he can’t write, he doesn’t get the visitors and his income depends on them.

I just found the article again on my laptop and sent a small donation via PayPal to help
him out. Do you think you can find it within yourself to help a fellow blogger out at this
bad time? I can’t personally vouch for him but here is the link to his blog, check it out
and if you can, please help, big or small, any amount will help.
http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/

I realize that we don’t know each other, but after all these months of blogging, I have
found out that people out there will often help out if asked, I am asking, if you can help
Mr. Silber out in his hour of need, I believe that it will come back to you one day, when
you need help, from somebody else probably, and the circle will close.

Thank you,

Morongobill

 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Working for the rich folk ain’t like it was in the old days, that’s for sure!

A couple of days ago, I had the misfortune of working an event at an unknown
location, kept secret for obvious reasons, all I can say is I heard today that I
was working in a very powerful media lady’s neighborhood, where I was in contact
with several extremely rich people for periods of time.

Man this ain’t like back home in Georgia.

I remember working at a gas station in Blakely, Georgia when I was around 18-19
years old. Mr. S. G. Maddox, Sr. who owned one of the 2 large peanut mills in
town used to drive up into the station lot about once a month and I would go out
and get the check from him, he would always tell me he was saving a dime. Mr. Maddox
had a long, black Cadillac Fleetwood which I used to wash and then drive back to
his home. Now that was a real Cadillac! And the owner was a true gentleman!

His son, “Buddy” Maddox was another southern gentleman like his father, they always
acted normal toward the rest of us and were liked and respected by us.

It was the same with the Singletary’s who owned the other peanut mill in the town, even
though they were rich, they acted normal to the rest of us.

I wish I could say the same about rich folks today, at least the ones in southern California.

But I can’t , if my experience a couple of days ago is any guide.

How about being told to your face, that if you got to go, use the bushes? No portapotties
and definitely no food available and miles from anywhere via tight narrow roads.

Yep, it sure happened and that’s what we did as we stood by waiting for the call, partook
of the bushes. Good thing the sun had set and there were no streetlights.

There were other moments, one particularly embarrassing to a rich older woman.
Unfortunately, I am not able to divulge any more details than what I have already, except
to say that alcohol may have been involved ;-(

Man, if this is what it is like working with rich folks now, I for one, am ready to start
sharpening my pitchfork, rhetorically speaking, and of course that is a joke.

Instead I’ll just remember what the Lord said in the gospel.

Sure makes me long for the good old days back home in Blakely!

Morongobill

Folks, people I know have told me that I need to put more of myself out there, this true
story being told here is in response to those suggestions.

By the way, if any of my readers are rich, how do you feel about dealing with the common
people? Are you like Mr. Maddox was or like the people I worked for the other day? I am interested if you choose to comment or send a private email. The same with readers who
are not well off, have you interacted recently with the very rich, and how did it go?

I find it fascinating that my memories of about 37 years ago of dealing with those folks
mentioned here, are really good memories, and I am sure my memories of the other day
will last as well for a long time, in a different sort of way.

Want to learn about trying to save Ivanpah? Watch this video.

A big shout out and thank you to Chris of Coyote Crossing for making this video
available to the public.

This should be required viewing at all future CEC hearings and meetings.

Morongobill

Monday, September 27, 2010

At last, some good news for the Mojave!

This came to my attention here.

And directly from the source here.

I used to live in Joshua Tree and although I personally have never hiked this
huge 955 acres, I trust the folks over at the Mojave Desert Land Trust and
know of their good works on behalf of the Mojave desert.

Hopefully, more good news will be forthcoming regarding other parcels.

This really is a major accomplishment, an ecosystem saved, a valuable wildlife
corridor saved forever, especially for the bighorns, pristine habitat saved- equal
to one and one half square miles- truly a major accomplishment!

And folks, this was done by all parties working together- the local college, the
Marines, the land trust, donors- people with a vision who kept at it through good
and bad times, now able to look with pride upon this most noble of deeds.

Once all the details have been ironed out, this Quail Mountain acreage will be placed
under the control and added to the Joshua Tree National Park. By the way, also
congratulations are due to the park service for their assistance and participation
in this prized acquisition.

Once again, this is great news and cheers from the backporch to all involved with
this.

Thank you for this inspiring news.

Morongobill

P.S. Of course this means this will be 955 acres of pristine desert that will remain forever wind turbine and heliostat free!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Time to get real on the backporch.

A careful look will reveal a couple of changes.

After thinking about it for a while, the follower section has
been removed, along with the site counter, and the blogs
roster has been trimmed.

I am never going to have thousands of followers or visitors
so why keep that on the blog.

The intent now will be on trying to get back to the original
purpose of this blog, as written under the title.

I am finding myself turning into more of a radical, as it pertains
to the issue of renewable energy as it affects the Mojave, and
will try to just pass on the information in the future, as I doubt any
others would be interested in hearing my opinions going on adnauseum,
the simple facts on the ground are the renewable interests with help
from their allies within the environmental movement have won- and I
am rapidly coming to the view, that as they do in Europe, the answer may
have to be in direct action by the people, as in thousands showing up
every day, stopping the work, until the other side gives in.

My feeling is the only way we could get thousands of folks out
on the Ivanpah site for example would be if we had a desert tortoise
rodeo, kind of like the old “rattlesnake rodeos” back home in the
south where I grew up, google the term and you’ll get my point I
am making here. Hint- think destruction of the species, judging by
the neanderthal like comments I have been seeing on newspaper
articles about desert issues lately, I think I am right on in my opinion,
and that truly is a sad thing for this blogger to admit.

Morongobill

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Noli nothis permittere te terere

Or never let the bastards wear you down.

A sentiment to keep in mind a day after the California Energy Commission in
a full member hearing decided to go along and rubberstamp the Presiding
Members Decision.

Of course, deep down, all along, many of us suspected the process was rigged
from the very beginning, myself among them, despite this deep feeling, I still
played the game and sent in my written comment and appeared at the DRECP
hearing, which we now know was “too little and too late” to help out with Ivanpah
and Blythe.

Just to clarify my take on the DRECP, my problem was not with the report put out,
but with the timing, a point I brought up when I spoke up at that meeting. In my naivete,
I asked why didn’t it come out months ago? A young man attending the meeting, told me
it actually should have been a year or two ago. Wow! Well I told you guys, I got into
this late in the process, so I will just keep on learning how things work in the real world.

So now the final shoe to fall for Ivanpah will be the BLM approval decision, a done deal
if I ever saw one. Once that hits the presses, the ink won’t even have time to start drying
before the Bechtel and BrightSource bulldozers and earthmovers will be fired up, got to
break ground asap to qualify for those federal stimulus dollars. This I can absolutely
guarantee will happen, no ifs, ands, or buts. And the morongobill is going out on
the limb with another prediction, there will absolutely be no last minute reprieve
issued for Ivanpah in the form of a legal brief from the major carbonmental, I
mean environmental groups. Why not, some might ask? Because, in my humble
opinion some of them have been in  on this charade from the very beginning, see
my previous post for a possible scenario that might have occurred, a post I wrote
over six months ago!

I might be wrong on the exact details but it sure has happened kind of like I predicted in
early March of this year. Go check out that link if you don’t believe me. The only thing I’d
write differently now is I would add 2 names alongside Elden Hughes, guess who I would
add.

Yes it looks like the DRECP report may be implemented, especially the guidance on site
selection for these mega power plants, “ no regret siting, on disturbed land is preferred”,
and that is really good news. Of course the bad news is that by the time the final report
is approved and if it gets implemented as written, by that time, the other 100 or so projects
waiting in the wings, will probably already be approved, with ground broken, a real
possibility when you consider how long it takes to get something actually beneficial for the Mojave approved.

Just another day in paradise, here in Kalifornia.

Morongobill

 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

“Iacta alea est”- California Energy Commission full hearing- Ivanpah SEGS today in Sacramento.

You can read the notice in pdf format from the California Energy Commission
here. That is in the adobe acrobat format.

The purpose of this hearing is to discuss and/or deny/approved the Presiding
Members Proposed Decision from August 4th.

The hearing is being held in Sacramento, and the public can participate in the
proceedings, here is information from the linked document above, from the CEC:


image

No I am not trying to copyright their work, it’s just a bug in this software I admit I can’t fix!

You can also participate via webex online but I am not sure if that is watching only, sorry.

I am not sure of the exact agenda of this hearing but I believe today may be decision day for the Ivanpah project, or to put it another way- today may be sentencing day for this pristine wilderness area. Granted it doesn’t look like what a lot of folks think a wilderness
area looks like, but it is none the less. It really is amazing how quiet it was sitting atop that
as I found out later, sacred metamorphic hill top. All I could hear was the wind whipping
around me, though the cars and trucks were right there in the distance travelling the freeway in the distance.
091410ivanpahsegs 009

But evidently not for long, after today.

Well for me, this is not a day to celebrate, that’s for sure. It’s more like a day for mourning
as quite frankly, I think the die is cast and the only news coming down the pike for Ivanpah
will be very bad indeed.

I would like to thank those of you who have taken the time to check in here for my thoughts
on this project. I offer my profound gratitude to those of you who may have heeded my call
and elected to participate in the process, in hopes of stopping or slowing this runaway freight train barreling down on the Mojave and other wild places.

They say it ain’t over till it’s over, but it sure looks like execution night, and the clock is
one minute till midnight and we’re waiting for that phone call, which I am afraid will not
be ringing.

I can’t think of anything else to do so my plan is to avoid hearing it for a while. This I
will accomplish by heading up to Big Morongo Canyon Nature Preserve and get out of
range of cell phones, wifi signals, smoke signals, etc.
 bigmorongocanyonhike 021

I guess after all this time, I still can’t bear to hear the news nor still believe it will happen.

Later today I will be sitting under the tree above in the photo, trying to figure out just
how this environmental catastrophe came about.

Thanks for helping out in this struggle.

Morongobill

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Can plant and animals coexist with these new energy developments?

I am no botanist or biologist or scientist, just a bus driver. What I am is a person
that is interested in conserving the desert to the fullest extent possible. This question
came to me as I was sitting upon the sacred metamorphic hill the other day at the
site of the soon to be approved Ivanpah SEGS.

After making the ascent, and having settled in on a fairly comfortable lava rock perch and
after securing my desert rat hat from the very gusty winds up there, I looked around in
the directions toward Ivanpah’s 1,2, and 3. Then I finally remembered what had been
stuck far away in memory- the new plan for this project is to mow vegetation to about
18 inches high and maintain it at that level in the heliostat fields. Of course roads will
be bladed through for the trucks to go down for the mirror washing process, etc but
as far as I can remember, most of the site will be mowed and not completely bladed.

It has occurred to me before on drives out to the Palm Springs area, looking at the wind
turbine fields and from having walked through one out there, pssst don’t tell anybody,
that even though they have made dirt roads between the rows and there are obvious
equipment laydown areas etc, animals could and I bet are still living in and on those
wind farms.

What happened this morning to also jog my memory was the sighting of a very large
and obviously well fed opossum seen in the Embassy Suites driveway in the Disneyland
area of Orange County, California. By the way, in the past, a raccoon raced and beat
my trolley at night near a Disney parking lot and a coyote family was living near the
strawberry field near the Convention Center until they turned it into a parking lot recently.
So wild animals are still alive and well in the big city, judging by what I personally have
witnessed, just not in large numbers.

Now I spent some time online today looking for information on this subject and didn’t
have much success. I will continue looking and if anybody reading this has any links or information, let me know via a comment or email it to me.

Here are the facts as I see them or as I read the tea leaves. Even though I don’t like it
and have railed against it, this Ivanpah SEGS project appears like it will be given the
go ahead by the CEC. Since it appears that the major environmental groups haven
given their tacit consent by not opposing it, I think it is highly unlikely that any lawsuits
will be brought forward against it on NEQA grounds. I would but I sincerely doubt any
attorney would take my check for a million dollar or so retainer :-(

So we have to work with what we have. Several fast tracked projects either already or
about to be approved and a DRECP plan just released for public comment, no chance
of its’ recommendations being implemented anytime soon.

As it stands, the many desert tortoises and other species affected are under a sentence
and that sentence is death, death by translocation re: the desert tortoise.  No
matter how it’s done, as Ft. Irwin proved, translocation= death for a majority of
the the tortoises involved.

These projects right now being approved total around 49 square miles if memory serves me. That’s a lot of land, a lot of species both plant and animal, and they ain’t no signs
of an environmental group riding to the rescue, legal briefs in hand. A done deal in other
words. Understand that I am being very cynical and discounting any chance that the CEC
will come to its’ senses and actually turn down any of these boondoggles.

So my idea, albeit late in the game, is to consider removing the tortoises for example
safely, place them in a safe area where they can be examined, fed, checked out, and after
the approved projects are built, let them back in to coexist with the plant, in the areas
still vegetated of course. I know there will be all kind of objections, but after all this is
their home, they could be tagged with transponders and receivers could be mounted in
the mirror wash trucks for example, workers could be educated, biologists could be on
call- it just seems to me that the death rate would be way lower this way than if they were
yanked out of their burrows and translocated elsewhere in other tortoises’ existing
home territories, where agonistic behaviour would be a guaranteed result.

For example, here are a few ideas to think about. The security fencing could have tortoise
and badger sized holes along the bottom in places, but small enough to not allow in coyotes or man. Other similar sized animals would still be able to enter and exit as well.

Ravens could be kept in control by sharpshooter if necessary, especially during hatching
season. Other birds could still come and go, but would be in danger of frying if caught in
the line of the heliostats and the receiving tower, etc. Ponds would still have to be covered
as mentioned in the plans already submitted.

As I have said several times, I am not a politician, just a small fry blogger and bus driver.
I don’t do spreadsheets or math models, nor do I parse my words or ask anyone for
permission to write or post. I do not agonize before posting whether I will piss off any of
my readers and followers either.

I am just throwing this idea out there, now that the handwriting is on the wall and destruction to the ecosystems these project sites represent, is imminent. What harm can
it do to just consider the idea? How hard would it be for folks like intervenors, environmental groups, government types, and energy company folks to sit down and
hash something out?

I am probably way out in the “lunatic fringe” with this idea but I really don’t care. If it’ll
save some of these endangered soon to be dead animals, it’s okay, call me a wack job.

Morongobill

 

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.
archivecd18 102

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.
 091410ivanpahsegs 003

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
it.

Morongobill

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A farewell to the Ivanpah site.

Found out yesterday morning that there was no work for me that day
so I decided to make a drive up to stateline for one last walk through. 
091410ivanpahsegs 002

The stake in the ground is for the tortoise fence to be built as soon as the word comes
down that the project has been approved by the CEC. My goal today was to try to climb
the metamorphic hill, one of the smaller dark lava rock ones, and get some pictures and
to try to soak in the view which definitely will be changing soon. 
091410ivanpahsegs 006  
Note- from a news article here which I just read on 9/16/2010
this ridge is sacred to native americans, a fact I knew nothing
about. I want to make it clear that I removed nothing and did
not disturb this site in any way, only climbed up and back down.
I will say that in my opinion, the view from the ridge as of now
looks sacred; in the near future looking toward Clark Mountain,
you will see sacrilege.
 

The above photograph is from atop the small end of the metamorphic hill nearest to
the golf course and looking out toward Primm and the gas peaker power plant which
has a miniscule footprint and produces way more power than this gigantic solar
boondoggle ever will. 
091410ivanpahsegs 012

From my reading of the reports on this project, this metamorphic hill will still be
accessible by the public and not fenced off so you would still be able to enjoy
this wonderful view, however the one below this, will be marred by thousands of
heliostatic mirrors and you might want to invest in a welders face mask as the
glare from all those mirrors might cause permanent blindness.
091410ivanpahsegs 004  

There were a couple of men wearing bright yellow vests walking about in the desert
near the dirtroad, they might have been BrightSource biologists. There were a couple
of vehicles parked over by an asphalt parking lot, they might have been there waiting
for the Camp Ivanpah event. After sitting on top of the metamorphic hill in 30 mile an
hour winds for a while, I just felt like going home, so I missed the event, which is going
on today and tomorrow. If you want to help out, drive up to stateline on I-15, exit Yates Well Road and go west, young people, go west.

Sorry but I am seriously bummed out.
091410ivanpahsegs 015

Morongobill

091410ivanpahsegs 018

Below is something, maybe to do with the tortoise roundup.
091410ivanpahsegs 013

Monday, September 13, 2010

Change I can believe in.

Sweep out the democrats and republicans who seem to care only about
themselves and their big corporate and plutocrat donors.

Change this government of the special interests to one truly of, by, and
for the people.

Kick the bureaucrat’s asses out into the street, and keep on kicking them
until your foot is too tired to keep it up. Especially those interested in
these desert boondoggles.

Once and for all, show these bankers and wall street types who the boss
is and kick their asses to the curb. Replace their arrogant disdain for the
people with a healthy fear and respect. If need be, yank the props out from
under the “too big to fail” banks, and transfer the government money to smaller
and regional banks. This can be done with a keyboard stroke by the federal
reserve and treasury- if the will is there.

The will isn’t there right now but if the people rose up and the elites got scared
enough, it might miraculously appear.

Divert the federal ARRA funding from large scale utility centralized power to
rooftop, decentralized local power, shower different technologies with incentives,
and let them fight it out in the marketplace to see which is best. Any large scale
plants funded should make preservation of water, land, and habitat priority one.
Combine this with efforts to conserve energy and if necessary disincentives for
excessive electrical usage.

As in a video in a previous post proved, you will find yourself using energy up to
what you can produce, developing frugal and smart usage habits. Want to blast the
big screen at night, you have to cut something else to compensate.

Change the American mindset that the world is our oyster, to be pillaged at
will, get our consumption more in line with our pocketbooks. Even though we
have champagne tastes, for now and far, far into the future we will have
”Thunderbird and Ripple” pocketbooks!

Well actually our many, many billionaires and trillionaires might currently have the
big wallets to keep on keeping on, but after we restore the traditional tax rates on
their windfall profits, they might downsize a little. Let them squall like cats getting
their tails mashed, it’s good for them.

Accept the fact that millions of jobs are never coming back due to this “free trade”
and begin a national “Manhattan Project” or another “Marshall Plan” or any type
of pick and shovel, or any work, paid by the new tax revenues to put we non- rich
citizens back to work. Work for help, sounds good to me.

Accept the fact that if something isn’t done fast that these millions of unemployed
won’t stand idly by forever, becoming homeless and ultimately cast as deadbeats
and criminal elements by the elites. They are still free men and women, and might
decide they have nothing else to lose, and fight for their rights and god given dignity.

Cut the hell out of this defense budget. There is no reason in the world why we need
to spend twice as much for “defense” as the rest of the world put together, none.
Are we so insecure as a nation and a people that these idiots with box cutters can
scare us into spending ourselves into oblivion and to provide impetus to efforts to
take away our god given and paid for by blood, civil rights? Are we cowards or are
we free men and women? Come on, grow a pair. We have to quit being afraid of
every little thing that goes on.

This would of course lead to the next logical step- bring our troops home and shut
down some of the 800+ military bases we have world wide. While we are at it, maybe
we could stop being the world’s policeman, and maybe the world’s biggest consumer
of illegal drugs- and for once- just mind our own business! We have tons
of problems right here in the old U.S.A, we don’t need to worry about everybody else’s
problems.

Bring home our predator drones, bring home our torturer’s for a public, televised, fair
trial- complete with televised frog marches into the courtroom as well- now that is a
change I could really believe in.

I alluded to my mood the other day in a post, I am in an arguing mood, and I don’t give
a damn how many people I piss off at this point, to be brutally honest. Everywhere I
look I see the same old same old, garbage in and garbage out, and I am sick as hell of
it. It’s the same old shit, just a different day most of the time.

And last but not least, a message for our teacher-in-chief. Millions of people like me
voted for you, believing you would bring change. Now in hindsight, what a naive act!
Sir, you need to make a decision like yesterday, who are you for, we who voted for
you or the elites who many think bought you. It’s up to you sir, your decision. There
are many people on the verge of giving up on you, on this country, on life, families
are being stretched beyond the breaking point. Get yourself a OUIJA board and try
to get a direct line to FDR and ask for help and ideas, for bold actions to help the
people who really need the help, right now.

Folks, I am happy to have you stop by here at the back porch, it really makes my day
sometimes. But I am giving you fair warning right now, things are going to change
a little bit here. I have been holding my tongue, not wanting to scare people off, and
it’s just not me. From now on, I intend to exercise my freedom of speech rights as
never before.

I truly believe that we as a nation have went off the deep end and went down the wrong
path. The path we have chosen gives new meaning to the word immoral. I am not using
the word to mean it in the main stream media sense, I am flat out stating that I believe
it is immoral to kill hundreds of thousands of people all over the world, to bomb and kill
with impunity, to be the sole arbiter, judge and jury for what is right and wrong with
dominion over the whole world, it’s not right, and it can’t and won’t last. We may stand
astride the globe at the moment like a colossus but we have feet of clay. Our arrogance
and hubris will bring us down one day, probably a lot sooner than we think, just like it
has every empire of years past- we can make it easy or hard- or we can through
national soul searching and maybe have a conversation with ourselves and the rest of the world, and try to start anew.

The choice is really ours, go it alone or get along. Empire falling or a rebirth of the
American republic.

I hope to hear from some of you where you stand on these or any other issues on your
mind these days. Are you worried about things like your job, or keeping a roof over
your head? Or are things going perfect for you? Maybe you think that I may even be
over-reacting or flying off half cocked, it’s okay.

I am, as I said, in an arguing mood, not with you guys, but I honestly have had it up to
here with the elites who’ve been and still are raping this country, and their minions, most
of the policy makers and bureaucrats, most but not all, let me make that clear- I still hold
to an old fashioned notion that people still aspire to public service for the greater good,
not just to line their pockets.

As I posted the other day, I attended a hearing with many public service types there who
seemed to be trying to do the public’s business- granted I was only there about an hour
and a half, but you get my drift, I think. I am not willing to damn all these people and
paint them all with a broad brush, just a few of them, but not all. Let those that are
good continue to be so, and let the others wise up before the people rise up in their
righteous and noble anger, sweeping them aside once and for all.

I know a lot of the brainy pencil pusher types think that this will never happen, my
response is go read your history again. Never underestimate the will and anger of the
people.

Now go out and stand up for yourselves and for those who can’t, if you are so inclined.
This doesn’t have to be some Darwinian world where we all end up fighting amongst
ourselves for the scraps that fall on the floor from massa’s table, let’s aspire to sitting
at that table and getting our fair share.

This is change I can believe in.

Morongobill

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Two sites you need to check out asap!

If you are interested in wilderness preservation and what is about
to happen on your public land and guaranteed by your money, that is.

First up, http://solardoneright.org/ a new site just set up to put out the message
that we don’t need to destroy our wilderness areas to build these mega renewable
energy projects , when we can use intelligent plant siting on disturbed land in
combination with rooftop local power generation to accomplish the same goals. I just
spent some time on the new site and downloaded several documents to study. The
site is new and more information will be added as time goes on, I am sure.

Check it right away and they are also on social media, see the site for details.

Another site I just came across,http://www.mojavedesertlandtrust.org/index.html is
devoted to land preservation in the Mojave. I really like the desert slideshow on the
home page, a real “must see.”

These two sites are a great way to spend some time on a Sunday evening, or any time
for that matter.

Go check them out right away, please.

Morongobill

P.s. I notice the land trust group is looking for volunteers but it seems the only day
listed is Saturday, I am off on Wednesday and Thursday :-(

Can’t wait for the video I ordered to arrive…..

And no, it’s not one of those videos.

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about a documentary on an Australian
landscape photographer, Murray Fredericks, who was currently involved
in shots taken from the middle of their Lake Eyre, usually a giant dry,dusty
lake bed, like you see out in the Mojave, only much larger on a logarithmic
scale.

I watched the whole 29 minute video online, which by the way, can be viewed
until September 17 or 18, I believe at PBS.ORG, go down to POV and look
for “Salt.”

He has what appears to be a Surley mountain bike with 4 inch tires that pulls
a bike trailer behind holding his tents, cameras etc. Actually a lot of the time
he ends up walking alongside and pushing this heavy contraption through
ankle deep salty mud which must wreck his shoes. I can’t imagine being in
good enough shape to do something like that, but I think our friend over here
probably could. My friends please make sure you click on over to the before
mentioned site if you want to see what the “real Mojave National Preserve”
is like. In many ways, his solo journey through the byways of the Mojave is
similar to the photographer’s journey in this amazing documentary.

Being a former landscape picture taker “wanna be”, the cameras he used were
very interesting to me. I always was intrigued by view cameras, although not
enough to spring for one when I had dough and credit. Something about emulating
Ansel Adams, but the reality is that my picture taking style is point-and-shoot, letting
the camera making the decisions :-( Taking all the time required to make an 8 x 10
view camera shot would not work I guess. I noticed he had what appeared to be a
couple of digital slr’s on tripods as well as the film view camera.

It would take a lot of belief in yourself to push that bike out in the middle of that dry
lakebed in blinding sun sometimes from the glare off the salt surface, miles from shore,
as he specializes in photo panoramas where for 360 degrees around, you can’t see
the edge of the lake(I would say shoreline but evidently it’s rare that Lake Eyre fills
up). Yes, I believe that would take a lot of courage and strength of character and
self confidence, much more than I possess. 

There is a scene in the film where he is overcome with the emotion of being totally
alone, he might have been talking with his wife, I can’t remember. I felt I was eavesdropping
on a private moment.

This is the essence of the desert over there, truly wild, inhospitable but so beautiful
your eyes well up at times. This film is well worth your time and bandwidth to check out,
and if so inclined, the 22$ or so for the dvd which is on backorder,but will be shipping
out in a week or so. The dvd is in the standard and also included is the blueray format.

Just so you don’t think I am shilling this, I do not have any advertising deal with PBS
and I had to fork over the little morongobill bucks for my own copy.

I recommend that you look into this, especially you desert lovers and photographers
out there hanging out sometimes here at the backporch, at least watch the video while
it is still available.

http://www.pbs.org/pov/salt/

http://www.murrayfredericks.com.au/index.asp?id=home

http://www.murrayfredericks.com.au/currentexhibition-lake-eyre0607.asp

The last 2 links are the photographer’s web page as well as an exhibit of his Lake
Eyre landscapes. These are truly a must see folks. Surreal and sublime can’t
begin to describe some of these photographs. Those of you a little better off
might consider buying a print or two, after all the holidays are coming soon.

Thanks again my friends for dropping by again to the old backporch. Next time I’ll
have a percolator going with some cowboy coffee, laced with some throat clearing
liquid if you like, and we can sit for a spell and talk about anything you want.

Vaya con dios,

Morongobill



Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs!

That is exactly how I felt as I walked up to the podium this afternoon when the
public comment period began at the DRECP Stakeholder Steering committee
meeting at the Ontario Convention Center, Room 104B.

All the way up as I drove, I mentally rehearsed what I would say knowing that I
would probably have less than a minute to say my piece and sit back down. Also
since I figured that there would be a big parking fee, I had to look around in strange
territory for an atm.

So imagine my surprise and delight when I drove up to the parking attendant and
found out that my parking was comped by the state, alright!

Anyway I arrived around 1300 and was standing outside trying to figure out if I should slink in, when a young man advised me that it was okay to just go in and find a seat. So I sat
out in the audience in my desert rat hat, inconspicuous I am sure, listening in as the
large panel discussed various issues regarding the DRECP report and the process. I got
to hand it to them, those people seem to really know their stuff. A gentleman for the
state CEC talked about the new mapping that was in progress, with connectivity, etc- I
am sure they were probably talking about wildlife corridors and I remember another
gentleman on the panel talking about not mapping exact areas of cultural interest due to chances that vandals might go right out and loot the sites(my words here, he didn’t say
looting but I am sure that is exactly what would occur)-all in all kind of interesting
bureaucratize.

There was a moment of levity when they were discussing the next meeting date to be on
October 13 at the same location, and one of the panelists, possibly the chairman pointed
out that this was the same day as a big solar conference, one of the solar reps on the
panel quickly pointed out that she had no problem with the committee choosing that date.

Anyway the meeting moved right along and actually before the scheduled time of 1430 they
began the public comment period. The chairman said that a Bill Mcdonald had requested
to speak to the committee and was he present. So I stood up and made my way over to
the podium, kind of like a condemned man making his way to the gallows, that’s how
nervous I was. Evidently I had forgotten how nervous public speaking made me in school,
after all that was decades ago but I remembered real fast once I stepped up to the microphone!

After sitting in the audience for over an hour and watching and listening to everything, I
instantly made the decision to throw off the back porch, remarks that I had practiced
all the way from the OC to the Ontario airport area. I don’t remember exactly what I
said but it went something like this:” My name is Bill Mcdonald. I am a bus driver and I
am a blogger known as Morongobill on the internet. I would like to thank the committee
for allowing me this opportunity to comment today. As an environmental activist, I would
like to say that I was pleased with their report just released for the public, especially as it
mentioned the “no regrets” siting of these plants on disturbed land first. But that my
problem was with the timing, now that the Ivanpah SEGS and other projects were about
to be approved I was sure any day, why couldn’t this report have come out a couple of
months or so ago? I said that what we were talking about here was death(I may have
mentioned it twice)- death to many animals and plants. I thanked the committee and sat
back down.

Nervous doesn’t begin to describe how I felt and probably how I sounded up
there at the podium. But I felt good for saying it, because really we are talking
life and death here, maybe not for us humans, but for sure for the animals and
plants who call these energy sites home.

I was followed by 5 or 6 others I believe, including a young man from the National Parks
Conservation Society, I believe, who brought a notebook up that he had written his
remarks down in, I though that is so smart, why didn’t I think of that? Next time I will. He
pointed out why should we think first of using pristine desert habitat, or words similar,
when we site these plants, excellent point, why do the policy makers think sites like
Ivanpah first, before even considering brownfields or disturbed land?

I thought all the public commentors made good points, however I was very surprised
that no one called in a comment. I think the panelists were as well.

There was an interesting moment when the lady representing the Sierra Club told the
panel about a call she made to the Dept of Conservation about the problems that
Abengoa was having getting their plant approved near Barstow I believe. The problem
was that the state was saying they would need to replace this valuable farm land replaced on a 1:1 basis, despite the fact it hadn’t been farmed in ages, in fact it is not far from an existing solar project, but that after a conversation with the SC,
the state shrunk down that mitigation requirement from over 1500 acres(this is
from my memory which isn’t perfect) to just a couple or hundred or so acres, which would be better financially for Abengoa.

After the meeting was over, I walked up to the SC rep and mentioned how that was really
good, the help to get that Abengoa project back on track, introduced myself and said something to the effect that I was the blogger who pointed out their rooftop was solar free.
Evidently she hadn’t heard of that little incident, wonder how the conversation would have
went if she had seen that post?

I was pleased to meet a couple of people there who are involved in the environmental
community, not the carbonmental community and was made to feel welcome. One said he
has followed my blog, which I must admit was good to hear.

Who knows what is in the future but I will say that it is a feeling of accomplishment to
attend one of these shindigs and get to say your piece. I don’t think I changed any
minds and I probably came across as not much of a public speaker, but next time I
think that I will do much better. I sure will write my notes down next time, if nothing else
to help overcome a case of the nerves.

The whole point is folks that I have never done anything like this before and I survived.
You can get involved too. These folks are having another meeting in October, maybe the
13th, and while not many people can drive out like I did, a few of you sure can call in on
a toll-free number! You get time to say your piece, I didn’t see anybody looking at their
watches pointedly, and then the next person can speak. Try it, you might like it and
become an activist yourself. We need all the help we can get right now.

Thanks for reading this and I will se about getting the information to you in a timely
fashion before the next meeting.

By the way, my impression of this committee was that they seem to know their stuff, all
the members got a chance to speak as well as the public, and they seemed to be trying
to get this report finalized and released in a timely fashion. My only concern of the
moment was why the report wasn’t released some time ago, prior to the CEC deciding
Ivanpah SEGS among others.

Something to think about for sure.

Morongobill

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Time to take this “desert activism” up a notch.

I guess that I should have seen this coming some time ago but I didn’t.

After all this time, talking and writing, it’s time for “doing.”

Tomorrow in Ontario, there is a scheduled meeting of the DRECP Stakeholder
Steering Committee in Ontario, California. I plan to attend and hopefully speak
during the public comment period which I understand will be from 1430-1500, or
2:30-3:00 pm pacific time. Since the time allowed for the public is only 30 minutes
and I am sure there will be quite a few folks there, the time will be limited, no filibusters
allowed ;-)

Although I am fairly articulate and somewhat well read, see my news media interviews
here, this is taking it to a whole new level. It’s one thing to take pot shots at the bureaucrats
on my blog and other to go beard them in their lair.

I think that I am up to the challenge.

This DRECP committee just released the report that I quoted in my last post and I like
what I read, such as the proposed “no regrets” strategy of siting these projects on
brownfields, or previously disturbed land, ideally close in near the consumers, in order
to reduce the need to build new transmission line infrastructure, a costly, wasteful, and
environmentally destructive process.

However, my problem is with the timing of the report which just came out, the initial
”public comment draft.” Note that this draft just came out at around the same time as the
CEC approvals for several projects, among them Ivanpah SEGS and others, and all to
the best of my recollection on prime desert animal and plant habitat! Sounds to
me like the CEC and the big energy promoters would like to get as many of these
harmful projects approved now, before the DRECP’s recommendations are
approved, and so that they all can qualify for the big OBAMA BUCK STIMULUS $
before they expire on 12/31/2010.

So we will see how it goes tomorrow, who knows, they may take one look at me and
call for security!
bigmorongocanyonhike 001

As a public service to the CEC staff and security, here is a photo of Morongobill in his proposed attire for the
meeting tomorrow, I will not be bringing the vanilla cream soda though as I don’t seem to be in a sharing mood
lately. But I am in an arguing mood.

Fellow activists and desert lovers, it’s not too late to get involved in a more direct way.
I am not talking to the long-time colleagues(I hope that I am not being presumptuous here)
who have forgotten more about the process than I will ever know, but to those who have
been following this little blog all along. You can participate as well by writing comments
on this blog or others, or to news stories that you come across, or even riding up to Ontario
with me tomorrow to attend the meeting, drop me an email, there are lots of ways to help
and to participate, even if you live across the globe. After all, I don’t live in Australia but
when I saw how they are about to be “BrightSourced”, I had no option but to do my duty
as a citizen of the world and a desert lover, and that was to try to warn them. You can do
things like this also, no doubt with much better results. I challenge you to at least think
about it.

You know I have learned a lot in this journey that began in January of this year when I began this little blog. And I have met(online) some of the finest people that I have ever
come across in my 56 years. Tireless men and women, motivated by a desire to save
the deserts from a horrible fate, who despite being knocked down, keep getting up and
answering the bell for another round, people much more eloquent than myself, that keep
putting the word out there, hoping that we will gain some traction and the seeds being
sown will fall upon fertile soil, and take root, in the hearts of the average person out there,
who will see that by joining in this struggle, no matter the odds against them, that we, the
people, can and will prevail, as has happened in the past, against the forces arrayed
against us, and will save this wilderness that is threatened to a greater degree than in any
time in recent memory and history.

Thank you.

Morongobill

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Draft of my public comment re:Ivanpah SEGS Presiding members Proposed Decision.

Folks, I woke up this morning still undecided how or what to write so I went back up
to the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve and did the one way hike down the canyon
and hitch hiked back uphill to my car. I could barely walk once I got out of the kind
stranger’s suv and I made my way to the preserve’s cottonwood tree shaded parking
lot. But my mind was working and I had my outline in my mind as I walked up. I will of
course email this and get a hard copy printed out tomorrow to ship off to the CEC just
in time to make the deadline.

Begin draft comments:
September 1, 2010

California Energy Commission
Attention: Presiding member, Mr. Jeffrey Byron

Re: Docket No. 07-AFC-5
      Ivanpah SEGS Proposed final decision

Mr. Byron,

Sir, I am writing you as a concerned California resident, in hopes of persuading you
to delay your approval decision for this project, or to rescind it entirely, forcing
BrightSource Energy to find a different location for their plant.

I understand the need to have renewable energy added to the state’s portfolio. What
I don’t get is why does this project have to be sited on such a picturesque and environmentally sensitive location, the Ivanpah Valley, which your own documents
admit will contribute to the development and industrialization of it in the future.

Others speak and write with far more eloquence than I possess, some are so well
versed with the facts of this matter, why they seem to this old country boy that they
are walking encyclopedias! However, if I may, I would like to point out a couple of things for your consideration.

As you are aware the Conservation Biology Institute just made available for public
comment, their 108 page DRECP Report, drawn up for the REAT of which your
commission is a member. They mention the following in several locations but I will
just refer to the page 4 instance found in section 1.1 Introduction, Philosophy and
Approach:
”We therefore strongly advocate using no regrets strategies in the near term- such
as siting developments only in already disturbed areas
- as more refined analyses
become available to guide more difficult decisions.”

I would like to point out that the site selected for the Ivanpah SEGS project is sited
on publicly owned, desert land that is home to several endangered plant and animal
species, and is very environmentally sensitive. I would also like to acquaint you with
a fact- this site which I hiked extensively in March of this year, was cleaner by far,
as far as any litter, tire marks etc than it’s neighbor, the Mojave National Preserve,
in particular the roadside from Cima down to where that road deadends into the Ivanpah road I believe. I was amazed when I walked it.

Also secondly, the 36 desert tortoises found in the survey, which I consider an extremely low number, when you consider the high quality of the habitat and the food
sources available- in effect will be condemned to death by your decision, no exaggeration, no brag, just fact. See the results of the Fort Irwin translocation
debacle for all the proof you need to see that I am right. 49% death rate within months of the translocation, and over 11% just this year, so far. Sir, no matter
how you mitigate this, you are talking “tortouside” pure and simple. Your decision
for approval equates to a “death warrant for the tortoises” with no chance of appeal
and no chance of a reprieve. I and many of my friends and colleagues believe this
just as surely as we believe that the sun will rise in the morning. Again, so that there
can be no doubt, these imminent desert tortoise’s deaths will be on your head,
not on ours.

I propose that if you still go ahead and over-ride these and other environmental “facts
on the ground”- that at the minimum, with proper and stringent safeguards in place, that the plant operator be required to house them in the proper location, to cherish
them
,until they die a normal and natural death, after living a normal life after they
have been removed from their current homes, not to be cooped up in zoo like conditions, but in a natural home, thus minimizing the chances of their imminent demise.

If BrightSource Energy complains, you might point out to them, that their federal ARRA
LOAN GUARANTEE is for 1.37 billion dollars or there about, and their estimate for
construction costs is about 1.1 billion dollars, there is obvious room here to pay for this.

By doing mitigation like this, it will send a strong signal to those who site this plants
on valuable species habitat instead of using a commonsense approach such as proposed by the scientists in the DRECP, that your agency and staff, including the
commission members, feel so strongly about protection of the species, that mitigation
efforts truly will conform to the letter and spirit of the laws that they and you are
operating under. In this case, that the endangered desert tortoises and others have
value and must be protected.

Sir, I am only a small time bus driver and blogger, but I have loved this area for decades. I really don’t want to see it developed at all. But I know that my wishes, as
well as those of friends, relatives and colleagues probably aren’t as important in the
grand scheme of things. Still though, I am asking that you reconsider or delay your
proposed decision, to allow more time for reflection about the DRECP and other matters relating to this most important, and permanent decision affecting the beautiful
valley that many people love.

Thank you for considering my comments.

With best regards,
William C. Mcdonald
Morongobill
http://morongobillsbackporch.blogspot.com

Okay folks, that’s all for today. I sure hope that some of you have heeded my and others’
requests that you also get involved with this fight of all fights, this most noble fight to save
the Ivanpah Valley and the Mojave Desert from its’ impending fate, an area that has seen
a lot in its’ history but never faced a juggernaut such as what is heading its’ way right now
as I type these words.

If you help, you really are helping yourself, this wilderness belongs to you as well, right
now maybe you are only experiencing it virtually on my site or on the other sites out there
on the net, but one day you may visit here and get to experience first hand what I and others like me have been saying all along- that this place, this site proposed, this site that
your host has personally walked on and video’d and photographed and written about
ceaselessly, this area which is capable of providing moments so sublime, so wonderful,
is about to be bladed over.

Ivanpah needs your help, please will you consider sending an email tonight or tomorrow?
Please help.

Thank you and here is a photograph posted before, taken by me long before I ever heard
of this train wreck coming. Please look at this, will it make this world or this nation a
better place if we send in the earthmovers and the bulldozers, wiping this beauty from the
face of the earth?
archivecd18 095

Ivanpah could sure use some kind, caring souls about now.

Morongobill