Friday, January 21, 2011

Prominent desert activist, Steve Tabor of Desert Survivors quits Sierra Club for not protecting our public desert lands from renewable energy development, among other things.

Folks, here is a communication I have obtained from a Sierra Club mailing list.
Mr. Tabor is saying here what has been said on the backporch almost from
the very beginning, except whereas I am an outsider, not a member of the
Sierra Club, nor what you would consider an official desert activist like Mr.
Tabor and others
, I could only surmise by observation what was and still is
going on, while these folks were on the inside, trying to make change within
the organization, to try to get the organization to be true to its’ founding ideals and protect the public lands, the wild places, as John Muir charged it with
those ideals.
220px-John_Muir_Cane
John Muir in 1907

This letter of resignation from one of the most prominent desert protection activists in this country, speaks volumes about how the organization has morphed into an entity that must have Mr. Muir spinning in his grave much like a whirling dervish in horror at what has become of his beloved institution.

I take no solace from publishing this. I have a most incredible sadness inside me right now as I type this, this proves to me beyond any shadow of doubt, this is incontrovertible evidence that the SC leadership has become totally corrupted by this theory that is pointed to in this letter, that it will in fact sacrifice any land, anywhere, in its’ desire to reduce carbon emissions regardless of the place where those emissions arise, the wild and public lands here in this country will have to pay the high price to mitigate for those emissions.

In agreement with Mr. Tabor’s ideas in this letter, I say enough is enough, we
won’t stand still for anymore of this raping of our pristine, public lands in the
guise of preventing climate change, or global warming- whatever the buzzword
of the moment is- for projects that won’t accomplish a damned thing but enriching a select few, with costs totally paid for by tax payers- with the deserts
and its’ denizens left holding the damned empty bag!

Here is the letter, I edited it only to remove the email format, mime etc and not
for content.

I stand by my editing here, it is a true copy of the letter, exactly:

Desert Lovers:

I sent this to the Sierra Club leadership the last time they sent me a "Gif=
t Planning" appeal.  Despite this, I got another renewal notice last week.

Steve Tabor

******************************


Sierra Club Gift Planning Program
Attn: Michael Brune
85 Second Street, Second Floor
San Francisco, CA  94105-3459

December 25, 2010

Mr. Brune,

I am writing to request that you remove me from your membership roll.  I am disappointed in the Club policies in recent years and can no longer support the organization.

I became a member of the Sierra Club in 1988, specifically to help it protect the California Desert with the passage of the California Desert Protection Act.  I was impressed with the Clubs willingness to make this neglected ecosystem its top priority for the California-Nevada Regional Conservation Committee.  I was also impressed with the Clubs democratic spirit and its reliance on local activists as the focus of that spirit.  I worked in the Bay Chapter Wilderness Subcommittee to further the desert protection effort and later liaised with that committee and other entities of the Club to get the Protection Act passed.  That was an eight-year struggle.  But that was then and this is now.

For the past several years the Club has dropped its focus on public lands protection in favor of a wild-eyed total commitment to stamping out carbon dioxide.  Your magazine is non-stop promotion of the carbon dioxide theory of global warming.  The protection of our public lands, of ecosystems and wildlife has been dropped in favor of social engineering. The magazine reads like a New Age brochure for eco-fascism.  It is 24-hour-a-day anti-fossil fuel, anti-coal propaganda.  Trying to gussy up such a message with expensive glossy full-color spreads does not hide the fact that impoverishment of our population is now a primary goal for the SC, as it is for the rest of the Washington-based, foundation-funded environmental movement.  The focus on protecting our public lands is gone.

The Sierra Club has joined the other big enviro groups in supporting Barack Obama’s campaign to cover our public lands,especially our desert lands, with expensive windmills and solar electric contraptions.  The technologies you support did not work in the 1970s and they will not work now.  Despite billions in government and utility subsidies over the course of 35 years, these wasteful and destructive technologies now comprise barely one percent of our electricity supply.  Yet the Sierra Club is eager to stamp out coal and your magazine gloats every time another coalplant is shelved, usually through intimidation and threats of reprisals or lawsuits from the Club and its fellow travelers.  It makes me wonder if the Club leadership is so corrupt that it is now willing to benefit the natural gas lobby and the nuclear lobby, because that is where your power will come from if you prevent coal plants.

There is no possibility of providing our population with any real quantity
of electric power with either solar plants or wind farms.  Neither of these
is capable of maintaining an electric grid because the supplies are intermittent.  Electricity is a continuous flow of electrons at a steady rate.  Appliances powered by electricity are designed to function at that rate, no
more and no less, within a very narrow range of variation.  Every time the
wind stops, every time the sun goes behind a cloud, there is a drop in electron flow --- that is, a brownout or blackout.  When the wind gusts up again or the cloud moves off, suddenly there is a power surge.

In an individual situation, a homeowner can work either of these technologies with battery storage, which allows a modulated flow to their appliances,but the large-scale systems that you promote in the desert and elsewhere have no intermediary and are sent directly to the grid, causing a power surge to everyones appliances.  A grid receiving 1% of its power from
these systems can handle the overload or the drop in current.  The kind of
massive development that you promote will so badly jam the grid that blackouts and surges will become the norm.  Pacific Gas & Electric, one of the utilities in California, said that it would accept a 2.5% feed-in of
renewable energy into its grid, but no more than that.  The California Legislature was disappointed at the utilitys opposition and its meagerness, primarily because legislators do not understand electricity.  The legislature was playing to the peanut gallery led by the Sierra Club, not to material reality.

Neither solar nor wind renewables are actually renewable.
  Both require expensive apparatus to produce a meager amount of power.  That apparatus is manufactured in power plants fueled and electrified by fossil fuel.  Most are made in China where there are no restrictions on coal plants and where cheap (slave) labor working with minimal wages and benefits
will enable government-subsidized U.S. or European corporations to turn a profit at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer and ratepayer.

The renewable energy economy is a joke.  Neither solar nor wind produces enough electricity to run the factories where the apparatus
is constructed!  You'll be generating the electricity to run the plants to make the apparatus to generate the electricity to run the plants to make more apparatus, etc. and you'll never get enough electricity
to do anything else like run your appliances or keep yourself warm.  This
is not renewable power.  When the apparatus outlives its
usefulness, it will have to be replaced by another apparatus constructed in
yet another factory run on fossil fuels.  That will continue until there are no more fossil fuels, then there will be no more renewable energy.  Club leadership is living in a fantasy world on this and is misleading the public with this fantasy.Renewable energy
is feel-good massage oil for people who don't have the courage to
deal with the reality of living in the industrial world.

The Obama Administration wants to cover 1000 square miles of our public lands in the desert with these worthless contraptions.  The damage in the desert, our most fragile ecosystem, will be immense.  The Club has actively promoted this program and is perhaps the architect of it.  What is most troubling to me has been the Clubs heavy-handed treatment of its local activists who are still trying to protect the desert in the face of this environmental and economic fiasco.  The Club has openly criticized its local activists for being nimby, it has cut funds for local groups working against destructive solar power in California, it has prevented
local activists from speaking publicly, and it has censored official communications.  This is a direct destruction of the kind of local activism that
gave us the California Desert Protection Act.  In fact some of the same individuals who worked within the Clubs local and regional groups to get the Act passed are persons whom the Club has sought to suppress.  The Sierra Club national governing apparatus has acted in this controversy like an old-style Stalinist Central Committee with an official party line, complete with distortion, threats, intimidation and withdrawal of financial support to activists.  This has been a disgraceful chapter in the Clubs history.

The low point of this trend was a much-touted performance of Club official
Carl Pope at a White House gathering last year.  Is the desert worth more than a luncheon and a chuckle with Michelle Obama?  I think it is.

With its support of the carbon dioxide theory of global warming, the Club has become a one-pony circus in a one-horse town.  Every time it snows, the rest of the nation has to scratch its head about those crazy environmentalists.  I note that no one uses the term global warming any
more, now that the earth has turned cold.  The magic mantra is now
Climate Change.  The Sierra Club and the other Washington lobby
groups don't want the climate to change.  But as they say,
Nature Bats Last.  Mother Nature has other ideas.  And so does
the rest of the nation.

With the recent rejection of Democrats in the U.S. House, the backlash against these policies has begun.  If you are successful in getting coal plants shutdown and solar plants built up, the backlash will take off in a quantum leap forward. No one in Ohio will want to shiver in the dark waiting for the sun to come out so they can have solar electricity for the remaining daylight hours.Not if they are expected to pay five times more for it for a six-hour supply.But the Club apparatus is ready to ride the dead horse of carbon dioxide and solar on into the cold sunset, and to sacrifice our public lands to get that done.

That is why I am quitting the Sierra Club.  You're riding high now,
with Obama still in office, but your brief time in the sun is already past.  It took the Club from 1892 to 2008 to get from gadfly outsider to the pinnacle of power.  It will be an equally long way down from now on.

Steve Tabor”

There you have it folks, read it and weep.

Here is a link to Desert Survivors, Steve Tabor is a founding member of the organization and of special interest to me, also personally hiked the Ivanpah
SEGS site before construction as I and others did.
ivanpahfieldtrip 005
Ivanpah SEGS site soon to be covered with thousands of mirrors and to be desert tortoise free.

I just want to add that it took real courage to do what Mr. Tabor has done here
with this letter, which I am sure has literally “raised the roof” at SC headquarters. Some might wish, that it might have an effect like Samson who
pulled down the pillars holding up the temple….. My own wish is that it will
start a revolution up there in San Francisco, and that it will topple the leadership, and that a real activist, someone along the lines of Mr. Tabor or similar, will pick up the pieces and restore it to the founder’s original vision and intent.

Morongobill

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