Monday, April 30, 2012

Great newspaper article and video regarding the caretakers of the Mojave Cross- Henry and Wanda Sandoz

This article fills in the blanks for me.

Questions answered include just how did Mr. Sandoz happen to become the caretaker? Who put up the original cross in 1934 and what was the history?

I really enjoyed this article and the two videos also up at the link.

Back home in the south, we would call these good old country folks.

There was never a question that they would answer the call of duty, no question.

The article also answers the question of who owns the five acres within the Mojave National Preserve that is part of the case settlement.

You can read the Redlands Daily Facts article entitled “

Friendship takes High Desert couple to Supreme Court over controversial cross “ here.

Reading stories like this this renew my faith in my fellow man.



Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pre- construction Ivanpah solar site videos now going online again.

I know, I know, I promised a few weeks ago that I was going to start
uploading videos to my Vimeo page. So give me the death penalty, okay?
Just kidding, a little gallows humor to start your day.

At long last, I have just paid my annual fee and upgraded to the Plus
level at Vimeo, now I can have more than one channel and can upload more videos weekly, along with having the video processed immediately instead of
sitting in a cue along with the other free basic accounts.

So I have created my first channel which will be devoted to my videos taken
during my hikes at the Ivanpah SEGS site, prior to the beginning of the construction of that solar farm, and before they starting mowing the vegetation
and clearing all the myriad critters that lived at that complete and functioning
ecosystem; contrary to what John Woolard and others said, paraphrasing now-
because there is a golf course nearby, and a few dirt roads, and a few cattle grazed on in spots- why it was land perfect for siting a solar farm!
ScreenHunter_01 Apr. 28 08.57
The above video still is from the first video added to the channel going up today. This was the view of
the future project site from about 2-3 miles away. This video was made in 3/2010.

Never mind that it turned out to have a ton of desert tortoises on it, we will just ignore that little factoid.

Other channels coming, Ivanpah construction, Mojave National Preserve, Big Morongo Canyon Nature Preserve- you catch my drift, I am sure.

Yes, folks, I am aware of my limitations as a videographer- if you want to see
an example of work done by a real videographer involving the Mojave, while at
Vimeo look for Robert Lundahl. My videos really are record shots of how things
were at the time that the video was made, that is their sole purpose.

So this will take quite a bit of time, and the easiest way to view them, until I can
get them all up and redo all my links in 2 years of blogging, is as you come to this site to view a post, if it has video and you click on it, if it says “removed by user” or if it has youtube on it, go straight to the My videos. Morongobill on Vimeo link at the top of the left sidebar below the main photograph at the top
of the blog page. As mentioned earlier, they will be in channels and it should be easy to find the one that you are looking for.

If however, I haven’t finished, and it hasn’t been uploaded yet, feel free to email me a friendly reminder!

Currently, as I type this, a video conversion program is working on the videos
from Ivanpah, before the earthmovers moved in- those should be up this morning.

There are now tens of thousands of heliostat posts up waiting for mirrors now where I am pointing.

A late bit of news. The upload process takes longer than I thought, please bear with me as I complete
this first channel which will have 30+ videos in it. Above is one of those videos that is online now.
The uploads for the visit on this day in March 2010 are now finished, check them out.

So goodbye for now, I have a lot of work to do this morning!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Genesis Solar, poster child for poorly sited and rushed through renewable energy projects! Maybe this time the carbonmentalists will finally be stopped.

Now why would I think this about a project which our governments- local,
state, and federal- say is vitally needed right now to slow down the pace of global warming, climate change, and the new boogey man, carbon buildup
in the atmosphere. Haven’t I got a clue? Don’t I see the urgency that Bill
Mckibbon, Carl Pope, Michael Brune, Johanna Wald, Governor Jerry Brown,
and President Obama see?

Actually I don’t.

Let me ask you guys this- the last time a salesman tried the high pressure
sales techniques on you or someone you know, how did that work out for you?
It has been my life experience, and from both sides of the issue, that the whole
purpose of the hard sell is so that you don’t have time to figure out that you are being sold a pig in a poke. You know, kind of like saying we absolutely must
get these power plants built right now, this minute; it is so urgent that we must
waive our normally rigorous standards due to the over-riding issue of global warming and carbon buildup which is confronting us now.

In other words, a pig in a poke.

Now, I mentioned a rush job for a reason. Have you heard the latest about
Solyndra-2 the Genesis Solar project? First allow me to refresh your memories
a bit. This is the same project where an outbreak of canine distemper, a deadly
disease, broke out among the desert kit fox population on site- by the way this
is an endangered
species- and you know why? Because someone may have spread coyote urine around their dens to get them to vacate. This seems to be the only explanation that fits with the facts, and now that distemper is spreading through the kit foxes all across the Mojave Desert.(Note, evidently this species is not endangered, my mistake.)

I swear to God, sometimes I feel like beating these bastards asses until their noses bleed!calmly explaining to them, the errors of their ways.
Distemper Outbreak: How did the Deadly Disease Reach the Desert?
The above is an excellent commentary by Chris Clarke of Coyote Crossing, writing for KCET.

Canine distemper kills eight kit foxes near Blythe, biologists nearly give up hope of containment.
The above article from the High Desert Daily Press is excellent and was published 3 days ago.

Now that’s something for the bureaucrats to be proud of- maybe they will have
to list the kit fox as endangered after all, thanks to their own incompetence!

I am making a valiant effort to keep my pleasant demeaner  so bear with me.

But have you heard the very latest? And this may be the straw that finally will
break the long suffering camel’s back, and change the political and legal landscape very quickly, and possibly to the carbonmentalists detriment.
Discovery of Indian artifacts complicates Genesis solar project

The above is an article published in the Los Angeles Times a couple of days ago, sent to me by a friend online, and is a must read. Here is the subheading
from the article:

After human remains were unearthed near the $1-billion Genesis project 200 miles east of L.A., the Colorado River Indian Tribes are demanding that the Obama administration slow down on solar plants in the Mojave Desert.”

The above courtesy of the Los Angeles Times, Louis Sahagun 2012. I strongly recommend that you surf over and read that
article now, just right click to open another window or tab, then come back here. We’ll wait for you.

You know this project has been dogged from the beginning by allegations that
it was a rush job. Even the bureaucrats admit in their torturous verbiage that
normal reviews were expedited for over-riding reasons. This 825 million dollar
boondoggle, rushed through the normal permitting process, and ignoring concerns expressed by the Native Americans, desert activists, and others- was
fast tracked from day one- but now as we say back home in Georgia- the
chickens may finally be coming home to roost!

You see, the long suffering tribes living in these regions have finally had enough of this kangaroo court process. This time they are not taking 20 bucks worth of beads to sign over their heritage and ancestral homeland.(Finally I feel comfortable using the word homeland, unlike as in Homeland Security.) And evidently they have a very powerful federal law, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, to help redress the current wrongs being done to them by this carbonmentalist system. See my previous post where I addressed the rich California tribes in an open letter, this is from late 2010.
Open letter to the Sovereign Indian Nations of Southern California and Arizona regarding runaway energy development and the future of the Mojave.

I know the above letter was read by some of the tribes, through the magic of weblog software, but as far as I can tell, nothing was acted upon. I believe now,
at long last, with these latest revelations of grave desecration and other things,
even if done by accident and not on purpose, may be enough to motivate all
the tribes, each a sovereign people, to come together and try to throw a wrench
under the wheels of this runaway freight train, this renewable energy land rush,
before it is too late.

As I opined on these pages long ago, from the beginning, when I became aware of what the future held for my beloved Mojave Desert and I mean that last, the time to have acted with a lawsuit was before the ground was broken at Ivanpah. That did not happen. At Blythe, the issue was the intaglios and other sacred areas, I believe a lawsuit has been filed, I am not sure, but this time there will be protections under a federal law with teeth, and I am strongly
suggesting to the sovereign Indian Nations of California, Arizona, and Nevada-
come together and help your fellow tribes along the Colorado River, by doing so, you will help yourself as well; as sure as the sun rises and sets everyday,
your land may be next for the bulldozers and the earthmovers.

As sure as the sun rises and sets, my friends, count on it.

Some might say, who the heck is this white guy giving the Indians advice? He’s
only a bus driver for heaven’s sake!

Again for the umpteenth time, I love the Mojave, and I have made it my business. I can think, I can see what’s happening, and I think that this blog has
a pretty good track record on predictions. I am not the one who is saying that
nature preservation is dead, that the future of the environmental movement is in adapting the earth to man’s needs. Far from it, I feel that
man needs to adapt to the planet’s needs in some ways, for example by
stopping our species need to breed like rabbits.

For sure, we must save what little wilderness is left, to maintain our own humanity, and one way to do that is to build solar on rooftops, or on washed up
ruined land which lies closer in to the users, to take back the sun which belongs to all of humanity, from the clutches of the power utilities, which have
figured out how to meter the sun with the help of their close allies in government and amongst the mainstream environmental groups such as the
NRDC and the Sierra Club, just to name a couple of the most prominent fellow

That’s it for today. As usual, hope springs eternal here on the backporch and if
the Native American tribes all band together and act, right now, the story may change soon out in our beloved Mojave Desert.



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Deal reached, the Mojave Cross is going back up atop Sunrise Rock!

If I didn’t have to drive a bus tonight, the champagne would be being poured
right now!

I just got off the phone with Dug Begley, a reporter with the Press- Enterprise,
we met you might recall in May 2010 when the Cross was originally stolen, I
showed him and William Lewis, the photographer, how to get up on top of
Sunrise Rock that day, and have maintained contact since then.
mojavecross 009

Dug, back to camera and Bill Lewis with camera covering his face in May 2010 atop Sunrise Rock.

Here is the link to the Press Enterprise story which just came out.
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY: Mojave Cross deal reached - by Dug Begley

The above link has been updated and is the final story as it ran in the newspaper. I know because I drove out
and bought 5 copies for my friends and relatives Winking smile

Yesterday, as you know, I drove by Sunrise Rock and looked over at Sunrise Rock still sans cross, and wondered if there was any news forthcoming from
the settlement hearing as I recalled the judge gave the parties a few months to
work out the details.

In my wildest dreams, I never thought that it would happen this fast!

Anyway, I would like to thank Dug publicly for continuing to follow this story
and for the excellent work he has done on it. And for remembering me and my
blog, to say that I am honored  to be called on is an understatement.

We talked about the developments with this case and some other matters, I
wanted to share with you, my dear readers, the thoughts about this case that I
shared with Dug.

I feel that this is a fair settlement of the issue, having said that though, some will probably disagree. It is my understanding that the project will be fenced,
with 2 entrances for the public; my concern is that the fence around the one acre site does not overwhelm the scenic beauty of the area, and that it blend in.
An example to consider would be the fence put up out at the Vulcan Mine site which does blend in with the natural surroundings and allows for
the security of the site and for the safety of the visitors.
I also said that the
same or similar cross should be put back up as well. In other words, a painted white, iron pipe cross, same size should go back up. This would continue the
tradition set by the original one, still missing, that was installed in 1934.

It is my understanding that the National Park Service will be putting up a memorial which explains the history of the site, and that the cross was put up
to honor the war dead of World War One. This is another great idea in my opinion, that will go a long way to explaining the history of the memorial and
hopefully defuse the controversy which I feel will break out anew upon this word getting out widely.

I have written often about this issue, my views are out there in these pages, and
all I want to say now is thank God, this issue has finally been settled, once and
for all. I said when interviewed by the news media at Sunrise Rock, that I felt the theft was akin to desecrating a grave in a military cemetery, and I still strongly feel that way.

The brave men who had to go off from their jobs, farms, ranches, and loved ones had no choice, they had to go. We have no choice but to honor that decision now, after all it could have been one of our relatives, one of our
ancestors, who had to go live and die in those trenches, in inhumane conditions, blasted apart by machine gun and artillery fire, hanging off the barbed wire; if we have any honor, any humanity, we must acknowledge their
sacrifice, their suffering, to try to make that time the “war to end all wars.”

We know that war seems to be a profitable industry in these times. That is unless you and your loved ones are doing all the dying, for sure someone else
is doing all the profiting.

This Mojave Desert Cross atop Sunrise Rock is a testament to that dying, and that to the living, that those who did die those many decades ago will not be


Monday, April 23, 2012

Molycorp and BrightSource Energy/Bechtel busy as beavers. Plus a gas pipeline going in up Collosseum Road above the Ivanpah site.

This post will be a work in progress and will be added to today and probably tomorrow. Currently I am sitting out in the shade at the country store off Cima
Road and I-15. I am about to head south into the Mojave National Preserve to try out the panorama feature on my Fuji digicam. I will close right now with a couple of panoramas, the first is the Mountain Pass area home of the Molycorp rare earth mine and second will be from the Ivanpah SEGS site. I will add more photos and a video later on, hopefully today.

042312molycorpbrightsource 006

You can doubleclick on these and they will open in a new window. Note the 2 big , full parking lots in the above photo.

042312molycorpbrightsource 044

The above photo shows that all 3 solar towers are now up, #1 appears almost complete,#3 is the least furthest along.

More later today. This portion posted at 10:02 in the morning.

Very poor job with the digicam, but watch to see the heliostat mirror field. Note the mowed down vegetation underneath.

This video added at 5:02pm.
ScreenHunter_01 Apr. 24 07.59

Above is a screenshot from the video showing completed heliostats in Solar 2, note the “mowed” vegetation underneath the
mirrors. This was added to the post at 8:02 am on 4/24/2012.

Wow! Look who just visited my little site.
ScreenHunter_01 Apr. 23 17.09

By coincidence, here is an investor’s information post published today about the Molycorp Mountain Pass mine, as regards the proven reserves available to be mined.
Overview of Molycorp Californian Rare Earth Deposit

And here is a previous post that I wrote regarding the Mountain Pass rare earth mine and a possible competitor opening up near the Wee Thump Joshua Tree Wilderness.
I guarantee our military would love to see these mines open up to ensure a continued supply of these raw materials.

Evidently all that new construction at Mountain Pass is Molycorp’s Project Phoenix, which is an 895 million dollar expansion so that more of the rare earths can be processed than ever before. Read about it and view photos here.
The above paragraph added 7:55 pm.

I planned on getting off at the Kokoweef exit, also known as Bailey Road to get a panorama shot of the Molycorp mine across the freeway, what a surprise to see all the new activity going on there, including new facilities being built and huge parking lots full of cars and trucks, plus semitrailers lined up to get through the security gate into the mine! I knew something was up. Here are a few record shots taken with the larger zoom on my new digicam.
042312molycorpbrightsource 007

042312molycorpbrightsource 008

Above is a new open pit, or at least I don’t remember seeing it before.
042312molycorpbrightsource 009

Below, for sure, is a new facility going up.
042312molycorpbrightsource 011

And below also. You never used to see this many cars, and this is just part of one lot.
042312molycorpbrightsource 012

And another even larger facility going up.
042312molycorpbrightsource 013

I think these photos from this morning conclusively prove that Molycorp has been busy as a beaver! Now on to BrightSource/Bechtel.
The above was posted at 5:59 pm. I have to finish doing my laundry then I will come back to give you guys more information!
Oh, the glamorous world of blogging!

The first glimpse of the Solar 3 Tower at Ivanpah SEGS occurred as I neared the Nipton Road offramp sign. Here is the normal view.
042312molycorpbrightsource 016

Below is the tower photo taken at maximum zoom.
042312molycorpbrightsource 017

The next photograph shows all the solar towers lined up, from 3 to 1.
042312molycorpbrightsource 020

Another panoramic photo taken where Yates Well Road deadends into the road going to the golf course and the project site.
042312molycorpbrightsource 024

Below is a shot of the buildings where they assemble the heliostats, notice heliostatic mirrors already installed in the foreground. I estimate that at least 45-50% of the mirrors are up at Solar 3.
042312molycorpbrightsource 028

Below is a closeup, at maximum zoom, of Solar 3 tower which as you can see is almost done.
042312molycorpbrightsource 029

The next photo shows ongoing heliostat installation in Solar 3. By the way, those are large cranes, this was shot from way off.
042312molycorpbrightsource 031

Next is another view of the Solar 3 tower installion work. I wonder what those round pipe sections are for?
042312molycorpbrightsource 032

After finishing up here, I drove down the asphalt paved, and wide, road by Solar 2 where I filmed the earlier short video- what a horrible job, I should
have used my Canon digicam for the video- and drove up looking for the
Collosseum Road. The guard was very helpful, said at the fork, go left and it was marked public. This is the first thing that I saw, and these signs were on
both sides of this road spaced out.
042312molycorpbrightsource 034

I rode up a ways looking to see if I could take the Morongomobile cross country
but the roads looked too rough, so I flagged down a water truck driver, a real nice and helpful guy, who told me that they were putting in a gas pipeline up the road and were trying to restore the land as it was as they went along, and he suggested entering through Whiskey Pete’s back gate and taking the powerline road as one of my friends told me via email a week or so ago.

So off I went back to the freeway and on to Primm at the stateline. But before we go there, here a couple of shots taken of the solar site from above the project site.
042312molycorpbrightsource 035

I really like that panorama shot above. Too bad a giant solar farm is messing up the view, and the environment!
042312molycorpbrightsource 037

In the photo above, the sacred metamorphic hill looms up behind the Solar 2 tower being constructed.
042312molycorpbrightsource 038

Above are the golf course, freeway, the dry Ivanpah lakebed, the setup buildings, as well as completed heliostats in what is
Solar 3.
Below is the best shot that I could get of Solar 1, way in the distance. By the way, Solar 1 is where I took the photo that is used sometimes here as the top photo on the blog.
042312molycorpbrightsource 023

After driving to Whiskey Pete’s, I did find the gate but the sign said no BLM so
I was unsure if I should drive out. Ultimately, I passed on driving in, figuring that
I had plenty of photos to use anyway.
Here is a link to great photos taken recently by the folks at Basin and Range Watch. They were able to climb the metamorphic hill!

I ended up making a quick visit to the Mojave National Preserve where I did take a couple of photos near Globe Mine Road where it comes out on Cima Road, near Kelso Depot.
042312mnp 001

Don’t you just want to ride a bicycle up toward those mountains in the distance?
042312mnp 006

On the way through Hesperia, I could see clouds at Cajon Pass. Well those clouds covered the sky all the way to Orange County. Within 3-4 miles, the
temperature outside went down from 94 to 54 degrees F. Unbelievable! Here
is a pic taken in Cajon Pass.
042312mnp 007

525 miles and just now finishing up this post. It was an interesting day to say the least.

A note to all. You are welcome to use these photographs on your blogs or web
pages, just please leave the copyright information showing on the picture when
you use it.

That’s it, your ordeal is over. No more updates to this post.

I look forward to receiving links from some of you in a few weeks when you head up to Ivanpah and write about it.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Last post for a while- it’s not what you think.

My laptop battery is down to 52% and the power brick that charges it has died.
Since this is a Dell, I was not sure if a replacement could be bought locally but
it appears that Walmart stocks a Dell replacement in some of their stores, so
hopefully this will be a short lived glitch.

To keep getting your desert fix may I suggest that you visit a site and enter the
search term “cima dome” and follow the links where ever they take you.

You will not be disappointed.

Oops, you need the link. Battery meter down to 49%.

Here is the search term link.



Sunday, April 15, 2012

BrightSource Energy IPO results in an alternative reality world, plus a few words to BrightSource Energy employees and others.

A world where the carbonmentalists didn’t control the whole process from
siting the solar and wind farms to setting the terms of the power agreements.

I realize this is an exercise in fantasy, but here goes.

In this alternate reality, there would be no carbonmentalists setting the rules,
so the environmentalists or preservationists would be acting as honest stewards
on behalf of the planet and future generations after us
, and would have tried
to lead the government and the renewable energy proponents to think along
environmentally responsible lines; in other words to site these “farms” in areas
closer to the users of the power, and on rooftops, or degraded or used up land.

By following this strategy, the BrightSource’s and the First Solar’s of the world
would not have to worry at all about displacing or killing endangered plants or animals, and would avoid all mitigation expenses, which run into the millions as
we all now aware.

And of course, the environmental groups would have avoided conflict with their
most fervent members, their base of local members concerned with the future
preservation status of their beloved desert wilderness.

Having said all of the above, in my opinion, the BrightSource Energy IPO would
still have been withdrawn, due to lack of investor interest. You see, the company has put all its eggs in one basket, betting it all on the concentrated
solar power generation bandwagon. This strategy has now been gussied up
with the storage option, the Holy Grail for concentrated solar.

In a perfect world, that last addition to their strategy might have seemed like a
master stroke, putting them in the lead, leaving their competition way back in the dust, far out of sight.

Instead, what the IPO withdrawal showed, was a company mired in the technology of the past, and a corporate strategy wed with the needs and wishes of activist state and federal government regulators, with the big utilities
playing along with- after all they need the power, and they wouldn’t be paying anyway for all the infrastructure needed, so why not go along?

The market, the Wall Street crowd, finally showed up and as I have been saying all along here, having no skin in this game so far, showed even the most
die hard BrightSource Energy executive, the Wall Street reality, they don’t want to get any skin in the game, at least not by playing it the BrightSource way!

This is what I think really has happened over the last few months. In my opinion, Wall Street was willing to go along, as long as they could be playing with other people’s money, in this case, the taxpayers. As some of my more sophisticated readers are aware, the feds ended the loan guarantee program
recently, so the Street knew no more billions of easy money were coming. The
Solyndra debacle was the end of the easy money, and Wall Street knew it.

In addition, while concentrated solar prices have steadied, the costs of photo-
voltaic solar panels have plummeted, to the point where there is virtual parity
with fossil fuel plant costs.
This is all thanks to Walmart’s main supplier, the
People’s Republic of China, which is not beholden to our carbonmentalist
here and being a sovereign nation with a long history of civilization,
does what it wants, when it wants, and doesn’t feel any need to ask our corrupt
government for permission, and has been the driver behind the huge price drops in photovoltaic panels, bringing Walmart like efficiency to a market, which I am sure will please the average consumer, if not our government.

Somehow all this market reality never made an impression on the folks putting
that IPO together, maybe the thoughts of the millions of dollars to be made, got
the better of them, took over their brains, and common sense ideas like these,
never got through to them, and the rest was history as they say.

But don’t cry for the BrightSource Energy executives, America, per the S-1 form
they filed with the regulators for the IPO, it appears that the execs haven’t been missing too many “three martini” lunches, judging by their fat compensation packages! They better grab that money now while they can get it, because as we have already seen, the era of the easy “OBAMA BUCKS”is over, now they are going to have to make their loot the oldfashioned way, “earn it!”

Let me pull out my crystal ball and make a prediction. As demonstrated above,
the era of easy loans is over for BrightSource Energy. Now they say financing
is in place for their Hidden Hills and Rio Mesa proposed solar farms. Their
proposed “Siberia” project out by the Route 66 area, is probably a dead duck
now, at least this blogger fervently hopes so. And I am not so sure that I believe
that financing for the others is really locked in, now that the market reality has
been so perfectly illuminated for all to see, with the IPO withdrawal this week.

So these are truly interesting times for BrightSource executives and for this
blogger. These folks had the chance to do this right from the beginning- there
was no “arm twisting” involved with their siting decision for Ivanpah SEGS, and
when reasonable compromises and alternative locations were offered for their
consideration, they were rebuffed. Here is what I am saying, admittedly in hindsight which we know is 20-20, if they had proposed this plant on a different
location, one not rich with endangered plant and animal species, there would have been no controversy, the plant would have been built quicker, and they
could have floated their IPO a year ago and for more money, and it would have
flown to the moon!

Now that is something for those hotshots to mull over in the days and nights
ahead, as this project plods on to its completion, and for the more nimble
and soon to be more formidable competitors to mull over as well.

In closing, I would like to point out something to employees and contract workers for BrightSource and other solar and wind companies that are putting up one of these “farms” out in the California desert wilderness. I have a feature at the top left of this page requesting information, that only you can provide.

I have been hearing rumors about some of these projects, disturbing rumors of cost cutting measures, and other things which may end up reducing
the efficiency of these units, and may very well be damaging to the long term
structural integrity of some of the equipment, among other things.

  • So I am going to list a few questions that I believe you and only you can answer.

    Specifically, has a change of equipment suppliers resulted in less reliability
    and quality of components in your opinion? If so, which supplier and what
    part or parts. How does it damage the overall integrity of the unit? For example, a parabolic trough manufacturer has changed the glass supplier-
    have you noticed any problems with the new glass, such as cracks or breaks, etc?
  • It is my understanding, I may be wrong in this, that to receive the federal
    stimulus, the “OBAMA BUCKS” that the contractor must buy MADE IN
    AMERICA components. Now it could be that it might be okay to say
    ASSEMBLED IN AMERICA, regardless, have you seen components coming
    in labeled from other countries and this is very important, has the contractor had laborers removing “Made in x country" labels, that
    country not being America?
  • Have you seen or heard of anything involving the collection and search for
    endangered species that appears out of the ordinary at any of the sites going up now in the desert? You are aware as employees out at these sites
    of the procedures to be followed when coming across a desert tortoise for example, have you personally witnessed or heard of any mistreatment or
    killing of an endangered species animal, by unauthorized personnel?
    This last is very important as the contractor’s have all pledged to implement
    humane methods designed to keep these animals alive if possible, and to
    relocate them if possible.

I am sure there are many more questions to be asked of you, but first I need to
caution you and to make you aware of a very important fact at play. Before you
send me any information, you have to protect yourself. I will tell you that now is
not a good time to be a whistleblower for various reasons. But on the other hand, the fact that you are reading this says a lot about you and your beliefs.
Most people don’t waste their time reading a blog that they detest. I believe you
can be a good employee and still point out wrongdoing, even in these difficult times. You need to provide more than allegations of wrongdoing, if possible. Photographs, recordings, documents are all good, but could lead to you. Most likely, if caught, you will be fired, no questions asked. You may not be able to draw unemployment.

If after reading all this, you still feel the need to right a wrong, or to point out
wrongdoing, you can send the information to me. My priority is not to
get you in trouble, but to expose the wrongdoer’s, getting them in trouble. No matter what, they will say that the information is from a disgruntled employee, and they will employ the usual character assassination techniques, the de rigueur nowadays for big corporations trying to get away with their crimes, anything to discredit you and what you said. Expect it!

Finally, I am not a journalist. I am a blogger. The shield laws are for journalists,
and do not apply to bloggers. I could be compelled by a judge to name you.
Rest assured though, I do have contacts who are journalists, and who have an eye for a real story, and would happily talk to you, in confidence. You just need
to create an email and send me your contact information and I will send you a
name of a journalist who would be interested in your information, no need to tell me anything, unless you feel you can trust me and that I could help, despite my previous warnings. It is up to you.

So having said all this and having done my best to discourage you, if you have
seen wrongdoing happening or know of it, out at these new solar and wind “farms” going up out in the desert wilderness, and it is stuck in your craw
and you would like something done about it, then let me know. I think by now you guys have figured out that I care for this area, and would like to stop further
industrialization of the area- you can really help in that effort.

One last thing and I should have said this long ago. Just because I have blogged relentlessly against BrightSource at Ivanpah, doesn’t mean that I am anti-BrightSource employee. I am not. I am a worker just like you. I drive big buses for my living. I have talked to a few of you, and have taken your measure.
So far, everyone I talked to from BrightSource has been just like me and other
workers, just wants to do a good job and go home to their families, to live and let live. My problem from the beginning has been with the bosses running things, and with the government and environmental leadership, that has played along with them. I just want to help in the struggle to make Ivanpah SEGS the last one, along with Blythe, to be so poorly sited and built out. That’s it. Together we need to try to do what we can to prevent further destruction of the desert

Thanks to all for reading this far. Come back again to the backporch anytime
you feel like it, and tell a friend.



Friday, April 13, 2012

BrightSource Energy withdraws IPO due to market conditions and then this video is released by Bugatti- coincidence?

This is a promotional video for the new Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse,
which is evidently the world’s most bad ass roadster- hands down, no
doubt about it.

Who knows, you could be driving this one day!

Possibly rewarding themselves with a toy like this, could have been on the
minds of some involved with the now dead as a doornail, BrightSource
Energy, initial public offering. Hell, if I could get about 13 cents in ad revenue,
I might even consider floating an ipo for the backporch!

Oops, I forgot. I took down the ads sometime ago.Just kidding

I guess I will just have to keep the ageing Morongomobile in service a little while longer Winking smile.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

BrightSource Energy withdraws IPO at the last second- I told you this turkey wouldn’t fly longterm!

Read the details here.

The main sentence of interest to me from the news report:

“Investors continue to be skeptical of relatively early-stage companies with unproven technology that are spending significantly as they move toward commercialization. BrightSource's postponement may also reflect negative sentiment resulting from the high-profile bankruptcy of Solyndra, another solar company that, like BrightSource, was a beneficiary of DoE loan guarantees.”

I have a very long day today at my day job, so I have to stop here- trust me, I will definitely update this post as soon as I get some time.

My post on this from the other day can be read here.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A comment that I am posting to another site regarding climate change.

Previous blog entry:
BrightSource Energy about to go public with Nasdaq IPO this week(BRSE)- the backporch take on it- some will make millions and some are going to get screwed.

Please note that I am putting it up on my site first. Why waste perfectly valid
writing by me, giving it to another site?

I got an idea- let's cover the Yosemite Valley with parabolic troughs and photovoltaic solar panels, and put wind turbines atop El Capitan- how does that sound?
That is exactly what is starting to happen right now out in pristine desert wilderness in California- google Ivanpah or Blythe if you don't believe me. The industrialization of the last American wilderness has begun.
But it's okay because climate change must be stopped. Something, nature, must be sacrificed to slow down climate change- at least that's what the big environmental groups like the NRDC and the Sierra Club said when they made the backroom deals with the federal and state governments, along with the renewable energy developers- not to sue to stop the projects from being built- and the anti- carbon crowd went right along with the planned destruction of an ecosystem, because after all, something had to be sacrificed, to pay the price required to slow down the climate change.
Going back to my opening sentence- it is not so far fetched an idea after all. Why stop with the deserts?
Those of us who love the desert wilderness, are fewer in number than the forest and mountain lovers. But that doesn't mean our concerns should be totally ignored in this matter. What is now happening, this raping of a pristine and complete ecosystem, is just the beginning. There is never
enough to satisfy those that wish to develop- next will be your forests and your mountains, and one day- who knows, perhaps your national parks.
In closing, a lot of us feel that there is no altruism involved here in this stop climate change by paving over the wilderness, this call for a specific sacrifice- substitute just one consonant, and you will get the real message.
Just replace the "n" in green with a "d."
That, folks, is the real reason behind the urgency of the problem.
There are millions of rooftops, just in southern California, that could be fitted with solar panels
and solar hot water collectors. There are hundreds of thousands of acres of used up farmland,
or industrial land, in contiguous blocks, close in to the end users of the power, that could be obtained cheaply- but these other options to fight climate change were never seriously considered.
Why not? The world was not about to end overnight, why not look at all the options- why did they have to sell out the wilderness as the first and only option to be considered?
Greed was and is the only possible answer. Virtually free land from the feds plus billions of Obama
bucks- man, you could hear the lip smacking from Wall Street all the way out to the California deserts!
Don't believe me? Tomorrow is the opening day of BrightSource Energy's Nasdaq Initial Public
Offering- stock to be priced from 21-23$ a share. Guess what- they are only about a third of the way through the Ivanpah project- somebody is looking to cash out quick, at least that is how it looks to this old country boy!
I guess considering how so many solar companies like Solyndra are crashing and burning, these companies might as well try to cash out- before the Marshall's burst through their doors!
Well, I realize that perhaps I got off topic here with my comment, but I wasn't the only one.
Go out and enjoy your wilderness while you can- but just remember, your fellow man will destroy it a hell of a lot faster than any climate change could.

This comment was posted in response to the flow of comments made to an
article entitled “

What If We Stopped Freaking Out About Climate Change?”

If you would like to join the discussion, why don’t you surf over there and help me out, before they all pile on me. That place looks like a carbonmentalist hotbed judging by some of the comments so any help would be appreciated.


Monday, April 9, 2012

BrightSource Energy about to go public with Nasdaq IPO this week(BRSE)- the backporch take on it- some will make millions and some are going to get screwed.

(Mea culpa. Just so my new visitors will understand where I am coming from,
new visitors are requested to input BrightSource Energy or Ivanpah SEGS into
the search box on the left side of this blog. I have written at least 100+ posts
against the Ivanpah project being built or about the B.S.’ers as I have taken to
calling themSurprised smile)

Whoa! Check out who just visited my little corner of the internet! This is from my weblog this very morning. I would like to extend a welcome to all my visitors from BrightSource Energy headquarters. I am honored.
ScreenHunter_01 Apr. 10 10.19

Want to guess who is going to make out like a bandit?

Historically tech companies that are capital intensive with a record of low or
no sales volume, come strong out of the gate, only to fade out over the long

Here is the plain vanilla English translation for those of us reading this who
might not have the background to wrap our minds around all the nuances and
complexities of the IPO process.

“The venture capitalists and company insiders, plus the bookiesjoint bookrunners: Goldman Sachs, Citibank, and Deutsche Bank Securities, along with their top tier clients, will be the only ones participating, and will make big money when the price shoots up in the first few days of trading, having paid only $21-23 a share. Everyone else including John Q. Public, will pay whatever the market price is when they buy their shares, if they are able at all to buy any that first day of trading.”

Just so all of you get it, let me say it again. Forget about buying any BRSE stock that first day at the IPO price of $21-23 a share. It ain’t gonna happen.
You ain’t got a snowball’s chance in Hell of getting even one share at that price. The big money is definitely going to be made this week as predicted in these very pages long ago, by the same damned insiders who put the whole sordid deal together. They will make theirs, and parachute out of this reeking pile of desert tortoise dung at the first opportunity to profitably do so.

And they will profit, there is no doubt about that.

Now who won’t profit in this fantastic investment screwing deal?

Answer: anyone who buys the shares second hand: in other words, anyone who doesn’t get in on the initial offering; especially those poor, deluded “buy
and hold”
investors. You know the ones in this day and age of “flash trading”
where shares are bought and sold in a matter of minutes, and in some cases, seconds by the large computer trading firms, screwing those buy and hold suckers by the score, in the process.

What is the long term prognosis for the BrightSource Energy concentrated
solar power(tower) business model?
Pretty dim, if I may use an electrical
lighting term. Dim, as the minds of the federal and state bureaucrats, who set
the stage in place for those forlorn B.S. er’s who spent literally years out
in the Sinai Desert trying to perfect their technology, and trying in vain to
sell it to any and all, and all to no avail(except for Chevron and maybe one or two others,) losing lots of money and running up over a billion dollars in debt, probably about to lose it all- and then the American taxpayers through the magic of Obama bucks, over a billion of them, in a feat not seen for almost two thousand years, provided the Resurrection that this company so desperately needed, and redemption.

A classic story for the ages which almost brings tears to this grizzled old desert
rat’s eyes. Almost, I said.

For I see the big picture here folks. I am not just a one trick blogger, knowing
only the huge environmental destruction that these renewable energy projects
are visiting upon our beloved desert wilderness, especially in Blythe and Ivanpah.

I know for a fact that photovoltaic solar panel prices are plummeting, and this fact by itself is pretty much exposing BrightSource Energy and their ilk, for the
dinosaurs that they are. So far, I know of at least two large solar projects,including one by eSolar, a company that I believe in, that have been
changed over to pv, in midstream of the building process. The feds are pushing for it, they know that the Congress may kill the loan guaranty program or at least clip its’ wings after the billion dollar Solyndra boondoggle and bankruptcy; if the truth was known BrightSource would probably be in chapter
11 bankruptcy right now if the federal loans hadn’t gone through when they did- why blow taxpayer money on needlessly expensive and highly technical  solar tower technology when you can go the cheap route, and make the same amount of electricity off pv panels?

I liked one report, which I will link to, from a year ago which said to beware of
the jaws and the claws of the desert tortoise, meaning B.S.’ERS beware- turned out all the money B.S. paid for tortoise counts was wasted, there were
huge numbers of the endangered species on site, hell they could have asked me and saved millions, but they knew it all- now they are paying many millions of dollars to mitigate the loss of one of the most heavily populated tortoise habitats in the whole Mojave Desert- but again nobody cared, and now all of us will pay the price, in the form of higher electricity costs, that, you can take the bank.

Now I know some of you think that I am trying to rain upon the BrightSource
Energy IPO parade. I am, I freely admit it. But I also told any and all who would
listen, that I would never piss on your back and tell you it is raining outside.

You buy this stock on the secondary market and hold it long term, you will
It is my honest opinion, and not to be taken as investment advice, that this is
a stone cold long term loser, a dog, the worst piece of crap investment I could possibly think of long term- if you do buy it, set a goal for getting out with the
shirt on your back as soon as possible, then come back here and we will be
happy to tell you:
we told you so, dumbass!
bigmorongocanyonhike 001

Above is a downloadable photo of this blogger which can be affixed to your
dartboard, after you lose your whole BSRE portfolio and need to take your
rage out on something. This is presented as a public service and to save loved
ones from abuse which may occur shortly after the financial debacle. You may
ignore my financial warning but please, for your loved ones sake, take your
revenge on me, not on them.

You know it has taken a long time to get to the point where predictions made here on this blog are finally coming true - not that they please me-
but that it verifies what my common sense told me long ago, why build way
the f--- out in the boondocks hundreds of miles from the power users, when
millions of rooftops were sitting in socal and northern cal just waiting there primed to be covered with energy producing solar panels, but noooooooooo,
our elites in Washington and Sacramento knew better, avoiding the
common sense solution to possible climate change problems by paneling
rooftops at home, and making the desert wilderness the sacrificial lamb, for all of us carbon based units to offer up as penance for our great sin of burning carbon based fuels for energy-
and for those same elites to profit mightily from as they gamed the system, a process finally culminating next week with this obscene initial public offering from BrightSource Energy,
which some of you may recall is happening prior to the Ivanpah SEGS
completion, just as I said it would long ago.

Not only have these clowns figured out how to meter the sun, they have figured out how to make millions off a gullible public, and this after having never made a single penny of profit that this old boy can see in decades.

Not bad work if you can get it!

Links to articles read prior to writing this post:

Note- that last link from a year ago reminds me of an important point- why
did BrightSource lower their IPO target from 250 million a year ago to 152
million now? Could it be that they believe that investors won’t have the stomach for a quarter of a billion$ IPO for concentrated solar, now that photovoltaic solar seems to be the rising star of the industry? Something to mull over, if you are planning on buying this turkey!


Interesting opinion piece by Carl Pope, formerly of the Sierra Club, over at Yale360 entitled “Solar Power off the Grid: Energy Access for World’s Poor.”

You can read the article here.

I just came across this opinion piece, perhaps you have already read it, in which case stay here and let’s talk about it.

First off, I can’t find anything in the article that I can find fault with. It appears
to be well reasoned and backed up with facts. In one article he proposes a
new paradigm, whereby the poorest people on the planet can get a new energy source which will improve their health, and their livelihoods in one fell swoop. Who can argue with that?

Plus it is an established fact that in the developing world, they are bypassing the “wired” route due to prohibitive costs involved developing the infrastructure,
going this route continues that trend, allowing for a “dirt cheap” alternative infrastructure to be developed.

Here is the problem though that I have with Mr. Pope and other “limousine liberals” like him- especially those residing at the highest levels of power and influence at the Sierra Club, NRDC, and the federal and state bureaucracies-
why do they have no problem with going the distributed power generation route
in the 3rd world, but that route isn’t good enough here for us in the U.S.A?

We have millions of rooftops here, for example, in sunny southern California prime for solar installations atop them, that could be rolled out very quickly, and
would start making a dent immediately in the need for carbon based fueled power right here, right now.

But these same “limousine liberals” wouldn’t even consider it, they were so sold
on concentrated solar power plants and wind plants way out in the desert, which they could get the federal government to provide the cheap land and the upfront capital costs, they finally figured out how to meter the sun- with the help of their good old buddies and contributors- the friendly public utility power
companies- who truly will make out like bandits from the scheme.

We the people of course will be the ones to have to deal with the future sky high power costs coming from this “green energy”, at least here in this country,
and our brothers and sisters in poverty in the rest of the world may end up
being the ones benefitting most from the “green energy” revolution.

I am saying this not to knock Mr. Pope’s proposal for the poorest, but very deserving, folks on this planet, but just to respectfully ask why wasn’t it good enough for we the people, here?

I am telling you that when this green energy comes online, from Ivanpah and Blythe, and other “raped” ecosystems way out there; we will be paying dearly for it.

You heard it here on the backporch.

Now go out and start saving up to pay for it.