Greens Concerned Vast Federal Land Clearances for Renewable Energy Projects Might Harm Nature

Ready to Build a new Renewables Project on a Federally Protected Wilderness

Ready to Build a new Renewables Project on a Federally Protected Wilderness

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Some green groups finally seem to be expressing concern that colossal renewable infrastructure projects on federal land, clearing, poisoning and paving over millions of acres of federally protected wilderness, for solar farms and wind projects, might harm the natural environment.

Government’s Push for Solar Power on Federal Lands Stirs Concerns

Environmentalists, renewable-energy firms raise doubts over plan to streamline permitting process.

SAGUACHE, Colo.—Over Key lime pie at The Oasis, one of this tiny town’s two restaurants, officials from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and local leaders grappled recently with a big problem: the failure to attract solar energy companies to the San Luis Valley, whose elevation of over 7,000 feet should make for prime solar potential.

For now, the only solar-power production in the valley, a scenic expanse a few hours south of Denver, is on private land—despite years of effort by local BLM officials to develop solar on federal lands here, including an auction in 2013 that attracted zero bids from renewable-energy companies.

“At the risk of ruffling the feathers around this table,” said Jason Anderson, Saguache County commissioner, “I’d pick a solar project on private lands over public lands. It’s going to be a lot quicker.”

Clean-power advocates say the millions of acres of federal lands, with their wide expanses and low population, are a natural home for wind and solar projects. After nearly eight years of regulations curtailing pollution from fossil fuels, the new rule will be the administration’s first major stab at regulating renewable-energy development on public lands.

Yet many traditional allies are dividing over the rule. Environmentalists welcome renewable energy, but worry about how wind and solar projects on federal lands affect wildlife and other natural resources. Renewable-energy companies anticipate new opportunities, but say the rule could lead to higher costs. The administration is seeking to strike a balance between the two, while pursuing its goal of fighting climate change by doubling down on renewable energy.

BLM, which manages 250 million acres of federal lands mostly in Western states, has employed a patchwork of interim policies since 2009 to approve and manage these projects. Officials hope the new rule will speed and simplify the process.

Read more: http://www.wsj.com/articles/governments-push-for-solar-power-on-federal-lands-stirs-concerns-1477525127

This effort to accelerate the wanton destruction of millions of acres of wilderness – is mild concern really all that green groups can manage?

I mean I have no problem with sacrificing a few acres for a new mine, for producing the raw materials which make our modern civilisation possible, but I’m horrified at the thought of bulldozing, paving, poisoning, uprooting millions of acres of land for no useful purpose whatsoever.

If this plan goes ahead, thousands, millions of acres of renewable installations will be built, only to be abandoned as soon as the subsidy money dries up. But the scars on the once pristine wilderness will last for centuries.

One day green groups will realise to their shame what they have done, by facilitating this senseless industrial madness, this destruction without purpose. Let us hope that an awakening comes soon enough, to save some of the untouched wilderness which green groups once committed themselves to protecting.

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128 thoughts on “Greens Concerned Vast Federal Land Clearances for Renewable Energy Projects Might Harm Nature

    • TRM

      I’ve seen that photo before and IIRC it is a line-up of dozers connected to US forces WW2 waiting to go out

      • That picture was taken in England prior to D-day Normandy. Every single on of them and 1,000s of other pieces of heavy construction equipment and 100’s of locomotives and RR rolling stock were shipped to England prior to the invasion. Others went to the Med for service in Italy and Southern France. There was a heck of a lot more to what the US supplied than just men, weapons, and military vehicles during WW II.

        “Clearly, logistics is the hard part of fighting a war.”
        – Lt. Gen. E. T. Cook, USMC, November 1990

        “Gentlemen, the officer who doesn’t know his communications and supply as well as his tactics is totally useless.”
        – Gen. George S. Patton, USA

        “Bitter experience in war has taught the maxim that the art of war is the art of the logistically feasible.”
        – ADM Hyman Rickover, USN

        “Forget logistics, you lose.”
        – Lt. Gen. Fredrick Franks, USA, 7th Corps Commander, Desert Storm

        “Amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics.”
        – Gen. Robert H. Barrow, USMC (Commandant of the Marine Corps) noted in 1980

        “I am tempted to make a slightly exaggerated statement: that logistics is all of war-making, except shooting the guns, releasing the bombs, and firing the torpedoes.”
        – ADM Lynde D. McCormick, USN

        “Because of my wartime experience, I am insistent on the point that logistics know-how must be maintained, that logistic is second to nothing in importance in warfare, that logistic training must be widespread and thorough…”
        – VADM Robert B. Carney, USN

        “Logistic considerations belong not only in the highest echelons of military planning during the process of preparation for war and for specific wartime operations, but may well become the controlling element with relation to timing and successful operation.”
        – VADM Oscar C. Badger, USN

        “… in its relationship to strategy, logistics assumes the character of a dynamic force, without which the strategic conception is simply a paper plan.”
        – CDR C. Theo Vogelsang, USN

        “Logistics is the stuff that if you don’t have enough of, the war will not be won as soon as.”
        – General Nathaniel Green, Quartermaster, American Revolutionary Army

        “Strategy and tactics provide the scheme for the conduct of military operations, logistics the means therefore.”
        – Lt. Col. George C. Thorpe, USMC

        “Only a commander who understand logistics can push the military machine to the limits without risking total breakdown.”
        – Maj.Gen. Julian Thompson, Royal Marines

        “There is nothing more common than to find considerations of supply affecting the strategic lines of a campaign and a war.”
        – Carl von Clausevitz

        “In modern time it is a poorly qualified strategist or naval commander who is not equipped by training and experience to evaluate logistic factors or to superintend logistic operations.”
        – Duncan S. Ballantine, 1947

        “The war has been variously termed a war of production and a war of machines. Whatever else it is, so far as the United States is concerned, it is a war of logistics.”
        – Fleet ADM Ernest J. King, in a 1946 report to the Secretary of the Navy

        “A sound logistics plan is the foundation upon which a war operation should be based. If the necessary minimum of logistics support cannot be given to the combatant forces involved, the operation may fail, or at best be only partially successful.”
        – ADM Raymond A. Spruance

        “The line between disorder and order lies in logistics…”
        – Sun Tzu

      • RAH October 30, 2016 at 4:18 am

        You missed one. :-)

        “My logisticians are a humorless lot … they know if my campaign fails, they are the first ones I will slay.” – Alexander

      • Re: RAH
        October 30, 2016 at 4:18 am

        “Logistics is the stuff that if you don’t have enough of, the war will not be won as soon as.”
        – General Nathaniel Greene, Quartermaster, American Revolutionary Army

        Fixed it. Spelled “Greene”, not Green as in the color.

        Greene County and Greeneville, TN are named after the General. While there are many towns and cities named “Greenville”, there is only one “Greeneville” in the U.S.

      • BobM,
        You are correct that most Greenvilles in the south have dropped the “e”; but virtually ALL commemorate Gen. Greene, who was not just Quartermaster but Washington’s most trusted general. He is venerated in the South because GW assigned him the role of freeing up the southern states from British occupation.
        There is a prominent statue of General Greene and a plaque in Greenville SC.

        If he did not die, he would have had a major role as one of the “founding fathers” of the fledgling government.

        He lost all of his vast holdings in the North because he used them as collateral to raise money for the Army, but the Congress never repaid him and his creditors claimed his properties.
        He relocated almost penniless to land grateful Southerners gifted to him and his wife Katie.

        Katie was also a very noteworthy person; a confidant of GW, and close friend with Hamilton, Lafayette et al. during and after the war. Widow Greene also hired a young man from Yale to come south to tutor her children (with financial help from Lafayette). There is some speculation that the invention credited to that tutor, Eli Whitney, was actually Katie’s work. (Supposedly it was feared the device would not be taken seriously if it were said to have beeen developed by a woman.)

      • Was it Tammerlane (Timor the Lame) who discovered you could only control the amount of territory you could cover in 14 days (back and forth) on a horse; or wazzat Genghis Khan.

        As for those larger scale Federal green projects, the PV solar one proposed in the Jan 2008 issue of SCIAM was only 30,000 square miles. That’s 19.2 million acres.

        Well the Feds have that much land locked up in that Arctic National Wildlife Reserve in Alaska.

        So if I was those green renewables folks, I would order a whole bunch more Caterpillars and John Deeres than you got in that picture. That much stuff isn’t going to clear the border fence area, and you will need a border fence just to maintain security, with all those Friday night red necks driving around with their pickemup trucks and deer rifles or shot guns.

        Yeah you have a lot of logistics to go with your free clean green renewable energy.

        G

  1. Makes a lot of sense…
    1) Be overtly concerned about the climate impact of increasing carbon dioxide emissions
    2) Insist on renewable energy sources due to their “low carbon impact”
    3) Further insistence on Utility Scale renewable energy projects
    4) Totally destroy the carbon sinks by removing them in favor of creating those Utility Scale Renewable energy sources.
    Greens should be outraged at the ecological destruction that is certain to occur by destroying carbon sinking forests. They certainly would be if 100 acres of BLM forests were being removed for a Nuclear Power plant but not for 100,000+ acres for a solar or wind project that would produce the same amount of energy that would be produced by that same 100 acre nuclear power plant.
    Oh the hypocrisy…it burns

    • How are those woodchips for Drax power station in the UK going ?

      Remarkable that you never hear of so-called Green groups complaining about that either.

      I bet its NOT Big Green, ie Greenpeace, WWF etc that are complaining about the environmental destruction.

      We know that THEY JUST DO NOT CARE.

  2. As noted in a previous post, many of the “green” groups are controlled by rent-seekers, so diverting government land to their sponsors should be just fine with their real interests.

  3. I agree entirely. Green is no longer about clean water, clear air or wildlife preservation. They have become the enemy of Gaia and the only green they want to see will be in their pockets. They feel good about messing up mountains and desert, but then they feel no shame about standing in line to buy a device built in polluted China by slave labor. To steal a line from Hansen… Im frightened for the future of my Grandchildren….. but it is not because of Co2.

  4. To their credit, some environmentalists are concerned about what the wind turbines are doing to the birds and bats. Some…

      • Now those molten salt solar piles really make sense. 5 sq. mi. devoted to producing 1/10th the amount of power that a single nuclear reactor could on 12 acres

    • Vermont is covered with wind farms like pictured above. Google Maps “Vermont” and zoom in, look at the mountain tops. It is sickening. While stations at Groton Sub base I went to northern VT at least four times a year. Every season had its highlights. Every curve of the road was another reason to stop and take a picture. Now it looks like the mountain top coal mines of West Virginia, the ones that have not been restored as promised. Now every picture has a wind turbine in it.

  5. “One day green groups will realise to their shame what they have done”

    No they won’t. They don’t care about the trees and the lizards. They care about accumulating political power. The trees and lizards are just props.

  6. The federal government isn’t suppose to own land in a state. Other than what the constitution permits, and for what purposes.

      • article I, section 8–
        To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings

    • Rob,

      If you are interested in knowing more about this issue, and being able to respond to ignorant questions about this issue, look up and read (and re-read) “Federal Land Retention and the Constitution’s Property Clause: The Original Understanding”. (Don’t skim over the small print quotes by patrick henry and others … they are very telling)

      It is very reasonably argued that the Constitution, as originally intended and understood by those ratifying, limits federal land ownership within existing states to the things spelled out (enumerated) in the Enclave Clause: “Forts, magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings” (and post offices, post roads, etc.).

      The Property Clause, may be argued as dealing with land disposal and land management prior to disposal.

      Could Patrick Henry, George Mason, along with Gilbert Livingstone see the future? They were afraid that residents of the “Ten Miles Square” (Washington DC) would consist largely of dependents of the government who would lose sympathy with the rest of the country and administer affairs to suit themselves. THEY WERE AFRAID THAT TEN SQUARE MILES WAS TOO MUCH … and that it would lead to a Washington DC that we have today.

      What would be their opinion of the current state of Federal land ownership. Maybe they would be afraid that it would help facilitate a big green booger that would suck up the last little remaining freedom and liberty.

      • Most of the little bit of red in my own state of Indiana are parts of either the US Army Camp Atterbury, US Army Jefferson proving grounds, or Crane Naval development and testing center (NSWC) The rest is mostly forest.

      • Here is another view of just the western states
        It is further separated by
        Unprotected Roadless BLM areas
        Protected Federal Lands
        BLM Lands
        Other Federal Lands

        It pretty much indicates that the federal government holda more than 84% of Nevada, over 57% of Utah and over 45% of California

    • userbrain’s map is deceptive. There is a bunch of private land mixed in with the public land. It is not all red as the map indicates. I live next to state land, but in a private development. My development would be part of the red area. Let’s be honest here, okay?

      • The point is that there should not be any,/i> ‘federal land’ if it does not meet the requirements enumerated in The Constitution. Any ‘federal land’ that does not meet those enumerated requirements should be returned to the individual States. Yes, that should include the ‘National Parks’.

      • Okay, we’ll sell off ALL federal land, including national parks, etc. Then Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and George Soros can own all the land, because that is what will happen. However, if the constitution means so much to you that you don’t care if Soros owns the Western half of the US, fine.

        People back east read all the crap by greedy ranchers about public land and decide it should stop. They apparenlty think the land fairy will divide the land up. No—and based on the practices in the 1700’s the framers were perfectly happy with rich plantation owners having most of the land. So, plantations for all—well, for George and Bill and Warren.

        By the way, if the BLM land goes away, Soros can build as many projects on his land as he wants. He may have to submit an environmental impact study, but that’s just a formality. One of the thing holding up Chokecherry/Sierra Madre is BLM land. Sell that to the billionaire from Colorado and poof, no more barriers and 1000 turbines. Of course, back east, who the heck cares?

      • It wouldn’t bother me if Soros or Gates owned it so long as they”re US Citizens. I would only be concerned if some other country like China or Russia or Iran owned it

      • It amazes me that people are fine with the rich owning half the country. Really?

        It seems that people don’t give a crap about anyone other than themselves. Close all the parks, shut down recreation, hunting, hiking. As far as I’m concerned, every cell phone tower in the country can burn down, IPhones should be outlawed and no one should be able to get cable TV or internet TV or satellite TV because none of these things concern me. This would cut the cost of the feds paying for cell phones and high speed internet, which according to conservatives is a really good thing. So, we’ll get rid of the public land if you’ll get rid of your tech toys. Otherwise, you’re just all selfish twits.

      • reality check–federal government cannot “sell off” what it does not own. all of that “federal Land” belongs to the states it is located in, and should be under state management for the benefit of the people of that state. If the state decides to sell or lease any or all of it for whatever purpose is a decision only the state (and it’s people) can make. To further clarify, see amendment 10–it’s rather specific. That’s why Bundy was more than willing to pay Utah for his grazing rights, but not the BLM which is just another of a long list of unconstitutional federal bureaucracies writing laws (regulations) they have no right to do.

      • JVCStone: It’s not that cut and dried, as far as I can tell. There are many court cases upholding the federal government’s right to own land. This is not the first time such an argument has been made. http://www.lectlaw.com/files/con30.htm

        We have no evidence that Bundy would have happily paid the state, since he knew full well the state could not take the money when he made the claim. That sounds to me like a shister trying to get free grazing, which he had been intent on doing all along. If he had no problem with paying the fees, there was no reason to try and claim his family had owned the land, etc. He used the hatred people have for the government to garner support for his theft. It obviously worked.

      • Reality check October 30, 2016 at 3:54 pm The people, homeowners, businesses, health, welfare, lifestyle, whatever, is not affected in the slightest for the entire state of HI. What is the difference in Owning the 1/4 acre your house is on and having a 99 or 49 year lease with lease payments LESS than most other state taxes????? Even if you get to give your property to your heirs in the rest of the US, the feds take half of it! (Value that is) And candidates are talking about taking more!

      • Reality check October 30, 2016 at 7:11 am — Further, these individual states (NV, AZ, UT, etc. ) could do like HI and LEASE the property. If this was done they would get the full worth of the land whenever the land is improved AND still collect exorbitant taxes on the rich robber barons, casino owners, etc,

      • What is the “hands off” approach? There are mines, oil fields, wind turbines, hunting, recreation, grazing, etc. What is “hands off”? Why give the land to the states? They have no right to it in the Constitution either. It would have to be sold to the highest bidder.

      • NO, not sold to the highest bidder … ceded to the respective State government;

        or per the Property Clause,
        “The Congress shall have Power to DISPOSE of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States….”

        They can give it away to your brother if they make the rules and regulations to do so. And since most of it was Territory it does falls under congressional authority to dispose of it.

        (and for what it is worth, if Bill Gates bought 20,000,000 million acres of land in my state and started paying property taxes on it, he would have to begin managing it better than the Feds. I’d be all for it.)

      • The issue out here is the lousy stewardship by the absentee WDC landlord and their eko wilderness zealotry cutting off all access or use to areas which have been used for more than a century . They violate their own “land of many uses” motto . That’s why you’ve seem the armed revolts in NV and OR .

    • Well, “poisoning” can be interpreted as describing what’s happening here. All that devoted to the worst possible method of reducing carbon emissions from power plants. All those 30 foot cube concrete blocks that wind turbines require – want to know how much it will cost to remove them?
      And they will be removed : wind cannot even remotely compete with molten salt nuclear reactors : no power technology will be able to compete and certainly not a power generator (wind or solar) which cannot meet the barest requirements of a grid – power on demand. The utter stupidity of the entire scheme is mind boggling.

      • “All those 30 foot cube concrete blocks that wind turbines require – want to know how much it will cost to remove them? And they will be removed”

        The turbines might be removed (and that’s still a big might), but the reinforced concrete bases won’t. They are far too big and expensive to break up, and will simply be covered over, or just left as they are.

      • Concrete retains small amounts of the compounds involved in the curing process. These compounds are strongly alkaline and can leach into nearby water sources, disrupting their normal pH and potentially killing fish and underwater plants. Any concrete used to construct marine pools, aquariums, aquaculture basins, etc. needs to be treated with an acid bath to neutralize those compounds before fish can safely inhabit it.

        I wonder how many wind turbine contractors do that?

    • Take a look at the solar “farm” picture posted by Analitik. See the green stuff outside of it? That is what the desert normally looks like.

      How do you think they keep the weeds and brush out of their property? By good thoughts?

      Nope. Liberal application of herbicides. (Another thing the green hypocrites scream loudly about – except when it comes to getting rid of their dandelions…)

      • I thought that was the job of the Illegal-Alien-Slave-Labor workforce
        Should be the job of Prison Chain Gangs
        Perhaps those souls at Getmo. Food and Water provided in equal measure for Weeds Pulled

    • @ Donald L. Klipstein

      Look into the actions taken to the land under the solar panels and the Solar mirrors. The ground is sprayed with a “surfactant” that minimizes dust, or gravel is placed on the ground, among many other alternatives, THe mirrors/panels a re washed about once a week with automatic washers in some cases which will have chemicals in the cleaning solution. this will build up over tome and cause harm to many different organisms, life, plants, fungus, bacteria, mold, etc. that makes up the biosphere that was there. A book could be written on the problems. But the Green Energy is KING and trumps these problems.

  7. More than anything else is the stupidity of creating power generators whose output is
    not controllable. A grid has two sides : 1) the consumer side, whose levels of demand vary and are uncontrollable and 2) the supply side, which can only make sense if the supply of power can be controled to match demand. A grid has little ability to store energy and with controllable supply, doesn’t need any. A simple way of dealing with renewable suppliers is to require that their power be available on demand by the grid operators, just as is required by all other power generators.
    Amazingly, new design molten salt nuclear reactors are in late stages of development and can satisfy even the most rabid anti-nuclear morons – inherently safe (safer than any renewable generators) , secure, burns nuclear wastes, lowest cost power on the planet, quickly and cheaply constructed in factories and quickly deployed, small geographical footprint, can be situated in or close to major consuming locales (cities, towns). Failure to recognize this sure-to-become universal power generation technology by the greenie beanies is the most comprehensive evidence of their utter ignorance about our power grids. Greenies are just dumb. Really dumb. Really, really dumb. Did I mention they’re dumb? They seem determined to saddle this country with unsustainable , primitive and costly power systems that will hamper our ability to compete in this world. That’s just dumb, stupid, and ignorant

    • ‘Amazingly, new design molten salt nuclear reactors are in late stages of development’

      Yes, amazing. I’ve been hearing it for 50 years.

    • Arthur 4563, you are making the assumption that they want lowest cost power to be available.

      “Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”

      Dr John Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy –

      This Administration does not want the world to have cheap, abundant energy, and nor would a Clinton Administration

  8. I want to launch the term EMOCRACY (i.e. the emotional replacement of rational thinking) for the mass media and blogosphere induced stupidification of political decision making. Climate emocracy is probably the worst example when it comes to politicians misled by huge attacks of pseudo-scientific and activist nonsense.
    Consequently, I hope the term “emocracy” also will find its natural place in the English language.

  9. An alternative to energy storage is a global grid. The sun is always shining somewhere and the wind is always blowing somewhere. link As we get closer and closer to room temperature superconductors, the idea is becoming more and more feasible. link

    • Bob, here’s my thing about what you just said: Sure, the wind and sun are always blowing Somewhere.

      But, don’t the people in Somewhere need that energy as much as we do? Shouldn’t they get it first?

      • … don’t the people in Somewhere need that energy as much as we do? Shouldn’t they get it first?

        They should. If Europe pays to put giant solar installations in the Sahara it should make sure there is enough capacity to supply Africa equally. link I’m not talking about charity. Most Africans would be delighted to have a reliable source of electricity at the prices we pay. Here are prices for Kenya. (1 KES is worth about one American cent. I’m not sure how the various tariffs get added to the basic price.)

        The best solution to the planet’s problems is prosperity. I just heard someone talking about Bangladesh. That kind of human misery and environmental destruction doesn’t happen in prosperous countries. It happens in places that are too poor and corrupt to do anything about it.

    • Meh. Even if it helps with the reliability issue, the other issues with RE remain, such as high cost, high land use, and environmental blight. Pass.

    • Good point Bob!
      Once the global grid gets built, then we can really get serious about carpeting wilderness with turbines, panels and mirrors, plus access roads and the transmission easements.

      • … carpeting wilderness with turbines, panels and mirrors, plus access roads and the transmission easements.

        We don’t have the capacity to carpet the wilderness with anything. Tim Ball wrote a wonderful WUWT article pointing out how empty the world is.

      • A big carpet it would have to be. You would have to cover the entire state of Connecticut with wind farms to meet the current demand of the metro NYC area and then it would only do so when the wind is blowing.

      • RAH October 30, 2016 at 11:03 am

        A big carpet it would have to be. You would have to cover the entire state of Connecticut …

        Connecticut is about 5500 square miles. It would just about disappear in the vast wastes of Northern Canada. Did you know that about 3000 square miles of forest were logged to provide paper for the New York Times?

        What am I saying? Connecticut is irrelevant.

    • Try a YouTube “free energy “search. Just, just, maybe we could invest a few billion of the wasted renewable trillion bottomless budgets into what people are discovering in their garages. Before the successful ones are “disappeared”, that is.

  10. ‘Renewable-energy companies anticipate new opportunities, but say the rule could lead to higher costs. The administration is seeking to strike a balance between the two’

    Government squirming to exempt itself, or its crony partners, from rules they make for everybody else.

    This kind of tyranny prompted Rand Paul to propose an Amendment requiring government to follow the law. Who would have thought it necessary a hundred years ago?

  11. Liberalism is fundamentally an active and ongoing denial of reality. At the same time liberals scold the rest of us about “sustainability”, not a single one of their schemes can ever be economically sustainable. They all require taking assets from others to make up the difference. This works until they run out of other people’s money or when government exhausts itself from maintaining an economic and budgetary mirage.

    There is never any full-cycle accounting for the cost of liberal environmentalist demands. For example they cheered the most recent international agreement to replace refrigerants they claim are harming the ozone layer, yet there is zero concern for the environmental cost that will come when users of existing refrigeration and air conditioning units are forced to scrap perfectly repairable units and replace them with newly-approved ones.

    We entertain liberals only at great cost. I for one am done giving in to their demands. Let them all ride a rocket to live on the Musk Utopian colony on Mars.

  12. 1) BLM land is not wilderness & is rarely “pristine”.

    2) This post has a much too “alarmist” tone for my tastes. There is no need to take an emotional, alarmist tone with this group. We are smarter than that. This is what the CAGW’ers do because they have no facts on their side. A presentation of facts would be a much more effective way to press the case.

    • that picture of the desert floor carpeted with solar panels- at the expense of wildlife habitat and the associated problems of the chemicals used to keep those panels clean- seems like a pretty good Fact on our side of the issue.

      • Griff, that’s an interesting web site on a product that is patent pending for use in Saudi Arabia. Where is it used in the USA?

      • Way out of my pay grade, but I went to school with a biologist who did his doctorate on desert rodents. Lots more out there than you would suspect, but mostly nocturnal so you have to do real field research to find out much about them. Have camped in the desert enough to suspect solar panels will have lots of effects.

      • Boy Griff, haven’t you seen the videos of the Smokers and Streamers flying in the Flux Zone?
        In case you haven’t, here are a couple of clips of ecological destruction

  13. Poor environmentalists. The cognitive dissonance must be excruciating. If only they could take off their “evil carbon” blinders.

  14. The mind numbing irony of the committed greens never ceases to amaze. Like any other extremist group they end up destroying what they claim to care about. Skeptics have been pointing out the incompatibility of so called “renewable energy” with environmental protection for a long time. The evidence of how bad “renewable” energy is is obvious to anyone who drives within miles of a wind farm.

  15. Wilderness is only vital if the greens don’t want it. The definition of “wilderness” is land the greens have no use for at the moment or that can block any kind of useful energy extraction, as in Alaska. Wilderness does not mean it’s untouchable or being preserved as a natural area.

    • Have you ever been around grazing cattle, Griff? They’ll rub up on anything free-standing in their vicinity to massage or soothe an itch. If they can’t find a tree, they’ll use a fencepost. Or a mothballed tractor. Or a sturdy pile of junk. Or a solar panel. An average bovine weighs about 1000 (American) pounds, and has unusually strong neck muscles for its size. (Anyone who has seen bulls contesting for herd dominance will attest to that.) In short, a bank of solar panels in the same field as a herd of cattle will soon be in need of extensive repairs.

    • And as I’ve said numerous times in the past, I would hate….no, I would love to see what that solar facility is going to look like after a really really nice sand storm goes blowing through that area. It’s just a matter of when it is going to happen, not if.

      Video of one that hit the Phoenix area some years back:

  16. BLM and Forest Service lands are by definition in law supposed to be for the multiple use, enjoyment and general benefit of all the people. This includes hiking, horses, mines, timber, off road motorcycling (actually not off road but on designated trails) and fourwheeling, camping, fishing, energy projects, stargazing and any other recreational or economic activity that is of benefit.
    Unfortunately, the greens have convinced these “public”agencies that only their chosen activities are valid. Ordinary people are being shut out.
    I vow to stop fighting them when they vow to actually co-exist with the rest of us as co-equal users of the public lands.

  17. I’m afraid these “green” activists and AGW alarmists don’t give a crap about saving the earth (as most of the folks reading WUWT probably agree). They are all about political and economic control of the “stupid” masses. If they really wanted to greatly decrease the human generation of man-made green house gasses we would have hundreds of nuclear power plants being build across the world right now. Nuclear power is not even mentioned. Its proven to be safe, economical, with ZERO CO2 emission. Relatively small land use. OMG France has been doing it for decades – FRANCE!. Nuclear technology has advanced. Chernobyl was 30 years ago w/ old communist technology and management. Three Mile Island was 37 years ago with nobody hurt! Oh well, rant over.

  18. A few years ago at a Trader Joe’s I met a young lady who was collecting donations for a well known”wildlife” group. She said she was helping to save the wild lands. I asked her if she enjoyed hiking to beautiful places. Yes, she said. When I mentioned motorcycles she sneered.
    So I asked her what she would do, when in 50 years, she could not longer hike 10 miles to a beautiful waterfall she had enjoyed in her youth. A look of alarm came over her face, as she realized that her fund raising was effectively dooming her to being shut out of the thing she was trying to save.
    I suggested gently that maybe there is a reason for motorized vehicles in the forest. Otherwise we discriminate against all those who are “differently abled” than the young and mobile.

    • It seems in fact to be rather poor land and will now be of benefit to wildlife – besides providing its owners with an income they couldn’t get from farming. (UK solar farms are usually grazed -no word on if this one will be)

      https://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/10/19/north-star-solar-project-opens

      “Clifford Holcomb says putting solar panels on land that used to be not very good corn and soybean fields makes a lot more sense.

      “There’s no money in farming,” he said, “not around here, anyway.””

      and

      “While the solar installation is replacing corn and soybean fields, there’s still room for native prairie plants under and around the panels that will serve as habitat for bees and other pollinators.

      For the Holcombs and some of the other landowners, the North Star project is allowing them to move on from farming at a time in their lives when most other people their age are retired.”

      • Yeah, that farm land is only projected to be yielding about 160 bushels/acre of corn and 43 bushels/acre of soybeans. Good yields for both crops. http://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/business/land-economics/minnesota-central-budget/index.html

        Wouldn’t bet on a lot of growth being allowed around the panels. Anything above the panel will decrease the electrical output during the only months that count. Panels likely to be covered by snow in most other months.

      • Britain gets, on average, about 1493 hours of sunshine per year:
        https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/United-Kingdom/annual-sunshine.php.

        ……out of 4,507 hours of daylight in a typical year (do the math):
        http://www.projectbritain.com/weather/sunshine.htm.

        So they get sunshine 33% of the time during daylight hours (1493/4507).
        With a 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a year, they get sunshine only 17% of the time ((365 times 24) / 1493).

        Plus, with its northern latiitude, the sun is weak and low in the sky during the colder months of the year.
        All considered, solar energy is arguably a joke in the U.K. Same argument goes for us in the snowbelt states in the northern tier of the U.S. Not like the amount of sunshine they get in desert climates, is it?

        Guess this is why they are going to build a nuke plant in the U.K.

      • Oops. Should have crunched the number for Minnesota, not the U.K.

        The numbers for Minnesota look somewhat better than those of the U.K., but they still don’t compare with the amount of sunshine in desert climates:

        http://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/minneapolis/minnesota/united-states/usmn0503.

        Minnesota gets about 2607 hours of sunshine per year according to the link above which is about 30% of the time in a 24-a-day, 365-day year. But then there is capacity factor to be considered, along with Minnesota being in a northern latitude where the sun will be weak and low in the sky during the cold weather months like in Britain.

        It will also be quite a job keeping the snow off of all those panels during winter. And solar panels don’t last as long as a new gas-fired power plant would. All in all, not exactly what I would consider a good investment. Not at all.

  19. When the environmentalists jumped onto the “bad, bad CO2” bandwagon, they had no idea what the consequences were going to be – destroying the environment to accommodate for renewable energy. As it stands now, those wind turbines are probably bringing many bird species to the brink of extinction faster than any other man made variable in existence.

    • FJ Shepherd,

      Wasn’t there a famous quote one time that said something to the effect that…

      Sometimes you have to destroy the environment to save the environment?

    • If you look at the figures quoted for Golden Eagle deaths in the US you will find the entire population has been made extinct every few years for a couple of decades…

      go on, compare supposed eagle wind farm death stats against population surveys and see where it gets you…

  20. Baby steps. A proper characterization of so-called “green”, “clean”, “renewable” energy is long overdue.

    • So do solar panels, which are specifically constructed to absorb as much sunlight as possible. UHI on steroids.

  21. Irresponsible journalism, if it could even be defined as journalism. As if the WWII picture of bulldozers isn’t laughable enough, the notion that renewable energy projects “destroy ” land, and are worthless without subsidies is ridiculous, and inherently dishonest. This is exactly the kind of agenda driven rhetoric that this site normally rails against. A pathetically dishonest misuse of a platform. This type of garbage is what loses viewership.

    • What’s the matter, qbagwell? Did you become bored with John Kook’s skepticalsciencedotcom website?

    • qbagwell, you offer no evidence only baseless accusations. Wind power does destroy the view. And kills birds, including endangered species. And disturbs ground dwelling animals. And requires fossil fuel backup. And would not be built without large operating subsidies. Solar panels farms do not permit farming, do displace native flora and fauna, and are completely dependent on subsidies. Both wind and solar destabilize the grid, are unreliable, and produce expensive power.

    • qbagwell,

      If you’re so concerned that:

      “This type of garbage is what loses viewership,” then I humbly suggest that you get lost!

  22. The environmental lobbies and their industry patrons are getting beaten soundly by the double-edged propaganda they used to defeat their political and economic competitors.
    #TweetyTheBird #BambiTheDeer #JiminyTheCricket #AudreyThePlant #MaoTheChineseSerf #GreenTheNewGray #RenewableDriversNotTech

    #Catastrophic Anthropogenic Government Whoring

    Another “solution” inspired by the Pro-Choice fantasy.

  23. Green groups object? Green groups can be bought. The RSPB here in the UK rarely if ever oppose any wind turbines despite research into bird deaths by themselves and the wind industry.

    “We are involved in scrutinising hundreds of wind farm applications every year to determine their likely wildlife impacts, and we ultimately object to about 6% of those we engage with, because they threaten bird populations. Where developers are willing to adapt plans to reduce impacts to acceptable levels we withdraw our objections, in other cases we robustly oppose them.”

    https://www.rspb.org.uk/our-work/our-policies-and-campaigns/policies/windfarms/

    So apparently, 94% of wind turbines in the UK are totally bird friendly. If I go outside and hit a pigeon with a tennis racket because the guano is making the paint on my shed rot (an example, I have no shed!), I get fined and could potentially receive a custodial sentence for animal cruelty. Yet there is no issue for the RSPB in regards to wind turbines, because it is for ‘The Greater Good’.

    An industry which as I write this, is producing a whopping 0.25 GW of the 26.5GW demand in the UK on a Sunday night. Ahem…

  24. I see that the friends of Mr Bundy have won their Court case. Maybe this will start something…. And people who criticise folk who live in the rough country, should try it or just watch quietly.

  25. This news item should get an award for the dumbest coverage and lack of perspective. Federal lands have been talked about for at least 10 years now in regards to utility scale PV. The policy reviews and studies have amounted to blue smoke and mirrors with next to nothing actually coming from the talk.

  26. The difference between a developer and an environmentalist is that the environmentalist has already built his cabin in the woods.

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