Monday, July 4, 2011

Will Destroying Pristine Antelope Valley Wilderness Help the Planet?

In contrast to what some of our readers might think, we're not entirely unsympathetic to the pleas of California's environmentalist community. As avid runners and hikers, we appreciate the natural splendor of this state, and understand the desire to protect it from harm. Which is why we find it hard to understand why so many advocates of saving the planet through renewable-energy technology have no problem destroying many of these lovely corners of California in order to implement that dream. One of those lovely places, of course, is the Antelope Valley in north Los Angeles County.

Yet, as today's LA Times reports, destroying the Antelope Valley in the name of green technology may be exactly what's about to happen. Judy Watson, who lives in Kings Canyon just five miles from the California Poppy Reserve, worries that the installation of massive fields of solar panels and industrial wind turbines may forever sully the region's beauty. You see, the California Legislature's demand that 33% of the state's energy come from renewables means that many projects to generate wind and solar power are being seriously considered. As such, two solar projects in this part of LA County have already been approved, and eight others are being considered; two of the latter involve wind turbines which would be in view and earshot of residents like Watson. And these communities fear that more will follow. In addition to spoiling views, creating noise, and reducing property values, critics allege that faulty turbines could increase fire risks, and that the blades could interfere with firefighting aircraft and kill birds. Of course, matters of property rights and, you know, actual environmental damage don't matter to the bureaucrats when push comes to shove, and we don't expect they will here. In the words of county regional planner Mitch Glaser, "We want it to happen."

2 comments:

  1. It's ok, because when people live there it's sprawl, but when green power is generated there it's progress.

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  2. This is going to be the unraveling of "green" power (which actually isn't very): the diffuseness of wind and solar require so much energy investment to harvest that it will be impossible to justify, either from an economic perspective, or from a ecological one.

    We eventually will get off carbon-based fossil fuels, not because of scaremongering by the climate "scientists", but because we are going to run out, and within our lifetimes. The long-term answer is fission, and fusion if it can ever be made practical.

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