on the site and put the solar panels on the rooftops in Las Vegas.” Carl Zichella, renewable energy coordinator for the Sierra Club is saying that we need to develop half of the Mojave Desert for renewable energy so the other half will survive global warming. You have the same sun in the same desert beating down on those bare rooftops in Las Vegas everyday. Sounds like the off roader is a better environmentalist! Sorry Carl, you get an F…
Ivanpah Valley
The Ivanpah Valley in California and After Below
The Ivanpah Valley after.

   So where are all those enviros? Have all of them really decided that destroying large tracts of wilderness to make room for large industrial energy developments are the only way to save humanity from global warming?
   One by one, the big name environmental organizations fell like Dominos. The Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council, Greenpeace, and the Wilderness Society have all taken the position of “develop the desert or doomsday”. They seem outright convinced that development and complete removal of these ecosystems is an essential move we must make to curtail greenhouse gas emmisions .

We formed Basin and Range Watch
as volunteers to go against this trend.
We live in rural backcountry Nevada
and we are happy to be NIMBYs,
trying to protect our
desert home from becoming
the next “resource” for extraction.

Many of them will tell you that using alternative energy in environmentally low impace ways would not be enough, yet the same people never seem to recognize the carbon or GHG footprint large industrial renewable energy leaves.

Most industrial renewable solar plants require a natural gas burning base load to keep the power running after hours, while roof top photovoltaics can store afterhour energy in small battery systems. Another inconvenient truth is the large network of transmission lines that will not only soil the last remaining beauty of the American landscape, but release a little known greenhouse gas called SF6 gas which is used primarily in electricity transmission---and is emitted in especially large amounts in construction of new lines. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency,SF6 gas is 24,000 times as potent as

CO2 in its global warming impacts.
   Environmental organizations often take tax deductible grants from large Wall Street entities. When large energy developers give out grants to large commercial environmental organizations, it seems like industrial energy development conveniently goes “green”. One hope is that many local chapters of these organizations have not lost their vision. Many long time desert activists are not so willing to give up their ideals. If anything holds these big groups together, it is the grass roots people that created them.   
    Seems like 20 or 30 years ago, folks were concerned about protecting their local places, that specific mountain, the river nearby, those particular named canyons near where they lived, and the wilderness they hiked in. Today the shift among environmentalists has highlighted the global, the abstract, even the corporate model of “saving the Earth.” We are often lectured by this new hybrid of industrial green energy environmentalists about how our attempts to slow down these renewable energy mega-developments will expedite the warming of the planet and the extinction of the polar bear. We find it ludicrous that these same people would support actions that could lead to the extinction of species like the desert tortoise in an attempt to save the polar bear. Who told them that they were justified in choosing which species get to survive and which do not? Our position is that the destruction of desert ecosystems, which have been shown to be excellent resources for storing vast quantities of soil carbon, will only speed up the potential habitat loss for the polar bear. Climate is, after all, a global system.

   We formed Basin and Range Watch as volunteers to go against this trend. We live in rural backcountry Nevada and we are happy to be NIMBYs, trying to protect our desert home from becoming the next “resource” for extraction. We have worked as biologists, often on government jobs, so we were familiar with the process of how public lands are (mis)managed. We can only hope that our present crop of land managers will realize how valuable the giant desert fan full of tortoises and cholla that NextLight seeks to grab is, and leave it be.

Basin Range Watch
   The Mojave and Great Basin Deserts -- home to a wide range of biodiverse communities, including people. Our aim is to celebrate the diversity of life here and highlight the threats to our desert home. This place is more than a wilderness, it is a living landscape, full of unique plants, animals, fungi, and people.
   This site covers the geographic area of Mojave, Colorado, and Great Basin deserts centering around Nevada and California, but also venturing into Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona. We especially explore the areas ignored by others (but cherished by many): the vast creosote and sagebrush flats, white playas, rocky hills, and pinyon-juniper mountains. These are not ‚wastelands‚ but vibrant, rich, beautiful landscapes that we call home.
Contact us at: editors@basinandrangewatch.org