Certain environmentalists, whose cause is being championed by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-California) are seeking to block the construction of a large solar power plant in the Mohave desert because of its potential environmental impact.
"It would destroy the entire Mojave Desert ecosystem," said David Myers, executive director of The Wildlands Conservancy.
It's difficult to think of any means of electrical generation that has less environmental impact than solar, even wind, and the only thing either wind or solar have going against them is that they are outrageously costly, inefficient means of generating small amounts of unreliable electricity; and that there isn't enough land in the United States to fit the solar panels it would take to generate the power that the denizens of California guzzle in any given month.
However, everything bears a cost, and there is simply no way to generate large amounts of electricity without some environmental impact. There is also no way for a population of 39 million people to conduct any other activity pursuant to maintaining their lives without environmental impact, and even were all the denizens of California (and the U.S.) to relinquish modern life in favor of a primitive hunter-gatherer lifestyle, there would be far-reaching environmental consequences. We can easily imagine the desertification of the entire state of CA as its denizens cut down every growing thing more than a foot tall for firewood for cooking and heat.
The exasperated Gov. Schwarzenegger asked "if we can't put a solar plant in the Mojave, where in the hell can we put it?"
The moral of the story is, of course, that that there is no way to eliminate environmental impact except to maybe lie down and die. Will any of the deep ecologists volunteer to do this? Strange how the human-hating Gaia-worshippers who gloatingly contemplate the die-off of 90% of the species as resource depletion collapses us socially and economically will not volunteer their own lives by way of reducing the human impact on the planet.
People like Feinstein and the people at the Wildlands Conservancy have cost the environmental movement whatever credibility it ever had, yet never has human life been so at risk from environmental degradation and its multiple threats to the basic necessities of human life, such as our water and food supply. The only way to overcome the overwhelming hostility of the public to the concerns of the movement is to make concern for the human being the movement's central focus, for that is really what this is all about- to provide a liveable cradle for human life and to assure that our children and their descendents will have the wherewithal to live lives with a tolerable level of comfort and technological amenity. The point is not to avoid all environmental costs, but to manage and minimalize impacts as much as possible and to manage our resources so that we can continue to live comfortably and with basic technological amenity. For that, we need the cleanest and most efficient means of power generation we can devise, not the means we will be stuck with if we foreclose every means of large-scale electrical generation on the grounds that it may someohow, sometime, have some sort of negative impact.