Environmentalists worship solar energy and wind power as Earth-friendly answers to their ecological prayers. Tortoises, bats, butterflies, and bald eagles beg to differ.
Perhaps because solar panels and industrial wind farms lack emissions, they seem “clean.” Despite their pristine appearance, however, these “green” electricity sources hammer Mother Nature — often fatally.
Consider the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in southern California’s Mojave Desert. As Carolyn Lochhead wrote on September 7 in the San Francisco Chronicle, Ivanpah occupies 3,500 previously untouched federal acres. It features 300,000 mirrors that focus sunlight on three 40-story towers of power. Inside, 900-degree temperatures yield steam, propel turbines, and generate electricity for 140,000 homes.
Ivanpah’s environmental toll is stunning: