Posts Tagged ‘gopherus agassizzii’

Choosing Between Climate Change and Wildlife

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

In an article in Living Green magazine, the question of how do you choose climate change when you are an animal lover was posed. There is no easy and inexpensive solution when you  “consider the $56 million that was spent so far to rescue and relocate desert tortoises from the upheaval caused by the construction of a Mojave Desert solar plant” (quoted in Business Week).

“The $2.2 billion Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System will use 173,500 computer-controlled mirrors to aim 1,000-degree rays at boilers mounted atop three 459-foot towers, turning water into enough steam-generated electricity to power 140,000 homes. Its developer, BrightSource Energy, sees it as a solar equivalent of the Hoover Dam.”

Unfortunately, these solar towers are uprooting many desert tortoises from their burrows, including the gopherus agassizii, the state reptile of California and Nevada. The reptile, which once numbered in the millions, is now estimated at 100,000 in the US and Mexico.

Conservation and Native American groups have filed lawsuits to halt industrial-scale solar plants that are planned for public lands in the Mojave.