Just before Thanksgiving, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Deputy Secretary David Hayes each talked about "wise” and “smart” planning for development of our nation’s renewable energy resources. Their comments were about a new program for off-shore wind in the Atlantic, but they could have just as easily been talking about on-shore wind and solar development.
Those of us who love wildlands want to protect them from the damages of oil and gas drilling, industrial development and inappropriate exploitation, but in our excitement to combat climate change and move toward renewable energy development we cannot forget that large renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar, can have negative impacts on the land as well.
It’s hard to imagine a West without the Grand Canyon’s grandeur. When you really think about what it takes to protect the beauty of a place, the laws themselves like the Antiquities Act (which lately has come under attack) become much more meaningful.
Have you ever walked across a lava field and felt the heat moving up through your shoes? Or watched molten lava pour into the Pacific, sending up clouds of steam? Or walked through tunnels (“tubes”) created by lava flows?
With only weeks left before the 111th Congress adjourns for its final time, conservationists are waiting to see if dozens of land, water and wildlife bills (including 21 wildlands and Wilderness bills), will make the short list of bills to be considered during the last days of the lame duck session.
In a major speech last week, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu declared that the United States is in the midst of a “Sputnik moment for clean energy development,” and that now is the time to win the clean tech race with China. He cited accelerating innovation as one of the key ways to ensure that we meet our country’s energy goals and be the world’s leader in clean energy.
Recently, TWS Director of Climate Change Policy caught up with Bill McKibben, author of the new book EAARTH and the founder of 350.org and one of the leading voices in the fight against carbon pollution and climate change. The two of them talked about the looming specter of climate change, what needs to be done about it, and (since they are both originally from New England) a little Revolutionaty War bragging rights.
In a few days, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will be celebrating 50 years of protection. Tonight in Washington, DC, we are celebrating this momentous occasion with a gala featuring some of the people that have been responsible for keeping the Refuge safe for half a century.
Bud Moore, a great conservationist and a wilderness champion for Idaho and Montana, passed away last week at his home in Condon, Montana, at age 93. Bud blazed a trail his whole life for all who revere wilderness and wild land — linking the mountain men, who taught him backcountry skills in his youth, to the modern foresters who came to understand ecosystem management with his vision.