Friday, November 30, 2007

Water Grab photos

SNWA WATERGRAB PHOTOS, Rural Nevada Photos, and related photos.
These places are beautiful.

They are on the flickr website,
just search for "SNWA watergrab"
Check them out.

If you wish to share some of your own photos, add them to your own account on the flickr website. Be sure to use "SNWA watergrab" as key words. So, when anyone searches "SNWA watergrab," all of our photos will show up.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Diversify vs. Diversity

So SNWA, are your water grab spin doctors without any conscience? Or is it that they have some extraordinarily sick sense of humor? You claim that you need drain the water (and therefore the life) from Rural Nevada in the name of diversity... How disgustingly ironic. Someone there must have heard of the book The Diversity of Life. How could you be so manipulative as to steal the terminology of the acclaimed scientist, E.O. Wilson? His term, “biodiversity” refers to the vast wealth of life on this planet – of which half is threatened with extinction by the end of this century.

E.O. Wilson has shown that we are right in the middle of the sixth great extinction on Earth – the most “devastating trauma since the extinction event that laid waste the dinosaurs.” And SNWA cant wait to profit from it.

E.O. Wilson's wish is to create an expandable, open-source, web-based “encyclopedia of life” to record everything we know about everything alive. However, SNWA's wish is to erase a big part of that biodiversity. And in the name of what? To “diversify” their sources? This is exactly what George Orwell would have called doublespeak. Diversity isn't about how many different ways you can kill life on Earth. SNWA just borrowed the term to sound responsible. When in fact, history will remember these water grabbers as ecologically as responsible as Stalin was socially.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Offroaders Beware!

I have shown in an earlier NoShootFoot blog entry that the Department of Interior (DOI) is effectively corrupt. Since the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) works under the DOI, no matter how dedicated our front line officials may be, we can't expect responsible administration. It is not a coincidence that the BLM has decided now to modify Resource Management Plans (land use plans) in Utah. Redrock Wilderness has reported that:

The BLM is releasing a flurry of new and draft plans... Though it has taken the agency years to put these plans together, the public will have a scant 90 days to comment on them. If you don't think you can review, absorb, and intelligently comment on 5000 pages of text and hundreds of maps and graphs in that length of time, be sure to let the BLM know and ask for more time.”

The public comment periods for these areas end on these dates:

Moab 11/30/07

Price 12/13/07

Vernal 01/03/08

Kanab 01/10/08

Richfield 01/??/08

Monticello 02/??/08

You can view the Utah BLM's resource management plans and schedules at:

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) website has more information about these plans and citizen's conservation alternatives at:

Please send your comments as soon as possible.

Of course, here's my call on the situation:

The lame duck Bush administration is desperate. Their approval ratings are near an all time low. There have even been calls for Bush and Cheney's impeachment. These guys could even end up in prison. Consequently, they are quite blatantly selling out to any group who will support them. This is a dangerous time. There are many corporations, industries, and unscrupulous people who just love to take advantage of a weakened administration.

In the case of public lands, the mining industry is groping for everything they can get. For example; mountain top removal coal mining (that is even more destructive than before) is going to be allowed in the Appalachian mountains. (It appears that the coal industry won't be satisfied until they have polluted every stream in the Appalachians.) Is that what we want here? Hell no! But they're trying. The mining corporations want unimpeded access to any place they feel like mining in. And they're more than willing to take advantage of offroaders – who arrogantly want to drive anywhere they damn well please.

Offroaders are being used. That's right, used. Do they really believe the Bush administration gives a damn about them? This opening of wilderness is for the mining corporations. Don't get me wrong. I realize that we need to mine. But to allow mining anywhere these corporations please is just foolish. Many of these mining corporations are foreign owned. We can't expect them to care about our local wilderness. In the end, even offroaders won't want to go to some of these places – because the beauty will be ruined.

We've been to public lands. We've seen that there are plenty of roads. We don't need more roads.

What we have here are people who selfishly want to turn our public lands and wilderness into shooting gallery amusement rides. This is not Disneyland! We need to show some respect. This is supposed to be a civilized society. Guys have learned that we don't go barging into the womens' restrooms, loudly proclaiming that this is a free country and we can go anywhere we want. Everyone and everything need at least some privacy.

Personally, I like riding a quad. They're fun. I may buy one someday – when I get too old and feeble to climb the hills on my own. I drive a four wheel drive truck. I spend a lot of time off pavement. Hey, I'm an offroader! All I'm saying is that we need to drive responsibly.

Let's not succumb to the lowest desires of a vocal minority of the population. There may seem like a lot of them, but to truly gage their importance, we need to consider future generations – who we owe the respect of leaving them something natural to enjoy.

Besides, I'm not saying you shouldn't be allowed onto public lands. I'm not saying you can't go there. I'm saying get off your lazy ass and walk sometimes. It's good for you. And it will be far less damaging to the land. Let's show some respect. Let's not allow ourselves to be used.

Please send your comments to the BLM now.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

I tell you. We spend all that money on invading and occupying Iraq, kill all those Iraqis, get everybody in the world angry at us, and gas is still expensive. What are we looking at now; a trillion, a trillion and a half dollars WASTED - and gas is over three dollars gallon and rising.

I guess we never should have trusted an oil man to keep the price of oil down.
But that's just the beginning of the bad news.

Ever wonder what we could have done with all our wasted tax money if we had just paid attention when the UN said there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Ever wonder how we could have spent all our lost tax dollars if we had only treated the 9/11 attacks as criminal acts of a extremist group of Saudis - instead of using the terrorist attacks as excuses to invade two countries?

Dan Hahn did. He calculated how many solar power stations we could have built. Although he didn't use the total Iraq and Afghanistan war costs, including hidden costs - we can...

For 1.5 trillion dollars, we could have built enough thermal solar generation to power HALF our nation's needs.

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!
That's right, we could have massively reduced our global warming pollutant emissions and been far less reliant on foreign fossil fuels. With less at stake in the Middle East, there would have been less US military presence, and fewer terrorist acts.
And just in case you didn't know, thermal solar power stores heat - to provide power when the sun isn't shining.
We have every right to feel sick now.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


What does it take to be

a few fries short of a Happy Meal?

Is it watching a train wreck from the tracks?

Is it watching a wildfire from the treetops?

Is it watching Global warming on your TV (powered by coal)?

OK... What does it take to be the very most fries short?

Is it putting up with SSSDD?


By the way, what's that on your TV?

Hey, looks like there's a tag team wrestling match on.

Its the Suicide Bombers vs. the Armageddon Army.

And it looks like the EAOW, MFP, and SVR are in the audience.

Oh! There's another wrestler in the ring! Looks like the Armageddon Army has hired the Mercenaries For Christ!

Oh! The Suicide Bombers are taking a beating!

But don't count them out.

Those Suicide Bombers have a strange way of coming back stronger.


Oh yeah... so... what does it take?

What does it take – that takes the cake?

How about; competing for the best seats on a sinking ship?

How about; scheming to be emperor of a collapsing civilization?

Here's best one, though:

How about; believing that you have to create a Hell on Earth in order to go to Heaven?

Wow! Have they gone koo-koo for cluster puffs?

Those CFCs win it, hands down! FUBARR!

They're ready to drink the Kool-Aid,

and they're insisting the rest of the world drink it too.

This Evangelical / Jewish / Jihad has got to stop!

You can't make the World better by making it worse.


BFD – Blind Faith Determinism

SSSDD – Same Stupid Slimeballs, Different Day

EAOW – Evil Atheists Opposing the War

MFP – "Moderate Fool" Pacifists

SVR – Screwed Veterans Resistance

cluster puffs – the explosion of cluster bombs

CFC – Crazy Fascist Christians

FUBARR – F#cked Up Beyond All Reasonable Religion

wWjd – What WOULD Jesus Do?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Confrontation

My comments at the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) meeting on Nov 8, 2007.
I made this presentation right after a string of pro-coal advocates had each made their case why we just had to have coal-fired power plants in Steptoe Valley. Now; If you've only heard the argument once, it sounds enticing. Basically, it goes like this: "Ely's had some bad times... and we just need the money." But, after hearing this same story over and over and over again, it really started to sound pathetic. After hearing the same story so many times, I eventually started to hear "We're broke, and we'll do anything for money." I can't believe that some of the most respected members of our community could allow themselves to be so taken. The money has clouded their thinking. We can only hope that by the time they finally agree with us, it won't be too late. If they could have this evening, they would have signed our lives away.

So, before I began, I said a little something to the audience:

"Well, its unanimous. We all agree that White Pine County is POOR!
But let's not shoot ourselves in the foot over it.
This is about far more than Ely's economy."

Thank you for being here.

Sierra Pacific (SPR) has revealed their contempt for our environment when they operated the Mojave power plant without required pollution control equipment right until it was forced to shut down. This corporation has been fined millions of dollars – and would be fined more if the PUC enforced the Renewable Portfolio Standards.

The coal/power industry has earned our lack of trust by buying political influence. They spent over $36 million in campaign contributions in the last two elections.

Personally, I don't see where these coal-fired power polluters can do any long term good. Even when it comes to jobs, there will be more jobs in the long run without them.

Knowing this, many of us are concerned about who's side the PUC is on.

As we all know, the biggest power customer in this area will be SNWA. Some of this power is for the water grab. SNWA has admitted it themselves. What bothers me is that, apparently, the PUC doesn't see any problem with this. Is it just fine that others from our State can take the water from beneath our feet, and reward us with polluted air? Hey! We're citizens of this State too.

With massive reserves of geothermal, solar, and wind energy; Nevada can be an exporter of power, without having to import coal – or waste water. The National Academy of Science states that there is only a 100 year supply of coal – at current use. America may already be close to peak coal production. Nevertheless, 3rd parties control the supply of coal. Our dependence on coal is an invitation for market manipulation, rolling blackouts, and exorbitant costs. Need I remind you that wind and sunlight will always be free.

Coal-fired proponents infer that only coal provides “baseline” power. But, geothermal and thermal solar power can provide baseline. There are new technologies that can turn waste into fuel. And photovoltaics and windmills can store power in compressed gas, flywheels, or even ultracapacitors. Besides, its usually blowing somewhere. Moreover, the biggest draw on power in the largest population in Nevada is air conditioning. We need the most air conditioning during the middle of the day, which just happens to coincide with the most sunshine. The claim that only coal can provide reliable power is just not true. However, what we can rely on from coal is tons of 70 toxic pollutants.

Skeptics of science believe that human induced Global warming is either a neglectable problem or too far off into the future for us to care. Both of these arguments are quite obviously irresponsible. Worse, they're wrong. Our polar ice caps are melting, our forests are burning, our weather is getting less hospitable, and thousands of species risk extinction. If there is a natural global warming occurring, we want to do everything we can to prevent a double punch of natural and human induced Global warming. Nevada is already seeing drought, pine beetle infestations, and abnormal wildfires. We need to do everything we can to at least prevent an increase of Global warming pollutants now, not 60 years from now.

If SPR were to sequester millions of tons of CO2 underground, that CO2 is bound to leak out. The ground underneath the Great Basin is porous. The USGS claims that there are large deposits of water underneath the Great Basin Valleys – and these deposits are interconnected. SPR's only option would be to pipe the CO2 someplace else – maybe hundreds of miles away. This would be extremely expensive. So, pardon me for not being impressed that SPR has provided an empty lot and lame promises that they will do carbon sequestration “when it becomes economically feasible.” SPR wants us to commit to decades of Global warming pollution, while the only way carbon sequestration will ever happen here is if taxpayers and ratepayers pay for it... and it won't be cheap.

We all know that big corporations have a way of getting around government legislation. If the coal industry gets it's confusing version of cap and trade legislation for carbon emissions, don't expect cleaner air. If the PUC just says no to coal-fired power plants, now, we could set that cap at zero on new power generation – because wind, solar, and geothermal energy won't emit any CO2.

If SPR builds coal-fired power plants, don't be surprised if they lose customers. People will install their own clean power. We can be angry at SPR, but they have simply adapted to our system. The more power they sell and the more corners they cut, the more money they make. We need to completely decouple profits from irresponsible behavior. We are beginning to pay them for the power they save and the clean power they help generate. But we also need to make them pay for the unnecessary damage they cause. The EPA states that 24,000 Americans die prematurely every year from coal pollution. If SPR had to pay the true costs for coal, including unnecessary health care costs, they would be first in line for truly clean energy.

No matter how we generate power, there will be both construction and maintenance jobs. Alternative power can provide clean, safe, and sustainable jobs. That's right, sustainable jobs. Coal will eventually run out, but wind and sunlight will be around forever.

Just how will history remember us? Nevada can set an important example, or we can be part of the problem – actually worse. By building coal-fired power polluters, Nevada would be taking one more step towards being the toxic waste dump for the Nation.

So, who's side is the Public Utilities Commission on?

I really hope you're on our side – for everyones' sake... in the long run.

Rick Spilsbury