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Chris Clarke
About Me:
Chris Clarke is a natural history writer and environmental journalist currently at work on a book about the Joshua tree. He lives in Joshua Tree. Check out his Facebook page.
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  • Entry
    It's no secret that well-trained sheepdogs do a great job of protecting sheep from wolves, coyotes, mountain lions and other predators. But what you might not realize is that those sheepdogs can help protect the predators as well.
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    The owners of the proposed Palen Solar Electric Generating System formally withdrew their project from consideration by the state on Friday.
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    Well here's some news to ruin your weekend: the federal government's chief energy analysts say that despite a massive national investment in renewable energy, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are climbing again.
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    For the first time, the National Park Service will be fitting Yosemite National Park bears with GPS collars to track their movements outside crowded Yosemite Valley.
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    The largest battery-based grid power storage system in North America just went online in Kern County.
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    A San Diego County-based conservation group and two area residents have sued the federal government over its approval of a wind project they say poses an unlawful risk to golden eagles.
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    You expect certain kinds of living things in the desert. Scaly, occasionally venomous reptiles, plants with fierce armor, swift and clever animals accustomed to dealing with heat and drought. But mushrooms?
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    A long-awaited master planning document in the works since 2008 that will guide renewable energy development in the California desert is out in draft form Tuesday, and residents of the West Mojave and some other parts of the desert will not be happy.
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    You might be tempted, gazing out on a nation awash in blue bins, to conclude that recycling has won that environmental revolution that started 25 years ago. You'd be wrong.
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    As businesses start looking for ways not to affect the planet's natural carbon cycles, the phrases "carbon-neutral" and "carbon-negative" have increasingly become industry buzzwords. But what do they really mean?
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    The campaign to build a freeway crossing to allow mountain lions and other wildlife to travel safely between the Santa Monica Mountains and other open space got a boost Friday, as elected officials and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) joined the effort at a rally in Agoura Hills.
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    The U.S. Department of Energy announced Thursday it's plowing $2 million into two groups working on ways to build wind turbines that are one and a half times taller than current designs.
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    Two rare plants from Northern California that have been waiting for Endangered Species Act Protection for more than 30 years won't be getting that protection, the US Fish and Wildlife Service will announce Thursday.
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    A beetle found only in elderberry thickets in the Sacramento Valley will remain on the federal list of Threatened species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday.
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    The California Energy Commission gave tentative approval Friday evening to a reconfigured solar power plant in Riverside County that opponents say potentially poses a serious risk to migrating birds.
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    A group of concerned residents of the Mojave Desert is urging the public to make their feelings known about a controversial proposed transmission line that would run across 63 miles of the central Mojave Desert.
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    A recent report by the Audubon Society underscores the dire future North American birds face if we don't act now to stem climate change. But that doesn't let industrial renewable energy facilities off the hook for harm they cause birds.
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    A new report reveals that birds of America's deserts, chaparral, and sagebrush lands are in more trouble than those in other habitats.
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    Every once in a while a study reveals something new that makes perfect sense when you think about it. A recent example: a survey conducted by researchers for the San Diego-based Center for Sustainable Energy found that California homeowners who've shelled out for rooftop solar panels are far more likely to be interested in energy conservation.
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    Whether you're a joiner or a recluse, you can find opportunities to do citizen science that match your mood and your interests, from organized public events to mobile apps. We've listed eight of the coolest ones here.
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    The BioSCAN Project, a citizen-science insect research project launched by the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum (NHM), has been turning up some fascinating captured insects. We've picked five of what we thought were the among most interesting.
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    Most insects are either beneficial or at least harmless. Some of them are beautiful and fascinating. And without them, life as we know it would not exist at all.
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    A first-of-its-kind center for studying the federally Threatened desert tortoise was formally donated to the Mojave National Preserve on Friday.
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    The nation's air quality laws seem to be working, at least when it comes to lakes in the Sierra Nevada. According to a recent study by researchers at UC Riverside, lakes in the state's largest mountain range have gradually become less affected by acid rain since 1970 -- about when the first Clean Air Act was passed.
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    A new report says that despite the daunting price tag fixing the Salton Sea, doing nothing could cost at least $10 billion more, and perhaps $50 billion.
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    The real benefit of the Wilderness Act, celebrating its 50th Anniversary this week, lies in a point made inadvertently by its fiercest critics. And another anniversary taking place this week provides one of the best examples of why we need the act.
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    A new study of a small migratory bird that passes through California might offer a way to fine-tune our understanding of bird migration. And that's important, because migratory birds are in trouble across the continent.
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    The U.S. Forest Service has issued a tentative decision on its controversial plan to log tens of thousands of acres of forest burned in 2013's Rim Fire, and that decision will not please wildlife preservationists.
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    For the first time ever the mysterious moving rocks of Racetrack Playa have been seen moving, and the scientists involved think they've figured out how they do it.
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    A federal agency started releasing more water from a reservoir Saturday in an effort to avoid another massive die-off of Chinook salmon in the Klamath River, but now a pair of powerful agricultural interests has gone to court to stop the release.
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  • Comment
    We do run positive news abut wind, such as advances in designs that offer lower bird mortality. And as our contacts in the utility-scale solar industry will tell you, we don't restrict our critical take to wind energy. As for...
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    Greg: More like 1) Savory makes several unsubtle statements to the effect that all deserts are actually grasslands waiting to be restored by his own proprietary method. Which I believe I actually said in some detail in the original post....
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    We've got about 500 articles here on ReWire encouraging development of sensible energy generation technologies. You might want to take a look through them before you leap to conclusions about what we believe. Also, I wish I had a Macbook...
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    Even today, I meet people who regularly go between downtown Los Angeles and Long Beach who've never considered doing so on the Blue Line. Blame racism if you must, or classism, or anti-transit bias, but I would submit you need...
  • Comment
    Second-hand anecdotal tales from Manitoba don't in any way address the reality of grazing in the arid lands of the American southwest. I note that none of the comments supporting Savory actually address the issues this essay raises, but merely...
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    Thanks for the clarification and extended analysis, rd!...
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    I very much appreciate your expanding on the piece in your mainly excellent comment, ethics. I say mainly because I'd strongly prefer commenters avoid appearance-based slurs. The physical appearance of players in the renewable energy world in California is irrelevant...
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    Please don't dilute your excellent points with irrelevant comments about people's body sizes. Let's keep the conversation on topic. (Don't get me wrong: I definitely appreciate your thanks, but I wonder if you'd have offered them if you knew I'm...
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    Thanks for stepping up with the good info, joaquin!...
  • Comment
    At this point, Chris W, you are just making stuff up wholesale. Cut it out....
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