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May 26, 2014


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G-men: The only thing that comes to my mind is that Phoenix PD SAU (Swat) and Helicopter and fixed wing units are at 7st and Deer Valley at Deer Valley airport. This we allow some training possibilities and maybe assist in a coordinated response effort. It would seem to be easier for the Feds aircraft to use Deer Valley Airport than Sky Harbor due to the huge traffic flow. FEDS or local cops you have to get permission to just fly across Sky Harbor.
I suspect that The Feds will be going to court more often given they have to now record and video interrogations.
But maybe not.

I'm keeping tabs on the fitful signs of life in and around downtown Phoenix. There's that good news about phase two of Portland Place to savor, and maybe even another a high-rise apartment building where Central Station is located. The city put out a RFP for the site and a developer responded with a sleek 30+ story building but with a huge above-ground parking garage deadheading Van Buren. Downtown has already been formaldehyded to death so many times over that I suppose it's not a deal breaker as such. Still, it points out the problem with getting people and companies to relocate in a place that hostile to organic forms of life. This proposal got lots of debate on another forum I frequent (one where PhxSunsFan used to hang out, too. He's not there anymore so I assume he left town. Seattle, maybe?). The consensus was that the building would be great but that its anti-urban siting was really disappointing.

There are quite a few cranes sticking going up in Portland despite a so-so economy. Downtown is still the place to be despite traffic and parking issues. There's no Scottsdale leeching away key civic assets and just about everything fun and interesting is either in or proximate to downtown. But it's not perfect by a long shot. There's a huge homeless population, particularly in the Old Town area. The business interests are pushing for another homeless camp away from their properties and there's a debate going on whether this is unfair to its hapless and bewildered denizens. I would add that some street people can be clever in cadging handouts. One guy, for example, has taught his dog to ride a skateboard. Astonished pedestrians reflexively reach for their loose change when they see this stunt.

Downtowns need great old buildings, focal points like rivers and harbors, adjacent urban neighborhoods, and a strong employment base. Phoenix comes up short in all those areas and I doubt any of us will live long enough to see this change. Cheerleading for downtown will not help since bullshit can only work a few times before the rubes catch on. Downtown Phoenix does not magnetize people and few companies want to relocate to such an unrelentingly boring place.

Good cities attract us with the nectar of beauty, interest, charm, and other people. Tempe, more or less, understands this. Phoenix still hopes it can create enough set pieces in its downtown that it won't matter. This, in a nutshell, is its existential crisis. It will never work.

I got run off at the Indianola site once too when I parked on what-I-now-know was the FBI side of the street to look at the now-gone cottage across the street that was for sale. Too uniformed security guards told me to move my car in no uncertain terms or explanation.


I am less sure what Tempe gets and doesn't. Some (Pam Goronkin, Neil Giuliano) did. But Tempe can never be more than a boutique downtown, not a metropolitan downtown.

It has even less good bones than Phoenix and only one tiny historic neighborhood.

Otherwise, it is an automobile suburb with the same wide streets, dull subdivisions, shopping strips, office "parks," tilt-up warehouses, auto dealerships, etc. that plague the metro area.

Mill Avenue offers some pleasing density and shade, but it is marred by the horridly out of scale condo tower. Much of its life was sapped away to the auto-dependent "marketplace" to the east. It has lost USAirways' headquarters.

ASU is a great asset. But downtown Tempe, even with the largest university in America, is very tepid compared with the U District in Seattle or the areas around, say, the University of Wisconsin. Also, students graduate and leave.

Town Lake could have watered plenty of shade trees, but I am not fanatically opposed. Tempe lucked out in getting some developers and leasing playerz that want to make the area work. This is so lacking in Midtown, or even downtown, Phoenix.

I hope Tempe can see through the streetcar and bring it close to these lakefront buildings.

If only Tempe could get a handle on its downtown area crime problems. The rest of the city is pretty safe while one takes their life in their hands once they go north of Broadway.

Just what Phoenix needs, another Maryvale.

As for the FBI relocating its new green fortress headquarters in south Prescott, they don't play well with others so there's really no need for them to be anywhere else but away from the main stream.

200 E Indianola, tons of video cameras.
A couple of years ago I had a case where a Cuban murder suspect turned himself into the Phoenix PD at 200 E Indianola. I believe shortly after he left his CIA handler at Central and Roosevelt. I am still not sure what all that was about.

Indianola, Iowa I was born just up the road and spent some time there. It's still a nice "town." But I cant live there as its not desert and it makes me sneeze.

Tempe was a nice "town" in Until Neil Giuliano showed up and with the support of the Harry Mitchell, glitterized it. AZ needed another dam like it needed more White redneck bigots.

I would never have categorized the corner of 7th and Deer Valley as a great piece of desert. With gravel operations nearby, much of the desert around Deer Valley airport is not all that picturesque. With the industrial park going in behind the FBI building, there is not much to save there.

Joe, I agree on not Picturesque. Its been ugly since about 1963.
But it all dont matter nohow.

Awinter thanks for your comments on Republican civil war blog. I am most of the time a vegetarian, traded the 4 wheel drive truck for a Honda fit. live in a space about 320 square feet, have Solar for battery back up.
And reference Republicans read June issue of Mother Jones about New Mexico's Suzzane Martinez the next Sarah Palin. At least she has "some" credentials beyond looking sexy and liking to kill helpless animals from a helicopter.
Unlike Clive Bundy I do not have the energy to leave the Republican Party
but I am glad he did join something that is closer to identifying him as a freeloading skin head.

Side-note: I agree with Soleri that climate change is an important topic and needs to be debated. I didn't have much time the last time I was online, so I've posted a more detailed reply here:


Note that my response is about the big issues, not a wade into the swamp of niggling details, so it might be of general interest.

Note that the location was chosen by the General Services Administration. There was a national competition that lasted over a year. The GSA received bids by 25 developers.

A single company served as the developer, contractor, and property manager for the project; this sort of integration helps keep costs down. The project was "build to suit".

Note that prior to the move, the FBI conducted its operations from four leased facilities. The move doesn't merely change location, then: it also consolidates its operations into a single location. The new headquarters location, with 200,000 square feet, also gives room for expansion.

Yes, there is land in central Phoenix. The question is how much in a single available lot in a desirable and secure location, the cost of that lot, and the cost of development. Also note that the new location places the building near a major new freeway; that's important to employees who (generally) drive in from various parts of the Valley, and for operations that involve a great deal of in-and-out driving on a daily basis. The new FBI headquarters in Tucson was also developed on Commerce Park Loop right next to Interstate 10.

O/T to cal:

Special thanks for the Sartre bio. I'm glad I interrupted reading Being and Nothingness for it, as the bio is indeed making much of the dense prose in that work come to life. But, even more so, the discussions of his activities in the nascent French Resistance I find to be fortuitously relevant to the circumstances of the day, here in 21st Century America*.

So, yea, thanks.


*Glen Greenwald and The Intercept is about to name names, namely the names of who specifically were considered persons-of-interest-to-spy-upon by the NSA. One could safely predict that this will include individuals from The Resistance... er, I mean #Occupy, et. al.

Mr. Talton wrote:

"So the population figures are out and Gilbert, which insists on maintaining the fiction (and probable legal advantage) of being a "town," is among the fastest growing places in the year ending in July 2013."

From a news story at the end of March:

A $3 billion global-communications satellite project launched last week in Gilbert is expected to strengthen worldwide connections and help air-traffic controllers keep closer tabs on jetliners as they slip out of radar over Earth’s vast oceans, officials say.

"The center ... of activity in the past has been located in places such as Toulouse and Cannes, France; Washington, D.C.; Centennial, Colo.; or even Tokyo, Japan," Smith said. "The whole center of activity is moving to Gilbert, Arizona."

("Smith" is the CEO of Iridium, which owns the world's largest private fleet of satellites.)

While Orbital Sciences is headquartered in Virginia, it has major operations in Gilbert, Chandler, California and Maryland. The Gilbert site is part of the company's advanced-programs and space-systems groups.

The 135,000-square-foot Gilbert manufacturing center is among the largest spacecraft assembly, integration and test facilities in the nation, according to Orbital.

Gilbert Town Council members signed off on awarding the factory foreign-trade-zone status in late 2012, providing a technical designation that helps domestic companies keep up with overseas competitors.

Foreign-trade zones allow industrial plants to operate outside of standard U.S. Customs rules, helping companies avoid paying duties on imported goods.

"The support that we've received from the town of Gilbert has really changed the environment here in Gilbert from a state-of-the-art facility to really an international production factory," said Jason Yocum, senior program director for Orbital.


Given developments like this, plus a population of more than 200,000 it may be time to retire the claim that Gilbert's status as a town is "fiction".

I understand that the FBI subsequently beefed up security at its Indianola building; but when I visited during the mid-1990s the situation was considerably different.

I had no trouble driving my car right into the parking garage under the building without the slightest hint of security. Note that I was an uninvited visitor with no appointment and no status whatsoever.

Roaming the hallways, trying to locate the main FBI office, I noticed that the building was also home to offices with doors reading CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, and others. Quite a cosmopolitan collection of U.S. intelligence agencies, in fact.

The only sign of security I saw was in the small lobby of the FBI office where the secretary was behind a thick bulletproof (and probably blast resistant) glass window, and where the door leading from the visitors' lobby to the inner offices could only open if the receptionist buzzed one through.

Regarding the location of the response center in Tolleson:

According to Andy Jaffe, SIOR, "Their final decision to occupy was the large amount of land on-site, and overhead doors that aligned for ease of ingress and egress of their equipment. Also, it was a clear spanned building, which permits movement of their equipment, and proximity to the airport and freeway accessibility were key factors."


Best I can do.

Hey, what's the new Mapstone mystery like? Obviously, you can't give much away prepublication, but tell us local fans what you can...

The new Mapstone continues the story arc that began with "South Phoenix Rules" and "The Night Detectives." New readers should read at least one or two of the first five books before reading the most recent three.

It's at 41,000 words, not quite halfway done. I don't plot but put characters in situations. I assume the events have already happened; my job is to figure out what it was.

It should be out in 2015.

Emil thanks for the research.
Interesting Smith, Gilbert, Iridium (read satellite)Reminds me of FBI, computer researchers, LDS.

I like this:

Must be few g men in Seattle.

It's simple. If we can't change our economic system, our number's up - George Monbiot - Guardian

To succeed is to destroy ourselves. To fail is to destroy ourselves. That is the bind we have created. Ignore if you must climate change, biodiversity collapse, the depletion of water, soil, minerals, oil; even if all these issues miraculously vanished, the mathematics of compound growth make continuity impossible.

And via that article:
The Space Race is Over - Paul Kingsnorth - Global Oneness
I think it is precisely ... this feeling that we have unleashed a monster that is now beyond our control, that has given rise to the latest outburst about the colonization of other worlds. This time, the idea is not buoyed on a tide of optimism and hope, but tinged with desperation, sadness and sometimes even anger. This time, it is not our next exciting adventure, but our final hope.

... a number of people who should know better speculating on how colonizing Mars may be humanity's best prospect for a liveable future. The logic verges on the psychopathic ...

The solution? Not to change ourselves, but to find another planet on which to replay the same script. ... We will be saved, by our cleverness, from the consequences of our cleverness.


Will there be scenes where guys like me who are getting a bit past their prime have a fling with a dynamic younger woman? 'Cause those are always my favorite sub-plots. My wife, not so much.


AWinter, Monbiot's tone really transcends pessimism itself. It's simply apocalyptic. Perhaps it will galvanize attention but if it only feeds shoulder-shrugging despair, then society may as well collapse now into a kind of End Times frenzy. All that said, it is a useful counterweight to conventional wisdom that tells us everything can be fixed with better technology and nicer people. We seriously need a new conversation.

Reuben, overpopulation is a big part of the problem, but it's not THE problem, at least the way we think it is. One of my fears is that when the American right finally gives up on its harebrained science denial, they'll simply turn on a dime and blame liberals for not killing the brown people. The desperately poor who have the world's highest birth rates also have the lowest carbon footprints. To have any awareness of this issue is to hold up a mirror and recognize how we'll all guilty here, particularly those of us who live large, drive everywhere, overconsume, and require the most toys like computers. The revolution needs to start here, not in Africa or South Asia.

Who said it was a population number?

Maybe it's the number of times you've blamed "the right" so far this month.

Re ur comments about Tempe:As a happy resident of 40+ years,I will only say that "in the land of the blind,the one-eyed man is king".Or as the country western song goes "it ain't love,but it ain't bad"

Ruben, if that's your answer, then you know why I blame the right: pathological lying.


interestingly, Monbiot has traveled quite a bit to catch up with his pal Kingsnorth after the latter started his Dark Mountain project five years ago:

Now, Monbiot seems 'hysteric' and Kingsnorth the Zen master of decline. His article was much better. Given how this will play out over centuries, I see the point.

And yes, apocalyptic doomerism puts permanent dark clouds in our heads. It can be debilitating. Michael Ruppert is an extreme example:

His crazy conspiracy theories and his near-term doomerism were always off-putting but I liked his humor. Living in that space of constant apocalypse obviously didn't do much good for him - he killed himself last month.

So, on to some solutions. They even have a journal for that:

A Iraq veteran offers his perspective: "we can learn to see each day as the death of what came before, freeing ourselves to deal with whatever problems the present offers without attachment or fear. If we want to learn to live in the Anthropocene, we must first learn how to die."

If need be, we could still have some dignity by standing fast like the soldier at the gate of Pompei.

It's an old truth, but when prosperity reigns, everything is forgiven. But when there is scarcity, the minutest transgressions are amplified.

(My direct experience of this were through boom and bust years of the software company where I was employed.)

So, let us take heart in knowing that some of the darker criticisms on display here are merely normal human responses to a really, really terrible situation.

"Apocalyptos" really just want everyone to come to camp for communal mourning, kind of like a bizarro kumbaya. I am certainly feeling a bit apocalyptic myself these days.


I'm a little behind on DeGrasse Tyson's new Cosmos (just watching Ep. 04, and 11 just aired,) mostly because it's aiming a bit low, educationally speaking (though I did not know about "rogue" planets before - Ep. 01.) Apparently, Ep. 11 does some prognostication about the glorious future possibilities of humanity, no doubt a fetish on progress on technology. It's premature for me to say, but I have a feeling that I'm going to be quite annoyed by it.

miked if u have been aTempean for 40 years U got there when it was still somewhat a quaint town with a Gentle Strength food store and a book store on Mill that is 12 feet wide and about 60 deep. The book store is still there and it and the Valley Art theatre are now the only reasons i go to Tempe. In the early 50s i rode my bicycle from Slope to Tempe

"To succeed is to destroy ourselves. To fail is to destroy ourselves. That is the bind we have created. Ignore if you must climate change, biodiversity collapse, the depletion of water, soil, minerals, oil; even if all these issues miraculously vanished, the mathematics of compound growth make continuity impossible."

This is the sort of pabulum I've come to expect from those who delight in pessimism, contradiction, and the sound of their own voices. In the first three sentences I hear the plummy, self-congratulating tones of the poet-naysayer.

Every generation sees these writers: they mistake cynicism for sophistication, and reflexive iconoclasm for freethinking.

They have no imagination and are able to conceive of a progression of events only insofar as it is a linear extention of current trends.

Those who argue, from history, that civilization has time and time again surmounted its problems by evolving along unexpected, parallel paths involving technological innovation and paradigm shifts, are regarded as hopelessly naive.

These are the same individuals who thought that farm machinery heralded the end of prosperity for the average laborer. They look at current trends, ignore all possibility of qualitative change, and prophesy doom. They usually have weak, undeveloped powers of both quantitative and critical reasoning.

The writer has no real concept of available land space and resources, what they can support or for how long before genuine barriers are reached; he cannot conceive of developments in birth control or in fertility reduction or that these could be made widely available; he doesn't understand the concept of natural feedback loops which reduce populations that have grown beyond the support capacity of their local resources, long before they can cause ruin on a planetary scale. No, everything must continue along present lines until the whole system collapses under its own weight.

I'm reminded of Mark Twain's treatment of statistical prediction in Life on the Mississippi:

"In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. This is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upward of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about (this). One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact."


Side-note: a couple of new responses re climate change have been posted here:


AWinter, thanks for the links. The Monbiot/Kingsnorth correspondence was both invigorating and chilling, a leisurely stroll along a cliff on a very dark night. I thought one would make the better argument and then changed my mind reading the response. The horror is that they're both right but that it doesn't matter since there apparently can be no soft descent. I say this as someone who has hoped against all evidence that this issue could be politically resolved. To the denialists - and luke-warmists - I sincerely hope you're right. This nightmare could have been prevented only under an impossible scenario of prescience and restraint. The faint consolation is that it's already too late to worry about.

The Scranton op-ed piece was amazing as well. The past few days brought the issue to my mind in blurry bits and pieces. What does it mean to approach biological death at the same time the biosphere is dying? The various idiocies that the individual might conjure to get through a day only serve to mock his life.

“They usually have weak, undeveloped powers of both quantitative and critical reasoning.”
I had to look up quantitative. I agree I lack that and critical thinking. It takes to much time.
I care not a lot about how a mountain was formed but I care a lot in what I see as amazing beauty.

“Every generation sees these writers: they mistake cynicism for sophistication, and reflexive iconoclasm for freethinking.”
I had to look up cynicism. I admit I am a human motivated by self-interest but I am not sophisticated.
I looked up iconoclasm: I agree I admit I am, a person who criticizes or opposes beliefs and practices that are widely accepted.
I looked up reflexive and failed to understand the definition. Let alone reflexive iconoclasm.

“The writer has no real concept of available land space and resources, what they can support or for how long before genuine barriers are reached; he cannot conceive of developments in birth control or in fertility reduction or that these could be made widely available; he doesn't understand the concept of natural feedback loops which reduce populations that have grown beyond the support capacity of their local resources, long before they can cause ruin on a planetary scale.”

I can visualize feedback loops with regard to population but what exactly is “ruin on a planetary scale?

With regard to Mark Twain I failed to understand him or Shakespeare. For humor I turn to Keith Laumer.
For the English I much prefer, Bertrand Russell.

“I have better uses for my time than this.” I agree. Hope you find your niche.

Obama stole Romneys health care program and created Obama Care. Now Obama steals Romneys Carbon program to create Obamacarbon care.


Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the airplane; the pessimist, the parachute.

I note that Soleri and Rubens mother have vouched for his sanity. (on the previous blog)
Given all the gun shooting insanity in this country I thought U would appreciate those that are protecting you from gun violence.

Cal Lash, I was referring to personal argle-bargle (look that one up too, Mr. Green Jeans) when I said that I "don't have time for this".

Also, it might be less confusing for everyone concerned if in future you made clear which thread you're quoting from, and if practicable, to reply there.

Side-note: a follow-up comment in the previous thread, dealing with the missing plane mystery and other items of potential interest:


There is a difference between the kind of skepticism born of personal experience and a knowledge of current events and history, which tempers impractical idealism and is thereby useful and corrective, and those who make a religion of pessimism, preaching doom like a streetcorner preacher but cloaking their message in pseudo-scientific analysis. Far from being a human reaction, gloating over apocalypse is profoundly inhuman and antihuman. I'm reminded of Milton:

"O sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams / That bring to my remembrance from what state I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere."

Thanks professor for the orders and direction.
Green Jeans: was capt kangaroo big in your life.
i prefer creamed levis
clarity: hasnt been any since they started numbering wars.
i ll try and not be so stupid in the future but its hard to keep up with the argle bargle.

Cal Lash, so far as I know Keith Laumer is known for science-fiction and fantasy, not as a humorist. He did write a series of four comic fantasy novels featuring a character named Lafayette O'Leary; in any case I haven't read him and can't comment on his humor.

You wrote: "For the English I much prefer, Bertrand Russell".

You may have trouble understanding Mark Twain (a novel affliction, in my experience, since he's one of the most transparent writers in literature), but I often have trouble understanding you.

What do you mean "for the English"? There isn't much of it in Principia Mathematica. Which of his works do you find congenial? If you're referring to his nationality, are you actually suggesting that you pick a single Englishman, and keep him as a kind of literary pet?

Cal lash, when I called you Mr. Green Jeans I was mocking your "I'm just a dumb country boy" pose, which you trot out whenever you feel like being passive-aggressive. You've listed a number of books in previous threads, which you said you were reading or had read, some of which were highly scholarly, specialized non-fiction dealing with abstruse research topics.

You're going to have to come up with a new tactic to express disapproval of my comments. Telling everyone that you can't understand Mark Twain and that you can't make head or tail of basic dictionary definitions, does not make me look conceited or affected; it makes you look silly.

Similarly, expressing contrarian views of every humorist, writer, philosophical principle, and observation that I mention or make, is just a brattish reflex, like sticking your tongue out.

Ah com on Emil, I like 99 percent of your out put, But it does feel good at 73 to act really silly and stick my tongue out at the world on occasion. And it seems to be more and more as I age. I feel the terrible two's coming on.
My favorite Laumer's are the Bolo Series.
For his humor I prefer the Retif story's that take a humorous look at military intelligence. Also I like his Dangerous vegetable story.
Betrand Russells, "Why I am not a Christian" helped me thru my young growing pains when I was struggling to decide on Atheism or agnosticism. Being reared by a John Calvinist was rather brutal. I am about half English, a little Scot tossed in and about half German. I seldom find much with the British (rather brutish ole boy) that I care for. Probably not fair as I have not been there but I would rather go to Uruguay.

So keep the data comin but I prefer it when you toss in some of those really comical sharp barbs. I know you got humor I have seen it. I have seen the coming of Hal and David. Not theological but Technological saviors.

I agree And Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice should go to jail also.

On a different note:

Currently congress is in the process of hearing arguments on new rulings concerning EPA’s and the Corps’ scope and jurisdiction concerning the Clean Water Act. ( http://naturalresourcereport.com/2014/05/epa-tries-land-grab-with-water-rule/ )
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is crying foul. They are trying to convince congress that they are responsible stewards of the land and that they should not have to follow the Clean Water guidelines – too much regulation.

What I find most interesting about the influence of The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is that they have effectively removed association of US cattle from ‘Mad Cow Disease’. Except there is a continuing problem of the other mad cow disease known as CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease) which is steadily growing according to the Centers for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/cjd/

On the issue of environmental apocalyptic doom and gloom. I think it best to overreact at this stage of the game. To sedate the obvious is stupefying.
That said, I also think that humans are highly adaptable.

humans not nearly adaptable as cockroaches and coyotes.
and cows are illegal aliens and a part of a bull shit white cowboy myth.

Soleri writes:

One guy, for example, has taught his dog to ride a skateboard. Astonished pedestrians reflexively reach for their loose change when they see this stunt.

Well since we are bashing munis can I have a go?

Portland Oregon is, I believe, the top city in America for dog lovers. Or as Bucky the Katt the other day referred to them: "rump sniffers".

In fact if I recall correctly the average Portland home spends 30 dollars a month on pets. Pets! And you say people are starving somewhere and that schools are broke? But aren't dogs just as important as people things?

I "stand up and beg" to differ on that.

But far beyond that, I wouldn't move to Portland to save my soul. The placed was squashed for me as a destination when I heard the liberals there were all in arms about fluoridation in the water. I mean really... If I want pro level anti-science stupidity I can just stay in Arizona.

Speaking of the pros here in Az....

Az is a gold mine. But you wouldn't know that from reading anybody in main stream or even the alternative media.


If you just happen to read the British mag: The NewScientist you might just know something about what is really happening in the world beyond the Igs and Duhs and Glibertares and Libs gnashing their teeth over who is more secularly stupid...

To wit, the NewScientist, gave a whole page to a particular solar power plant in Arizona. Here's the opening paragraphs:


Renewable energy could help underpin the grid now that the world’s biggest concentrated solar storage plant is up and running in Arizona

In the searing heat 130 kilometres south-west of Phoenix, Arizona, 3000 mirrors carpet hectares of desert. Part of a power plant that produces about 900 gigawatt-hours of electricity a year, they gather enough sunlight to power 70,000 homes.

This is Solana, the largest solar plant of its kind in the world, directly coupled to the biggest non-hydroelectric energy-storage system in the US. Opened in October 2013, it's a zero-carbon power plant that could underpin the energy grid of the future.


It is a scientific miracle. It stores energy in giant tanks of molten salt to turn turbines long after the sun has gone down. Arizona should be building dozens of these. Frigging dozens. But I'll make a bet with you:

I bet that fewer than 1% of Americans even know that Solana exists, and even fewer Arizonans....

How's that for stupid?



To be clear, I don't believe in apocalypse as derived from Christian eschatology. Apocalypse denotes a sudden cataclysmic catastrophe followed by deliverance and a new beginning. But in reality there is no deliverance. Fortunately, there is no big bang erasure, either. Just the flow of history where tragedy is the norm and peace and prosperity the exception.

Mankind will certainly adapt and survive. Whether this particular civilization will survive, and how many will survive, well, who knows? It wouldn't be the first one to go down. Those feedback loops tend to be rather unpleasant after exponential growth. The suffering is already here, it's just not symmetrical.
In any case, the 21st century will be an exciting era, and in a strange way we are privileged to witness it.


The issue of government agencies "abetting climate change and costly sprawl" seems to be systemic at all levels. It is a big problem here in Yavapai County, where Prescott slowly and without a whimper gives away the trappings of its status as the county seat.

The first huge loss was the construction of the new Superior Court building and County Jail on the desert outskirts of Camp Verde. The latest news: the Health Department plans to build new administrative offices in the town of Prescott Valley. The latest census estimates show that Prescott Valley has surpassed Prescott in population.

On her 150th birthday, Prescott is a grand old dame, all dressed up in the crown jewels of her history, but too tired and stuck in her ways to hold on to or build her fortune.

Geez Jon,
That location was obvious as can be. Secure large facility without much residential surrounding it. I note it has stuff that appears to be much more suited to certain other alphabet soup agencies.

I also see that airport right next door. Hmmmm, can you say rendition....

Consolidation was cover for more.

As usual.

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