Thursday, May 17, 2012
Astro-tourism Hits Pyramid Lake
Thu, May 17, 2012 | link
RENO, NV (I.R.I.S.) -The planets are literally aligning this weekend over
a crowd of 8,000 people who will be on Native American lands that have been closed to crowds like this for more than two decades.
“It is a significant moment, it is the alignment of the three heavenly bodies that sustain our life,”
said Paul West of Symbiosis, a 6-day music festival that will rock and sway the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribal lands starting
Symbiosis is a festival that moves and according to celestial and other epic scenic locations. This
time, that celestial scene appearing in the Reno area is the position of the moon in front of the sun, an eclipse that begins
shortly after 5 p.m., Sunday. Only a few places are graced with being able to take advantage of this astro-tourism.
The Reno area is one of only four places in the nation where this eclipse, called an “annular eclipse” will
be fully visible.
The annular eclipse is different than a regular eclipse. In a regular eclipse, the moon covers
the sun so that only the corona of the sun is revealed. But in an annular eclipse, the moon is farther away from the earth.
So, the moon appears smaller and doesn’t cover the whole sun. That means the corona and a thin ring of the sun will
be visible around the moon.
“What you get is a brilliant fiery ring around the moon,” West said. Combine
that with previously closed tribal lands, a dramatic massive desert-terminus lake, and a huge volcanic pyramid in the background
and they hope this could be the site of a life-changing vision for thousands.
“Our thing is we want to give
people a transformational experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives,” West says. During the actual
eclipse, the festival will be silent, it is the moments leading up to that silence which could truly change lives with knowledge
that one can bring home and apply.
The number of events, musicians and classes that will be offered over the six
days is too extensive to cover in this short article, and you can get most of the information at http://pyramideclipse.com/.
But, here are some of the highlights:
A lot of the visitors are going for the music, which aside from the
hour or so of the eclipse will run 24-hours a day the entire 6 days. According to West, more than 1,000 musicians applied
to play and they were very selective. The bands and artists includes local Reno musicians as well as musicians from 40 different
countries. So you could say it has close to every kind of music under the sun.
Those musicians will be getting
their electricity from a pretty unique source: “All the power on site, triple-hybrid mobile power stations, wind, solar
and biofuels,” West says, with the exception of a few vendors who might not follow that protocol.
of vendors, there will be a kind of green shopping mall, and that isn’t the only family-activity. There will be a kids
biosphere with activities for youngsters. No festival is complete without a plan for trash. In this case it involves dish
“We have refillable hydration stations. No disposable eating ware,” West says. He added that
a group called “Wastebusters” is setting up dish washing stations with dishes that you borrow for a deposit and
then people wash them for you.
They also have trash reduction strategies. “A massive army of volunteers that
make this happen,” West says. Unlike most volunteer events, “We have way more than we need,” he said, how
many? 1500-2,000 volunteers.
Among these volunteers are experts in what is called “permaculture.” Briefly,
West described it as strategies to leave the land better than when they got there behind. For instance, greening the desert
strategies. One example of that is digging small trenches to collect rainwater that allows water to soak into the ground instead
of evaporating. That re-charges the groundwater and feeds plants.
“In this (permaculture) case we will be
leaving the tribe with a recycling and composting system,” he says.
This event is quite a shift for the tribe.
The area had been closed because during a previous festival, visitors left behind something very unwanted: vandalism.
The gift that the Symbiosis organizers plan to leave behind is already making waves in the Nevada tribal community. It is
called “protocol,” according to Rachel Mosley, a member of the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe “My dad
noticed that when he started giving gifts to others it really opened up more doors. These new-agers are picking up on this
and it is a huge sign of respect,” she said.
This means that Symbiosis and its “protocol” is
even opening up doors for Mosley who will be attending the festival.
“I think its cool because it (the area)
was closed even to tribal members like me,” she said. “I have never been in that area because it has been closed
for so long. It’s nice to see the tribe is opening up to complete strangers.”
Foreclosure Meltdown Slows Geothermal Interest in Nevada
Thu, May 17, 2012 | link
RENO, NV (I.R.I.S.) - Nevada is desperately trying to bring high-tech, high-paying
jobs to the state, recently approving efforts to become a proving ground for unmanned aircraft, driver less cars and renewable
energy. In a report released Tuesday, Nevada’s effort appears to be paying off with more projects and prospects in renewable
energy than the three closest states combined.
But in a conference call about the report, geothermal industry
experts said the renewable energy effort in Nevada is being impacted by the states foreclosure meltdown. Shrinking demand,
from fewer homes using power in Nevada has the geothermal industry exploring opportunities elsewhere.
the end of the day you have to be able to sell your product,” said Karl Gawell, Executive Director of the Geothermal
Energy Association. Gawell introduced executives from multiple companies who explained that they are exploring projects from
Oregon all the way to Turkey.
One company that has ramped up exploration in Oregon is Nevada-based Ormat Technologies.
“Nevada has seen a decline in demand in the state due to foreclosures and so from a developer perspective,
we are looking to other states where demand is still consistent,” said Paul Thomsen of Ormat.
the Annual US Geothermal Power Production and Development Report released Tuesday, Nevada has 75 projects and prospects; California
has 26; Oregon, 18; and Utah, 8.
While the interest in Nevada may be waning, the industry is highlighting its most
dramatic growth since 2008, increasing production just under 3 percent over 2010.
The growth industry-wide is
just ramping up, after regulations were streamlined in 2005 and implemented in 2007 according to Thomsen.
are doing more exploration now than we have ever been able to do and that translates into projects,” Thomsen said.
Despite all the projects on the board, Gawell said many see geothermal at a “cliff because their credit is about
He was referring to federal tax credits for geothermal that are about to expire. While a “cliff”
could be one perspective, “not every investor is going to make the same bet," implying that some may see an opportunity.
And there is a lot of room for growth with 3 million megawatts of potential geothermal that could be recovered according
to the report. That is potentially nearly 1,000 times more capacity than currently on-line.