S3E20: Desert Protection versus Climate Capitalism: Can we have both?

S3E20: Desert Protection versus Climate Capitalism: Can we have both?

Don't call us shills. It won't work.

A representative of a Canadian mining firm poised to damage Ash Meadows and the Amargosa says opponents might be shills for oil and gas companies. We take him to task. We often hear that sacrificing natural landscapes is a necessary evil for renewable energy. But as Rebecca Wisent says, “...the conversation now is almost entirely about ways to handle climate change without changing how we live.” We can do better.

We're going on a brief hiatus: Back July 9. 

About the episode:

Chris Clarke is the host of the "90 Miles from Needles" podcast and a prominent advocate for desert protection. His extensive work includes contributions to the Desert Advocacy Media Network, where he serves as the driving force behind several conservation initiatives. Chris is also heavily involved in local grassroots movements and has a wealth of knowledge about the ecological and cultural significance of desert environments.

Joe G. is the voiceover artist for the "90 Miles from Needles" podcast. His role adds a dynamic and engaging element to the show's introduction and closing segments.

Episode Summary:

Welcome to another impactful episode of the "90 Miles from Needles: Desert Protection Podcast," hosted by Chris Clarke. In this emotionally charged episode, Chris dedicates the show to his late brother-in-law, Greg Oberg, and announces a brief hiatus to address personal and professional commitments. Moving forward, Chris dives deep into the heated opposition faced by Rover Critical Minerals in Amargosa Valley, where residents are raising concerns about the potential environmental damage of lithium mining.

Throughout the episode, Chris Clarke utilizes his platform to shed light on the environmental and social ramifications of resource extraction, highlighting the stark opposition from local communities, environmental advocates, and indigenous tribes. With compelling arguments, he challenges the narrative that pits renewable energy initiatives against environmental conservation, calling out the misleading tactics used by companies like Rover Critical Minerals. By emphasizing the need for a balanced approach that considers both human needs and ecological preservation, Chris provides a thought-provoking discourse on modern energy policies and desert protection.

Key Takeaways:

  • Personal Tribute: Chris Clarke dedicates this episode to his late brother-in-law, Greg Oberg, and announces a short hiatus for personal and professional reasons.
  • Community Opposition: The residents of Amargosa Valley are unanimously opposed to Rover Critical Minerals' lithium mining plans, citing threats to local groundwater and ecosystems.
  • Environmental Conservation: Chris highlights the tension between renewable energy projects and environmental protection, criticizing the tactics of some industry proponents.
  • Desert Advocacy: The episode underscores the importance of protecting desert habitats and respecting the cultural and ecological significance of these landscapes.
  • Unified Resistance: Diverse groups, including environmentalists, local communities, and indigenous tribes, are coming together to resist harmful mining practices in the desert.

Notable Quotes:

  1. "Gregory Oberg was an excellent brother-in-law. Thank you for everything, Greg." - Chris Clarke
  2. "People in Amargosa Valley are justifiably upset at Rover Critical Minerals." - Chris Clarke
  3. "There is no renewable energy industry. There is just the energy industry." - Chris Clarke
  4. "It's just ego. Just ego is all it is." - Chris Clarke
  5. "The degree to which we, as a species, disregard the importance of any other species we share this planet with…" - Chris Clarke


For those passionate about environmental conservation and interested in the delicate balance between energy development and ecological preservation, this episode is a must-listen. Stay tuned for more from "90 Miles from Needles," and join us at the next watering hole. See you on July 9.

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