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By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Jim Pelley

July 15, 2012 (Ocotillo) -- Photographer Jim Pelley captured this inspiring image of sunbeams illuminating the proverbial silver lining of this storm cloud over the desert in Ocotillo.

There is a tragic irony to this spectacular image, however.

The landscape in shadow beneath the stormcloud is being destroyed, as excavation continues for the Ocotillo Express industrial wind energy facility.

The photo at right shows the excavation for a single massive wind turbine foundation, dwarfing the very same mountains behind when seen in broad daylight. 

More than a hundred towering turbines are slated to be built, each over 450 feet tall--the height of a 45-story building.  Each will have a blade span sweeping an area the size of a football field. At night, flashing red lights on the new forest of turbines will illuminate the dark desert skies.

Savor the spectacular desert panorama of the sun setting over an undisturbed horizon, before it is forever gone.


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 Nothing less than sublime.

 Nothing less than sublime. How anyone could sacrifice this kind of grandeur for crass political reasons will forever remain a mystery to me.