The Joshua tree. The beloved gnarled California icon—revered by desert aficionados and nature conservationists and considered to be endangered—is nevertheless under assault in a weird twist: environmentalists battling environmentalists.


The tree is held in such high regard by people who love the natural world that supergroup U2 named perhaps their finest album after it, titling their 1987 multi-hit record simply “The Joshua Tree.”


The symbolism was not lost on their fans.

But woke is pitted against woke, as the ancient trees now face the chopping block as the crazed “green energy” crowd is poised to destroy the land and thousands of these ancestral growths:

A renewable energy company will soon begin clearing thousands of protected Joshua trees just outside this desert town, including many thought to be a century old, to make way for a sprawling solar project that will generate power for 180,000 homes in wealthier coastal neighborhoods.

The 2,300-acre project has angered residents of Boron and nearby Desert Lake, two small Kern County towns where the poverty rate is twice the California average. Residents say their concerns about construction dust, as well as the destruction of the mostly pristine land that is habitat for endangered desert tortoises, have been ignored by the county and state officials who approved it.


Deric English, a teacher who works at a local high school, points out the obvious conundrum in the Golden State’s latest outlandish overreach: 

Let’s destroy the environment to save the environment. That seems to be the mentality.

It’s hard to comprehend.

Most of these operations are hidden from view.

It’s rural communities that are most often railroaded by this mad push, as “trade-offs” are commonplace:

The controversy over the Mojave Desert project is an example of the trade-offs being made in California as state and local government officials press for a rapid expansion of clean energy. Although solar and wind fields are expected to help mitigate climate change, they are also tearing up undeveloped land, harming threatened plants and wildlife and causing concern in nearby communities, which are often small and far from the state’s cities.

“Rural communities that don’t have political power just get ramrodded over,” English said.


Is this really the future that the environmental crowd envisioned—destroy nature in a crazed attempt at so-called renewables? And are they aware that once the trees have been demolished, their God-like plans may not work out exactly as planned?

Unintended consequences:

Oops, Giant Hail Destroys Large Portions of 3,000-Acre Texas Solar Farm, Residents Fear Chemical Leak

For a New Solar Farm in California, Sometimes You Have to Kill a Tree to Save a Tree

Even the leftist rag that was formerly the esteemed Los Angeles Times has been inundated with outrage from their mostly extremist readers: Opinion: Kill Joshua trees for a desert solar project? Readers want none of it.

One commenter’s response summed up what many thought:

Most of us environmentally concerned people in the desert Southwest knew from the get-go that this “save the planet” ethos was only going to go as far as NIMBYism and corporate greed would let it.

I’m surprised the Times even allowed this to be printed, as they make their extremist ethos clear: “But we’ve gone far enough down the climate change road that we must now consider trade-offs, and this is one of them.”

“Trade-offs,” right. 

I’m no tree hugger, but this is wrong, plain and simple. In the name of “environmentalism,” they’re destroying the environment with their unsightly, species-destroying farms. I’d feel better if they were going to get a little old something known as “oil” out of the damaging effort. 


New York congresswoman Vickie Paladino summed it up:

This is all much better than building a few modern nuclear plants.