Pur Autre Vie

I'm not wrong, I'm just an asshole

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Response to Stimulus

This slideshow is pretty impressive.  It depicts Ivanpah, a multi-billion dollar solar power project partly financed by the federal government (and built on government land).

So far, according to the accompanying blurb, $56 million has been spent relocating desert tortoises.  That's partly because the government carefully vetted the power company developing the project to make sure it is sensitive to environmental concerns.  I've obtained a transcript of the interview that Ivanpah's CEO, Leon Kowalski, underwent before obtaining the loan guarantee.  The interviewer is Tim Holden, a Democratic member of Congress from Pennsylvania:

Holden: You're in a desert, walking along in the sand when all of the sudden-

Kowalski: Is this the test now?

Holden: Yes. You're in a desert walking along in the sand when all of the sudden you look down-

Kowalski: What one?

Holden: What?

Kowalski: What desert?

Holden: It doesn't make any difference what desert, it's completely hypothetical.

Kowalski: But how come I'd be there?

Holden: Maybe you're fed up, maybe you want to be by yourself, who knows? You look down and you see a tortoise, Leon, it's crawling toward you-

Kowalski: Tortoise? What's that?

Holden: Know what a turtle is?

Kowalski: Of course.

Holden: Same thing.

Kowalski: I've never seen a turtle. [pause] But I understand what you mean.

Holden: You reach down, you flip the tortoise over on its back, Leon.

Kowalski: Do you make up these questions, Mr. Holden, or do they write them down for you?

Holden: The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over but it can't, not without your help, but you're not helping.

Kowalski: What do you mean I'm not helping?

Holden: I mean, you're not helping. Why is that Leon? [pause] They're just questions, Leon. In answer to your query, they're written down for me. It's a test, designed to provoke an emotional response. [pause] Shall we continue? Describe in single words, only the good things that come in to your mind about: your mother.

Kowalski: My mother?

Holden: Yeah.

Kowalski: Let me tell you about my mother. [shoots Holden and flees]

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