From the fabricator: Beware the Mohave ground squirrel!

As many people know, I really have a strong interest in solar. I believe in its potential to help the world. However, I am amazed daily over the obstacles this technology faces, and this week yet another amazing story came out. A solar install in California that could power more than 2 million homes was called off because of concerns about the impact on the Mohave ground squirrel. Now, I don’t know about you, but I never ever heard of this specific style of squirrel, and quite frankly, I am pretty bummed that said squirrel is standing in the way of tremendous progress. The whole solar movement is caught in a major contradiction. The people who want to live green and reduce our reliance on oil and coal, love solar… but if it hurts a squirrel or a turtle, well then no way. So getting it straight, let’s settle for things that may be harmful for humans but protect the wildlife.

And trust me, I have come to love animals. My wife brings another one home each week I am gone. But you can’t tell me in our incredible world of minds that we can’t figure out a way to use land in the Mohave Desert and find homes for these various species. No way. We sent men to the moon and we now talk on iPhones that can start your car from thousands of miles away. We can do this. Why we don’t is befuddling and will hurt all of us in the long run.


  • Gas will go to $5 per gallon. I know I say this every year, but it’s happening here and now. Believe me, if we can’t figure out how to save a turtle, we surely can’t help but watch gas prices go through the roof.
  • We are now a month from Glass Week and BEC. Are you going? If you are on the fence, let me give you yet another reason to get there. Courtney Little of Ace Glass in Arkansas is doing a presentation called “Good Business Practices: Knowing the Cost of Doing Business,” and it should be a dandy. Ace has done some amazing projects in the past, and this presentation should include some must-see stuff.
  • The ABI slipped some in January but was still in positive territory. The folks at AIA are still “cautiously optimistic” going forward, but the cold hard truth will start to rear its head next month. If it stays above water, the index could be right on track for what many of us expect: an improvement in the economy at the end of the year. If it slips, the signals for a more protracted downturn will be very clear.
  • If you somehow missed the blog by Nicole Harris last week, you really need to take a minute to read it. It was an awesome take on an important subject and done without bias. Really well done.
  • It was reported last week that PPG showed requests for LEED documentation were up 300 percent from 2007. No doubt LEED is a monster, but I am betting PPG picked up at least 100-percent-plus based on my interview with their green guru James Bogdan! Ha Ha. Seriously though, it is amazing how LEED has become a part of our lives and all the more reason to see how the current legal activities against the USGBC (the group behind LEED) play out.
  • Was thrilled I wasn’t the only one last week who was bummed Eminem didn’t win the Grammy he should’ve. But on a related Grammy note: I just hope when Glass Magazine’s own incredibly talented Katy Devlin wins hers, she remembers us little folks in the glass industry.

Read on for links and clip of the week...

Max Perilstein is chief marketing officer for Vitro America, Memphis. Write him at

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors. 


Hey Max, on LEED, you know I love it and think it's awesome that PPG had a three fold increase in document requests. I was about to blog about this last night, put it on hold, maybe I'll still publish it. There is a ton of good in a LEED certified building but to what expense? Have we looked back in the manufacturing stream to ensure the components used (that even might help with points int he building) were clean and green for the workers who made them? I know several glass coatings that are made by folks that are nasty for the plant workers but end up not emitting enough VOC's in the building to not be considered. I think either USGBC needs to come up with a component investigation arm or someone needs to dovetail a component certification system into the LEED program. It's "greenwashing" at it's best. 


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