Changes in the ecology of the Mojave Desert
Today we see many large-scale solar plants and wind farms changing the ecology of the Mojave Desert. However there are many other changes being brought about that are not as well-known such as the devastation brought on by the wild Burro and Tamarisk. Fortunately we have people and organizations that are working on these problems and I believe they are making a difference. One of the more important changes in the ecology of the Mojave desert is the advent of the trail camera. With this new technology humanity has a tool that can investigate and experience wildlife without disturbing them.
And the impact of this knowledge is already being felt. As these cameras allow decisions about the ecology and wilderness to be based on facts rather than opinions. The technology of these cameras is simply amazing, presently they can take pictures night and day and hold as many as 8 to 10,000 images. The growth of this technology is going in many different directions.
I think soon you’ll see cameras on the market with telephoto lenses so that you can move the camera 100 or 200 yards away from the trail or water source that you intend to monitor. And rather than storing the data internally, they will no doubt soon have the ability to transfer it to the Internet through the cell system or satellite. So that who is ever monitoring the spring or trail can do so in real time. And while there are tens of thousands of them out there now, no doubt in the near future there will be millions of them in the desert Southwest as the cost drops. Already there are various government agencies that are using these to write tickets and monitor the public. No doubt the public is also using this technology to monitor the government and this is where things are different from some of the old science fiction stories were only the government has this technology. So as this technology matures an individual or an organization will be able to monitor anybody any where. This technology coupled with existing facial recognition technology will soon make changes in many things including wilderness, With facial recognition technology and organization or individual will be able to identify people in their database and get an alarm message to their cell phone that a particular individual is walking down a certain trail or at a certain spring.
These databases will grow from things like a group picture with the names of people at some sort of event. Then downloaded into a database and used to identify somebody miles away on a different day, and these databases will no doubt be traded and hacked by individuals and organizations as they try to monitor each other.
This will lead to a cultural and legal point of view that defines a wilderness as a place where you have no expectation of privacy.