The scene in a recent town council meeting in Woodland, North Carolina played out like a mediocre episode of South Park when ignorant townspeople used their back-country hick-town education to prevent the rezoning of land which would have been used for a solar farm due to concerns about the panels causing cancer, impeding photosynthesis, and sucking up too much sun.
A retired schoolteacher from the area expressed concerns that the solar panels would prevent plants from using photosynthesis. Her basis for this claim? She had noticed some vegetation around the sites of current solar panels looking brown and dead. That’s a great use of the scientific method, Teach’!
The retiree also expressed concern about the risk of cancer she felt the solar panels posed.
“I want to know what’s going to happen. I want information. Enough is enough.”
The husband of the retired schoolteacher also threw his opinion into the mix, saying that solar farms would “suck up all the energy from the sun” and that somehow, this lack of energy would cause businesses to move out of town.
A legitimate concern, you might say. So let’s look at this. The sun produces, each hour, enough energy to give each person in the world (that’s 7 billion people) a light bulb which would continue to shine brightly for each of our lifetimes. And that’s just in an hour! The sun continuously pelts the earth with 35,000 times the amount of energy required by all of us who now use electricity on the planet, so clearly, there is plenty of sunshine to go around.
Additionally, one of the solar panel company representatives Brent Niemann reminded the brain-dead townspeople that the solar panels don’t “draw additional sunlight,” but only absorb sunlight that is directly reflected onto the surfaces.
In the end, the ignorance from the schoolteacher, her husband, and the army of other uneducated citizens were successful. The land has not been rezoned, the solar farm has been rejected, and a moratorium has been placed on allowing any future solar panels to be installed in the town.
I’m sure fossil fuel executives somewhere are cheering as they see yet another uneducated and ignorant town reject alternative energy sources in favor of earth-killing alternatives. Way to go, North Carolina!