If your faith in humanity is on a downward turn due to the incredible ignorance of the frontrunners for the GOP presidential nomination and you fear for the future of America, this may not be the story for you.
The small town of Woodland, North Carolina has voted down a zoning permit for a solar farm and placed a moratorium on future solar farms after the concerns of local residents were heard at a town forum recently. With three other solar farms already approved around an electrical substation in the middle of nowhere, the latest attempt by Strata Corp to complete the circle, making it an easy hookup to the town’s electrical grid, was a no-brainer.
A no-brainer until the residents came with their concerns. That’s when a no-brainer turned into an all-out stupidfest of idiocy.
Mary Hobbs, who has lived in the town for 50 years, says it is becoming a ghost-town with no jobs or opportunities for young people. How that has anything to do with solar farms is beyond comprehension, but okay. She also says her land is worthless because she is surrounded by solar farms. She apparently hasn’t considered that if she’s that close to solar farms her land was probably already worthless when an electrical substation became her neighbor, long before solar came knocking.
Jane Mann, who is ironically a retired science teacher, is concerned that photosynthesis, which depends upon sunlight, would not happen and would keep the plants from growing. She said she has observed areas near solar panels where the plants are brown and dead because they did not get enough sunlight. Perhaps she was looking directly under the solar panels, since solar panels don’t “steal” sunlight from surrounding areas.
She also questioned the high number of cancer deaths in the area, saying no one could tell her that solar panels didn’t cause cancer. There are plenty of people who could tell her that solar panels don’t cause cancer, she’s just too dense to listen.
Her husband Bobby said the council was “killing the town” and that all the young people would move out. Somebody should inform Mr. Mann that young people are well aware of the value of solar farms and the need for clean, renewable energy sources. That’s the least of the town’s problems, though, according to Mann. He says that solar panels will “suck up all of the energy from the sun” and that businesses wouldn’t come to town.
He may be on to something there. With all of those solar panels taking up the sunlight, the rest of the town would likely fall into a perpetual state of darkness. Sadly, this is not satire.
The energy company addressed the town, pointing out that solar panels are safe and non-toxic, that the farm is perfect use of the land that is available and that the benefits of solar power far outweighed the risks.
None of it mattered in the end, as a majority of the town council voted against the sciency stuff and sided with the ridiculous concerns of the people. It seems that in a Utopian North Carolina society you don’t need to worry about reality to make an argument against something you fear because you don’t understand it; you can just make stuff up.