Childrearing

Science Teacher Helps Persuade Town to Reject Solar Energy Panels Because They Might Suck Up the Sun

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solarWoodland, North Carolina, has a nice big chunk of land near the highway that would be just perfect for putting in a new solar farm, but it looks like that won’t be happening because several town residents objected to the plan, which some of them said they opposed on the grounds that the solar farm might “suck up all the energy from the sun.”

We send our kids to school and try to get them a good, well-rounded education, mostly so that they will not grow up to be ridiculous and afraid of things like solar panels sucking up the sun, but one of the biggest opponents to the solar farm was actually former science teacher Jane Mann. The retired teacher, who once was an educator of children, said she was afraid that the presence of solar panels might prevent nearby plants from photosynthesizing energy from sunlight.

I’m a big proponent of classroom education and never would have pictured myself as a home-schooling parent, but if anything could convince me to change my tune, it’s a science teacher opposing solar farms because they might suck up too much energy from the sun.

According to The Independent, retired science teacher Mann said that she had seen brown plants near solar panels, and thus had ascertained that solar panels made it so that plants did not get enough sunlight. Also, she had reservations about the solar farm because “no one could tell her solar panels didn’t cause cancer.”

Strata Solar Company was the organization looking to install a solar farm in the area–which does already have another solar farm moving into the area–and the company had a spokesperson at the Woodland meeting to address resident concerns. I can only imagine the degree of bewilderment in the spokesperson’s voice as they said, “The panels don’t draw additional sunlight.” He tried to clarify that the panels only absorb the sun that hits them directly, they don’t actually suck any extra sunlight.

It would be pretty neat, from a scientific perspective, if you could make a device that could actually suck power directly from the sun, but it’s not actually physically possible.

“There are no negative impacts,” the spokesperson reportedly argued. “A solar farm is a wonderful use for a property like this.”

But it was all for naught, because the Woodland town council voted three to one against rezoning the land for solar energy collection, and even voted to establish a moratorium on bringing the subject of solar farms up again.

Mann’s husband reportedly said that young people were moving out of the town, and that businesses would not want to move in because of the solar farms.

If there’s anything young people need, it’s good science teachers and an investment in renewable and sustainable energy.

(Photo: dimdimichi/iStockPhoto/Getty Images)