Such is the state of education in the American South. And if you are wondering, the source of this story is not The Onion.
The town of Woodland, NC voted down a zoning variance that would have allowed a solar energy farm to be built. Furthermore, they instituted a complete moratorium on all solar energy development. Because of the solar farms, Woodland is becoming a ghost town and young people are leaving for lack of opportunity, said Mary Hobbs at the town council meeting. (Note from the reality-based community: there are no solar farms in Woodland. The one that was voted down would have been the first and only.) Ms. Hobbs also said that her home is surrounded by solar farms and is no longer worth its value because of those facilities. (remember – there are none there, at least not in the universe of observable reality that you and I occupy).
Jane Mann, a retired science teacher (!), noted that photosynthesis depends on solar energy, and if the farm were allowed to be built, no sunlight would remain for the plants to use in this critical process. Won’t someone think of the
children plants? She also observed, probably truthfully, that nobody could tell her solar panels do not cause cancer. The high number of cancer deaths in the Woodland area (which, remember, lacks any solar farm) are therefore a solid reason not build a solar farm.
Her husband, Bobby, noted that communities dried up when I-95 came along. And of course a solar farm producing clean electricity is obviously exactly like a new highway routing traffic away from your town. He went on to note that a solar farm would suck up all the energy from the sun and businesses would not come to Woodland. Being a man, of course, he had less concern for frippery like green plants than did his wife.
It’s easy to be snarky at these idiots, but think: that woman was a science teacher. How do you suppose her former students are doing at evaluating this issue or others? Scared is not the right word for how I feel about this, because part of “scared” is, you are not sure what will happen. But I have no doubt what will happen.