Featured, Outdoors

Are We Throwing Out the Baby With the Bath Water? 

By Tammy Beamer

   A few weeks ago a political candidate’s representative held a meet and greet at the Fairview concerning the political candidates’ voting record. 

   There was a young  man (14 Years old) who spoke to his opinion that the use of fossil fuels was ruining the world’s future, although he was sitting there with a cell phone, tennis shoes, and clothes on that were all made by using the byproducts of fossil fuels and that  a car that would not exist without the use of fossil fuels had brought him to the meeting. 

    The fact that all development in the County that has taken place including the additions to the school  were coming from the tax money that has been collected from the oil and gas industry in the County was pointed out to him.  He still indicated that he was against the use of all fossil fuels. 

   Traveling away from the state, there were huge farms that had provided all kinds of fruit, nuts, berries and other farm produce as well as pine tree farms that provided many wood products. 

In the middle of this beautiful, flat, farmland, as far as the eyes could see were areas covered over with black panels. 

   It didn’t take long to realize that these were solar panel farms. Yes, the farms that were being used to produce food had been converted to farms to produce electricity. 

   After living in oil and gas country, where wells are drilled in the hills and the lands reclaimed around the wells, there was no way to prepare to see miles of solar panels on flat land whose best use is to produce crops just be used to produce power. 

   Trees can’t be grown above these panels nor grow crops below them, the panels and all of the lines and wires are the only inhabitants of these properties, taking away the green space and food that these farms used to provide. (Where was the ground cover to prevent erosion? How were the streams in the area being protected from the runoff of the top soils in the area?)

   And what happens when these panels wear out or are wiped out in an EMP strike? Will there be huge solar panel grave yards setting on property that is best used to produce food? 

  Should flat land whose best use is for farming be converted  to these ugly, miles of solar panels or should we be trying to meet our needs for more power  by finding a half way point so we aren’t making matters worse by throwing out the baby (fossil  fuels)  with the bath water (change to solar and wind energy)?