To the Editor:
I have just recently become aware of the proposed solar farm off the Knox Road, and if what I have heard is true, I am flabbergasted that such a thing is even being considered, let alone approved.
As one of the founding members of A Climate To Thrive, I am keenly aware of the issues here. Are we really talking about destroying undeveloped land covered in trees and undergrowth and the home for thousands of creatures for the purposes of solar panels? We are in a full-on climate crisis that goes far beyond the emission of CO2 from fossil fuels – that’s just one effect of our ever-growing consumption of the planet.
Natural spaces are what allow the earth to regulate temperature, water, air quality and biodiversity. Any attempt to create energy from the sun away from fossil fuels, however well-intentioned, that destroys natural spaces is totally counter-productive and incredibly myopic. Any reduction in fossil fuels from energy produced by solar panels is clearly more than offset in a very negative way by the destruction of the natural spaces these panels displace, especially when there is already so much destroyed natural space already available all over this island.
There should never, ever be a reason to destroy still more natural space for “ecological” reasons. That’s just insane on its very face. That’s like cutting off your remaining right leg to try and replace your left leg damaged in an accident.
Parking lots, rooftops and landfills all provide open spaces to collect sunlight without further destruction of natural spaces. If anything, the Planning Board should commit to only ever approving solar energy collection in areas already developed. As we develop (i.e., destroy or desecrate) every new acre, we bring our demise closer and closer, and no amount of renewable energy can bring back what we lose.
I ask that you broaden your focus to see beyond renewable energy production and toward the ecosystem as a whole. Our planet has maintained a stable environment for life for hundreds of millions of years and can continue to do so if only we stop destroying all of creation thinking that we somehow know better.