Monday, February 25, 2008

Trees sentenced to death for shading solar panels

Which is more important? Preserving carbon-reducing trees, or maximizing the use of (carbon footprint minimizing) alternative energy sources?

In my home state of California, a six year legal battle ended when the court ruled that a couple must cut down redwood trees on their property that deprived their neighbor's solar panels of the light that makes their existence meaningful. (Read the story here.)

Once again, environmentalist principles have left people stuck between a rock and a hard place, pitting one of nature's largest and most beautiful trees against a synthetic device meant (perhaps ironically) to help mankind take advantage of what nature has to offer.

In this case, technology won, which means another manufactured device will soon be used to sacrifice these trees for the sake of our efforts to preserve the planet for their leafy bretheren.

It just goes to show that you can't make a vegan tofu scramble without killing a few soybeans.

Related: Redwood National Park.


In other news:


Anonymous said...

Read the article again. There was a 30 year old law in place. The couple with the trees broke it. The law doesn't apply to "one of nature's largest and most beautiful trees", it applies to new growth.
It's more effective to change laws before you break them, not after.

Christina said...

Read the other posts to which I link here before making assumptions about my reading comprehension abilities.

It is also more effective to recognize humor and parody when we see it.

Michelle said...

Anyone in the land use and development industry can tell you that enforcement of the laws are directly proportional to the size of the landowner's pocketbook.

Christina said...

And this landowner's pocketbook is exceptionally large if he can afford legal action after paying $70,000 for his solar panels. From what I'm told, that's way more than is really practical for solar technology.

And who installs solar panels in the shade, anyway?

After all of that "plant a tree for your tomorrow" stuff we had thrown at us in the 80's and the governator's solar panel legislation last year, California is bound to have many conflicts like this.

I guess nobody had better plant tall trees over there anymore.

Michelle said...

At an cost of $10/sq ft of solar panel, there's 7000 sq ft! I have a client who owns a 25,000-case winery that operates his facility with a little over 4000 sq ft of panels. This guy in Sunnyvale must have used his Solar Initiative rebate to cover the lawyer's bill.

Christina said...

Your tax dollars at work.

peter kenneth said...

nice concept !!! it is amazing and mind blowing .. thank you for sharing it with us !! and keep sharing your your views with us..