Hungry for Change; Solar Panels are not on the Menu

By: Herb Eckerlin

United Nation scientists met in Geneva, Switzerland last week to shed new light on the global warming issue.  They have concluded that human-caused climate change is dramatically degrading the Earth’s land, and the way people are using the land is making global warming worse.

These conditions are creating a vicious cycle that is making food more expensive, scarcer and less nutritious.

The UN scientists believe that humanity must change the way it uses the land to avoid “world hunger.”  Given that reality, why are we covering arable farmland to build solar power plants that cover thousands of acres?

In light of the scientists’ conclusions, can you think of anything more irresponsible? 

Removing farmland from agricultural production is not a gradual process like the effect of global warming on the land, it is instantaneous.

The UN scientists have sent us a warning.  It is: “You had better change your ways before you do any more damage.”  As NASA climate scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig has stated, “The cycle is accelerating.” 

The threat of climate change and the improper use of agricultural land will affect our future food supply and create, in the scientists’ words, a “Hungry Future.”    

We have to find another way to address the Global Warming problem, and preserve our future food supply. Placing solar panels on agricultural land is simply making matters worse …. much worse.  Let us heed the warning of these scientists.  

To avoid a “Hungry Future,” we had better change our ways and stop taking farmland out of agricultural production. 

Dr. Eckerlin has over 60 years’ experience in the energy field, including experience in electric power plant operations (with VEPCO – now Dominion Power), electric utility boiler design, and solar research and design.  In 1987, he founded the NC Solar Center to promote solar energy in all its forms across the United States.  He is now retired and is Professor Emeritus of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University. 

Any views or opinions represented in this blog are for informational purposes only.  They are personal and belong solely to the blog owner and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated.  The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information.  Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, or organization, company, or individual.

One reply on “Hungry for Change; Solar Panels are not on the Menu”

I believe that solar panel canopies on parking lots are a reasonable alternative to putting solar panels all over Virginia farmland and forested land. Along those lines, the author of this article — — discusses the possibility of localities requiring developers to cover a certain/minimum number of parking spaces with solar panel canopies in their new developments.

The author states:

“Most municipal zoning ordinances already require a minimum number of parking spaces in relation to the square footage of the building the lot is to service. They regulate the size of the parking spaces, the quantity of them, and the surrounding landscape. Why not require a minimum percentage of energy-producing covered spaces in order to mitigate the increased peak-hour electricity demand created by the new construction?
The legal basis for such a requirement is no different than the installation regulations for a parking lot in the first place – to mitigate impact. When a certain development increases the demand for already scarce energy during peak hours, the solar parking lot requirement would help ease this peak-hour demand. After all, the massive air conditioning units for most commercial and industrial complexes undoubtedly increase the risk of a power outage on scorching summer days, so it seems reasonable to have these developments mitigate this risk with clean energy-producing solar.”

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