Earlier this autumn, sometime at the end of September or beginning of October, a friend of mine went on at great length about solar energy. She had recently retired from teaching and was spending some of her lump sum on having solar panels installed on the roof of her house. She was delighted with the results, especially as the sun kept shining and she was generating lots of energy. I don't suppose her panels are doing much at the moment but no doubt the sun will shine again one day soon. She is still very enthusiastic.
In North Carolina, USA, on the other hand, where I suspect they have rather more days of sunshine than we have here in Greater Manchester, a small town has recently rejected a proposal to allow a solar energy company to build a solar farm off Highway 259. Now I know that a solar farm is a bit different from a few solar panels on your roof. And I know that some people think that such a development could be a bit of an eyesore. But the reasons for rejecting the solar farm are quite different, indeed surprisingly different.
At a council meeting to discuss the proposal, a local businessman said that solar farms would suck all the energy out of the sun and as a result businesses would not want to set up in their town. Wow!
Then another person said she was worried that the panels would prevent plants in the area from photosynthesising, thus stopping them from growing. She said she had seen areas near solar panels where plants had turned brown and dead because they did not get enough sunshine?
So this one is offering evidence from observation. This is just what you might expect as she is ... wait for it ... a retired science teacher.
Yes, there we have a retired science teacher, who presumably has studied science to a high level, degree level, endorsing the idea that solar panels suck all the energy from the sun and make plants die!!!
What kind of science teachers do they have in the United States?