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Education Government Politics

North Carolina Town Defeats Big Solar's Plan To Suck Up the Sun (arstechnica.com) 760

mdsolar writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica: The citizens of Woodland, N.C. have spoken loud and clear: They don't want none of them highfalutin solar panels in their good town. They scare off the kids. "All the young people are going to move out," warned Bobby Mann, a local resident concerned about the future of his burg. Worse, Mann said, the solar panels would suck up all the energy from the Sun. Another resident -- a retired science teacher, no less -- expressed concern that a proposed solar farm would block photosynthesis, and prevent nearby plants from growing. Jane Mann then went on to add that there seemed to have been a lot of cancer deaths in the area, and that no one could tell her solar panels didn't cause cancer. "I want information," Mann said. "Enough is enough."
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North Carolina Town Defeats Big Solar's Plan To Suck Up the Sun

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14, 2015 @06:13AM (#51112969)

    Srsly, I'm amazed that some people are clever enough to breathe.

    • by silentcoder ( 1241496 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @06:28AM (#51113003)

      Im ready to call an outcome: Trump wins that town in the primaries.
      If he gets the nomination he wins that town in the general too.

  • Scary... (Score:5, Funny)

    by muffen ( 321442 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @06:24AM (#51112993)
    Finally someone stands up to these big energy companies, the co2 emissions from the sun far exceeds anything produced by burning oil, and the radiation have caused massive problems with equipment!

    The sun is dangerous, we need to stop using it!
  • by tomknight ( 190939 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @06:31AM (#51113013) Homepage Journal

    I think there might be other reasons for young people moving away. Their narrow-minded elders, a town council willing to be swayed by nonsensical arguments, the simple pure idiocy that seems to prevail. The people who stay are happy with the situation (or just can't get out).

    • by dj245 ( 732906 )

      I think there might be other reasons for young people moving away. Their narrow-minded elders, a town council willing to be swayed by nonsensical arguments, the simple pure idiocy that seems to prevail. The people who stay are happy with the situation (or just can't get out).

      He may actually be a cunning politician. The argument "solar farms don't pay taxes and don't employ anybody permanently" isn't strong enough to extract concessions from whatever developer is putting the solar farm together. If you want to extract concessions, you have to show that you can seriously threaten the project unless you get what you want. Is that extortion and/or payola? Maybe it is. An industrial project that will make lots of money and pay little or nothing in taxes isn't my idea of how thi

    • All 6 of them.

    • Places like Woodland exist purely as places for people to come from, not go to.

  • Piling on (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mycroft-X ( 11435 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @06:46AM (#51113049)

    I appreciate that the summary and associated news stories are presenting a fair, unbiased view of the situation, free from ridicule and sarcasm (SWIDT?).

    This would have been the THIRD solar farm approved in the vicinity of the town -- there are already two solar projects underway.

    The solar farm would not have increased tax revenues or added value to the town. It would not likely employ any of the town's residents.

    Yes, the town residents are poorly informed about solar -- they have two projects underway and haven't seen the results of them yet.

    The town council did what the town council is supposed to do -- represent the will of their constituents. The solar company seeking the zoning change would have been well advised to work on communicating and educating the town they needed permission from. Why would the town council overrule their voters in exchange for...nothing?

    There's quite a double standard when it comes to education -- take someone in an urban environment who can't name their state capital or point to the United States on a map, and it's the fault of the school system and their environment. Take a similarly ignorant person for a rural environment and suddenly they become a willfully hick and fully at fault for not seeking out and drinking deep of the cup of knowledge.

    • There's quite a double standard when it comes to education -- take someone in an urban environment who can't name their state capital or point to the United States on a map, and it's the fault of the school system and their environment. Take a similarly ignorant person for a rural environment and suddenly they become a willfully hick and fully at fault for not seeking out and drinking deep of the cup of knowledge.

      That's because the people writing these stories are parents of urban children. And they will

    • Re:Piling on (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Vlad_the_Inhaler ( 32958 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @07:34AM (#51113199) Homepage

      I also thought it was too insane to be true and looked up the local rag [roanoke-ch...herald.com]. Jane Mann really does come across as being utterly demented, her husband only marginally less so.

      • Re:Piling on (Score:5, Interesting)

        by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @08:27AM (#51113397)

        Every community has these kooks. I've had the sad misfortune to be on a jury with one. It took all my willpower not to choke the ignorant bitch. We had a case where a car put on their turn indicator and stopped to let traffic go by before turning. The car behind them stopped and so did 3 others but one girl, very cute and sweet looking, plowed into the back of an elderly couple's car. She stated that she felt it wasn't the girl's fault because she probably wasn't looking. She said that shit completely sincere. It went on like that all day.

  • Nuclear Power (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Solar power is just nuclear power done in a very inefficient way. Here in Maryland we get the vast majority (~65% ) from two nuclear power plants. (And we share most of one with Pennsylvania). Yet people still want to build these tiny little 2 megawatt solar panels that only work during the day.

    • Solar power is just nuclear power done in a very inefficient way.

      On the contrary. It is nuclear power without most of the risks involved and even without having to mine dangerous materials. In fact, life on this planet has evolved to be able to live with it and cannot do without it. So from an environmental perspective, it is "danger in the cloud", all risk are at the "server" (the sun) where you don't want to be anyway, and all benefits are at the "client" (the rest of the solar system). Like most of things in nature, it is abundant, and as long as you do not fight the

      • "On the contrary. It is nuclear power without most of the risks involved and even without having to mine dangerous materials."

        Parent poster didn't say it wasn't safe. He said it's inefficient. Which, well, it is.

        You probably didn't notice the whooosh either.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The mayor and 3 council members are Democrats, the final council member is unaffiliated.

    Woodlawn is 65% registered Democrats. The state does have a single House member who is a Dem and one GOP senator and one Dem senator and a GOP governor.

    So this is a Dem town, like other longtime Dem towns like Detroit, Baltimore and D.C.

    Of course, Ars Technica can't let some accuracy in reporting interfere with getting a big hate going for Republicans who are pretty scarce in Woodlawn. The writer at Ars is one of their m

    • The mayor and 3 council members are Democrats, the final council member is unaffiliated.

      Woodlawn is 65% registered Democrats. The state does have a single House member who is a Dem and one GOP senator and one Dem senator and a GOP governor.

      So this is a Dem town, like other longtime Dem towns like Detroit, Baltimore and D.C.

      Is it that your argument is that Slashdot expects the Democrats to always be the smart ones or that we think all Republicans are stupid? Because, from where I sit, that's pretty ignorant. What we do know is that these people are poor and poorly educated. And to make matters worse, the state is now run by Republicans hellbent on decimating the education system there [npr.org] and they have been quite successful in doing so [indyweek.com].

      So, if this Woodlawn story has you wondering how bad things are currently, how about if we

  • That's OK (Score:4, Funny)

    by 50000BTU_barbecue ( 588132 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @06:57AM (#51113099) Homepage Journal

    Just tell them we'll add two hours to daylight savings time to make up for it.

    • Not even necessary, for a low-low price I can sell them a device that will 100% reverse any light suckage caused by said Solar Panels, or your money back! I guarantee that if my device is bought and run 24/7, any and all effects of the solar panels.... including the cancer they cause.... will be eliminated entirely.

      Is that a bargain or what?! Call me NC!

  • How the GOP get so many voters.

    Trump must be proud of his peeps!!

    rofl.

  • by prefec2 ( 875483 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @07:43AM (#51113229)

    Obviously they are nuts. Solar panel do not scare young people. However, a minimum of 405 idiots might just do the trick. Solar panel do also not suck energy from the sun. We all know that if they do not know that then they never really paid attention to the topics at school. But there is a positive side to that. First, the range of total nut cases is only between 405 and 809. It may be even lower, if people did not vote and if there are any children left. Second, we could promote the town to people who have similar ideas of "reality" and concentrate them in North Carolina. And third, now the town has at least one thing on Wikipedia for what they are famous for. I wonder why such small village is called a town.

  • All the young people are going to move out

    Of course, that could not possibly have anything to do with the town being ruled by a bunch of retired retards.

  • I thought people this stupid only existed in comedy films. However it should be noted that two other solar projects in the same area have been approved and one is already under construction. Sounds similar to something that took place in my area, they were trying to put up a wind farm and same NIMBY arguments were used (they're unhealthy (sound waves) they'll destroy property values (its all farmland anyway), etc). So instead of a new industry brought to our community, increased tax revenue and more (tho

  • Fact vs. Fiction (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14, 2015 @08:10AM (#51113311)

    "All the young people are going to move out."

    If I were a young person and lived in rural America, I would be chomping at the bit to move to a city somewhere. As an older adult that is currently living in rural America, I can wholeheartedly understand. Living in rural America sucks, especially if you're educated and cultured. I spend the first 35 years of my life living in cities and thought country farm living might be a nice change of pace. Boy, was I wrong.

    "The solar panels will block photosynthesis in nearby plants"

    Absolutely true, if we change the word "block" to "reduce." After all, solar panels cast a shadow on the ground, and grass on the ground is a nearby plant.

    But see, here's the reason it is completely irrelevant how this town voted. It is because they voted. We do not live in an authoritarian dictatorship where the technorati or envirorati or hipsterati get to decide for everyone else what is good for them. The voters of a political subdivision get to decide for themselves how to deploy and use their resources, because, you know, democracy. If they want to be stupid-as-fuck rednecks, it is their right whether the rest of us like it or not.

    The one saving grace might be the ACA precedent that gave the government the power to force people to take action and buy products. This may allow the federal government to compel people against their will to buy solar panels and carbon credits and other products the government sees fit we should buy. But, someone with standing will have to sue in federal court that the lack of deploying solar panels is causing them a demonstrable loss. That might be tricky, but if the SCOTUS can apply the same tortured logic that they used in Wickard v. Filburn and NIFB v. Seleblius, then it should be only academic once a test case floats to the top.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mi ( 197448 )

      It is because they voted.

      And yet, what I do on my own land — build a solar plant or dig a lake or raise cows — should not be subject to other people's voting.

      The whole idea of "zoning laws" and "permits" for this and that is absolutely contrary to freedom and property rights.

      • by Xyrus ( 755017 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @09:46AM (#51113675) Journal

        It is because they voted.

        And yet, what I do on my own land — build a solar plant or dig a lake or raise cows — should not be subject to other people's voting.

        The whole idea of "zoning laws" and "permits" for this and that is absolutely contrary to freedom and property rights.

        So you'd be perfectly happy with a strip mining pit next to your house? How about a toxic waste dump? Or a landfill? Hey it's my property, I can do whatever I want with it right?

        If what you want to with your property won't impact others, great. But if it does, then they very much have a say in the matter.

      • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @09:54AM (#51113715) Journal
        Your have absolutely no property rights, other than what your Government protects. Realize what you call your property rights is something people of this country have voluntarily agreed to respect. You can imagine all sorts of rights. Enforcing them without the cooperation of the people around you is impossible. You will be reduced to yet another old man yelling at kids to get off "his" grass.
      • And yet, what I do on my own land — build a solar plant or dig a lake or raise cows — should not be subject to other people's voting.

        I would agree with you but would add "so long as your actions don't affect other people or their land." So if you wanted to dump toxic waste on your land, you shouldn't be allowed to because it will seep into the groundwater and pollute the water for the rest of the town. However, if you wanted to put solar panels on your land and you've completed a mandatory env

      • Localities do have an interest in promoting things like public safety. If you want to put up a subdivision with no fire hydrants, zoning should prevent you from doing that.
  • the solar panels would suck up all the energy from the Sun

    Yeah, the concern about as valid, as the fear, that the inhabitants' flatulence raises the planet's temperature [gizmodo.com].

  • by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @08:23AM (#51113381)

    This sounds just like the silly sorts of thing said by anti-nukes when they're fighting to keep a nuclear power plant from being built.

    So, I take it that the problem here is that they're opposed to something that we like, as opposed to something we dislike?

  • by m0s3m8n ( 1335861 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @08:23AM (#51113385)
    I see bigotry for the southern US is alive and well here on Slashdot. Why look into all the facts when you can parrot this juicy headline.
    • Rev. Jane Vinson Mann is pastor of the Immanuel House of Prayer.
      Her husband, Bobby Columbus Mann, is a truck driver.
      Both are black, in their late '60s.
      It is very unlikely that they are Tea Party supporters.
      It is, however, quite likely that they were educated in underfunded, segregated public schools.

  • I read TFA, Mary Hobbs of Woodland, N.C. lied. Why?
  • I wonder if Canada is accepting the few remaining intelligent, informed Americans as refugees. :-) I've only half-considered moving -- I work for a multinational and could pretty easily get a European work visa through the company. Maybe if Trump wins the election, I'll finally go hand in the old passport.

    This sounds a lot like the same folks who get scammed by homeopathic "doctors" and buy thousands of dollars in quack remedies. Or the people who are scared by exposure to "electromagnetic radiation" and c

  • by drolli ( 522659 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @08:45AM (#51113459) Journal

    this guy is right.... in the shade below the panel, it prevents photosynthesis. So does his house. I suggest we demolish it and let him live in a hole in the ground.

  • are an environmental catastrophe. [bbc.com] Solar panels and wind turbines require huge quantities of rare earth elements, and they all come from China today--even the ore mined in the US is shipped to China for processing. Until this is addressed, the so-called "green" technologies are not remotely green. Restoring our local rare earth industry would also enable local manufacturing of high-tech products, most all of which has been moved to China, for access to their rare earth resources.

    There is no shortage of ra

  • by Guru80 ( 1579277 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @09:22AM (#51113581)
    I was seriously hoping that was an Onion article that escaped into the wild masquerading as a real story but nope, just a whole town of people that obviously worship it's insightful reporting style.
  • by sizzzzlerz ( 714878 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @09:47AM (#51113679)

    Motto: At Least We Aren't Mississippi

  • by SwashbucklingCowboy ( 727629 ) on Monday December 14, 2015 @09:53AM (#51113711)

    I think we should have an intelligence test to be allowed to vote...

If you can't understand it, it is intuitively obvious.

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