We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Natures inexhaustible sources of energy – sun, wind and tide. … I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. -- Thomas Edison
Solar panels help the environment by producing power from of an off-planet source (the sun) verses the continuous consumption of finite planetary resources.
In short, when we use energy from the sun, we don’t have to pilfer from our own backyard.
Not only does this pilfering burn up a finite resource, but the acquisition of said resource is generally quite destructive – leading to long term environmental damage. Ecosystems are disrupted and quite often destroyed for decades… and sometimes longer.
The following are a list of resources, necessary for the human ecosystem, put at risk by the use and acquisition of fossil fuels.
Solar Panels Help Fresh Water
Fresh water has always been of absolute necessity for the human species. Not only do we drink it, but we farm and bath with it as well. Shortages of this invaluable resource can lead to horrific ends, such as can be seen by the fall of the Mayan Civilization.
Processes such as strip mining and fracking can poison this crucial life-sustaining material for indefinite lengths of time. And all of this is done simply for the sake of producing temporary power – power that could be easily generated by solar panels.
Solar Panels Help The Oceans
The enormity of environmental destruction caused by the use/acquisition of fossil fuels can be easily seen in the event of an oil spill.
Miles upon miles of ocean, sometimes miles deep, can be poisoned to the point where absolutely no life at all can survive. It is an environmental horror beyond imagination, which unfortunately, goes largely unnoticed as it out of site. The effects that we do see at the shoreline are but a small fraction of the elimination and ruination of sea life.
Again, all of this for power that could easily be provided by solar panels.
Solar Panels Help CO2 Emissions
The burning of fossil fuels produces CO2. And while there is considerable argument as to what role the oceans play in the sequestering and venting of this gas, the fact remains that humanity’s current contribution to CO2 production is outside of a natural cycle that has existed for a very long time.
As solar panels do not burn fuels but rather produce energy from sunlight, there is no CO2 being emitted in the day to day life of a solar panel.
Solar Panels Help Acid Rain
CO2 is not the only gas being produced in the process of burning fossil fuels. There are a multitude of chemicals being vented into the atmosphere – both in unnatural forms and levels.
Sulfur and Nitrogen are two examples of this.
While both sulfur and nitrogen can be found naturally in the environment, the concentration levels of these two chemicals (associated with the burning of fossil fuels) can quickly exceed the frequency of any natural occurrence. Consequently, the results can be quite devastating.
Acid rain is one such result.
Solar panels can help prevent acid rain as they do not produce emissions in their day to day operation.
Solar Panels Can Help Transportation
Take a moment and consider the broad scope of what is involved in delivering fossil fuel. Ask yourself:
- How many miles do fuel trucks drive every day?
- How many train cars of coal lumber by in your hometown, your state, or even overseas?
- How many ocean freighters filled with crude or LP crisscross our oceans in a year?
The logistics of transporting fossil fuels is enormous and incredible. By way of comparison, solar panels do not require any fuel other than what is provided by the sun – and thusly will not have the same impact on transportation.
Solar Panels Can Help Society
Being a veteran of the Gulf, I have a rather acute understanding of the impact of oil – or more directly the conflict over oil – upon societies.
In just the last 25 years, how many people have died in oil related conflict?
How many lives have been destroyed as the result of one protecting their own fossil fuel related interests in someone else’s country?
This travesty upon humanity is completely unnecessary!
Why fight and kill for finite supplies across borders when the sun shines freely to the entire planet?!
Solar panels produce power by utilizing local and free sunshine, not by consuming something that has been, quite often forcibly acquired, and shipped from halfway around the world.
This to me, is the very definition of destructive foolishness.
There’s been a considerable amount of effort spent trying to persuade us as to what is actually ‘green’ and what is not. And these efforts, regardless of their motives, have done a great job of muddying our perspective.
So I would challenge you with this.
If we can power our lives by means of an off-planet source, then wouldn’t that be better than consuming any on-planet resource?
Forget about how ‘green’ the extraction process is being touted! Why burn up what’s here, when you already have an infinite supply of free energy… right in your own backyard?
Just remember, the sun is going to shine whether we use it or not. If we don’t take advantage of it, then that’s all on us.