“Green” solar has eaten up about 4,000 acres of private forest land in RI and MA.
When government creates incentives, even with good intentions, it has an effect on people’s behavior. Clark University Geography Professor John Rogan tells Scott O’Connell of the Telegram & Gazette, out of Worcester, that his team was surprised by the extent of damage solar mandates have done in these parts:
According to Rogan, through a combination of using satellite imagery, machine-learning algorithms, and other free resources, his team found that in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, nearly 4,000 acres of private forest land have been cleared to make way for solar arrays.
“I was personally shocked there was that much forest land converted to solar,” Rogan said, adding the situation illuminates one of the drawbacks of the country’s push for green energy alternatives. “Solar always comes up as a potential solution, but the issue is how you do it sustainably – I don’t think we’ve thought that far ahead.”
Several Rhode Island towns have grappled with this, including Tiverton, where 15 acres of farmland and a centuries-old farmhouse fell under the saw for solar. As the endless stream of door-knocking rooftop-solar pitchmen and -women proves, there is big money to be made in capturing those government incentives.
Perhaps the realization of what progressive government has unleashed is playing a role in the Biden Administration’s softening on nuclear energy. Although, the openness of Americans to accept any new implementations of that energy source is doubtful.
Everybody wants lots of cheap energy, but nobody wants it to be near them. Of the options, however, knocking down trees and taking up space with ugly black panels (that include toxic materials) seems like a particularly bad tradeoff.