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Obama’s Solar Energy Fantasy

In true postmodern fashion, objective facts have vanished in the mist of a progressive wish.

by
Jeff Perren

Bio

July 24, 2010 - 12:00 am
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The projects can’t actually improve the environment through the deployment of huge solar panels. Installing large panels takes large tracts of land in sunny areas, usually far from electricity consumers. That means building more roads, stringing longer cable, and handling more cadmium (a heavy metal needed to produce the panels). That’s before even considering liberal shibboleths like producing copious greenhouse gases and disrupting the habitat of native desert species.

No matter. In the manner of applying failed Keynesian economics to energy production, just build them ever bigger and what seems like a drawback magically becomes an advantage. Parallel to the economic error, such projects look only at the immediately visible effects, not the whole picture.

They can’t actually create power economically. Because of clouds and seasonal variations, all solar power plants require backup from other sources, such as coal, natural gas, or nuclear power plants. That’s solving the problem twice, increasing the costs. And that doesn’t even count the still woefully low efficiency of current solar technology, technology no one yet knows how to radically improve.

No problem, according to the postmodernist. Just pretend. Pretend hard enough and circumstances will comply. No need to feel constrained any longer by objective reality; there’s no such thing. There are only different perspectives. Just wish upon a star and your dreams can come true.

Spot a contradiction in the plan? Just take a “wider perspective” and all contradictions vanish in the haze of “competing narratives.” Hegel’s philosophy has been Disneyfied by Dewey’s followers and the resultant over-made up hag is ravaging American energy policy.

But reality always has the last word and it’s never soft on self-deluded dreamers. Unfortunately for us, it’s even harder on those forced to go along for the ride and pay the fare besides, especially on a train going nowhere.

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Jeff Perren is a freelance writer. Educated in philosophy and physics, the lure of writing soon outweighed science. He lives in the Pacific Northwest and blogs at Shaving Leviathan.
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