Not in My Backyard

Not in My Backyard

On the way to Thanksgiving festivities last week near Flushing, my wife and I drove past a series of solar farms on M-13 — big fields with rows and rows of solar panels that track the sun across the sky to convert light to power. They’re relatively new so they still catch my attention.

What also catches attention are the nearby houses with “No Solar Farms” signs planted in their front yards. I can’t quite tell if the intention is to get rid of the now existing solar farms or prevent more from coming. But there are less signs than there were this summer, so I don’t think they’re winning.

I don’t blame the folks who have the signs. If I lived across the street, especially if I had lived there a number of years, I might not be happy with the development, either. And yet, as far as energy production facilities go, it could be much worse — the filth and noise of an oil refinery, the potential disaster of a nuclear plant, even the sightline dominance of a modern windmill. Heck, not too long ago, nearly every town had local gasworks that converted coal to flammable gas for lights and heat, and I’m told you did not want to live next door to the smell of that.

But in the end, the energy has to come from some place. And solar and wind are at least equitable in that the energy is generated and consumed in the same basic area. Still, people naturally do not want to be on the frontline.

This of course isn’t just a Michigan problem — it’s a global problem. Especially as we try to transition away from fossil fuels and, you know, try to save the planet.

1 Comment »

  1. Jon Lunderberg said,

    December 2, 2022 @ 10:05 am


    Nuclear power is the safest, cleanest, most efficient source of energy.

    “(T)he potential disaster of a nuclear plant” is much less likely than holding a golf club up in the air to try to get hit by lightning.

    I’d be very comfortable with a nuclear power plant in our back yard.

    BTW – when California shut down their nukes, they created more pollution by having to burn propane.


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