The extreme environmentalists on the left — you know, the ones who block the construction of pipelines and demand that we completely abandon all fossil fuels and focus solely on renewable energy — purportedly want to save the earth by significantly reducing greenhouse gases and carbon emissions in the United States, usually through increased use of taxpayer-subsidized solar panel and windmill farms.
Imagine their surprise, then, at the results of 2016 study from Utrecht University, published in the science journal Nature, that showed that long-term, solar panels have a bigger net impact on increasing “global warming” than emissions-releasing, fossil fuel-utilizing energy production sources.
According to The Daily Caller, the study looked at 40 years’ worth of data and concluded that while more modern versions of solar panels may ultimately result in a net reduction of carbon emissions over the span of decades, most solar panels actually don’t last long enough to attain such a result.
In fact, when considering the amount of carbon emissions released in the production of the solar panels, such as from the mining of the materials used or from the factories that assemble them, solar panels are actually causing damage to the environment instead of reducing it.
An even more stunning revelation that should throw environmentalists for a loop is that even though carbon emissions have been steadily on the decline in the U.S. since 2007, it isn’t because of renewable energy sources like solar panels or windmill farms.
Instead, a 2015 study by the Manhattan Institute revealed that the increased use of the horizontal fracturing technique to obtain natural gas, better known as fracking, is actually responsible for the reduction in carbon emissions.
That study found that solar energy was accountable for a roughly 1 percent reduction overall in carbon emissions, while the increased use of fracking accounted for a nearly 20 percent reduction in carbon emissions as more and more factories and power plants switched from coal to the much cleaner natural gas.
You likely won’t hear the media or many environmentalists admitting this, though, just as they ignore the fact that solar panel and windmill farms routinely kill birds by the hundreds or thousands in some areas or ruin the natural habitat for countless other animals both small and large, endangered or not.
Keep this information in mind for the next time some wacky enviro-statist demands that we give up all our oil and gas to focus exclusively on renewable energy sources, which simply aren’t yet ready for prime time as they are still too expensive and don’t yet do what they are purported to do.
Perhaps in time, with some private investment and technological advancements, renewable energy sources will become capable of handling the load required to keep this country running smoothly and efficiently without contributing further damage to the environment. That day is simply not yet here.