Saturday, January 26, 2008

Legal battle: tree hugger v. global warmist

The law in California says that homeowners are not allowed to let their trees grow if the trees block more than 10% of their neighbor's solar cells. In Sunnyvale, CA, Richard Treanor and Carolynn Bissett, an environmentally conscious couple who drive a prius, planted redwood trees in their backyard. After the trees were planted, neighbor Mark Vargas put solar cells on his roof which charge his electric car. Everything was fine until the trees did what redwood trees do: they grew. Vargas complained and the San Jose Mercury News reports that the county DA is now demanding that the trees be cut. Treanor and Bissett say they have incurred $25,000 in legal fees defending the right of redwoods to grow.

Kurt Newick, a solar cell salesman who also happens to be chairman of the local Sierra Club global warming committee, sides with solar cells which he says reduce global warming more than trees. On the other hand, supposing someone started cutting down, say, national forests, in order to use the land for solar cells, don't you think that the Sierra Club would change its mind.

The law in question was written by Assemblyman Chuck Imbrecht, a Ventura Republican, and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 1978, the height of Pres. Carter's energy crisis.

Hat tip: Instapundit.


Anonymous said...

You all are a bit misinformed. Solar panels save substantially more green house gases than a handful of trees.The difference we are talking about is acres of equivalent trees people. The Solar Panel owner in my opinion is being more than reasonable (i.e. offering to pay for trimming, etc.) whilst the so-called environmentalist who's in violation with the trees is speaking out of both sides of their mouths. They are playing the hurt little lamb which is complete bull. The solar panel owner is in the right and even by the law. Funny how the media doesn't bring out the facts completely. There is talk that one of the tree owners works for a local nearby city and you might want to sit down for this...purchases solar power for the city. Oh so ironic eh? The tree owners are playing the hurt little lamb and they are 100% hypocrites. Enough said...

John said...

The last time I saw an analysis of this, which was a few years ago, it took more energy to produce a solar cell than the cell would produce in its entire lifetime. While I suspect that modern solar cells are better, the newspaper articles that I saw ignored the issue completely. Possibly, this is because reporters have idealistic notions that come from never seen semiconductor manufacture first hand. Have you seen any recent analysis of solar cells and CO2 that included this?

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