The Cool House: An environmental dilemma

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

An environmental dilemma

Redwood trees versus solar panels: Which is the more environmentally-friendly?
I caught this cautionary tale and moral dilemma about a neighbor dispute and a supposedly "green" law in California on story on NPR's Morning Edition. Listen to the podcast here.

I have a gut reaction to this. I'm on the side of the trees. Perhaps I'm biased, after all my house has redwood siding, a redwood ceiling and landing and this wood is now protected. I really appreciate the beauty and strength of the sequoia, all the more so because it's really difficult to get any if we have a siding disaster at any time.
Trees are inherently more eco-friendly than solar panels. They are, after all, living things not "public nuisance hazards". Imagine the global warming effect if every person with solar panels on their roof decided to use this law to force their neighbor to remove their trees. If we chop down all the trees to allow more sun to reach the solar panels we choke and die on the smog they absorb for us. Then there's the useful shade they provide, the habitat for birds and animals and the seeds...
Dr Seuss said it best
I'm the Lorax who speaks for the trees
which you seem to be chopping as fast as you please.
But I'm also in charge of the Brown Bar-ba-loots
who played in the shade in their Bar-ba-loot suits
and happily lived, eating Truffula Fruits.
NOW...thanks to your hacking my trees to the ground,
there's not enough Truffula Fruit to go 'round.


Jennifer said...

Wow... how disgusting. The man with the solar power is NOT an environmentalist. NOT at all.

It's so sad when trees lose out to technology.

Mika said...

That is really sad. That is, as they say, not seeing the forest for the trees.