(TheProudRepublic.com) – Disproving the radical left’s green energy narrative, a Harvard University study has highlighted a critical dilemma in Massachusetts, where the need for increased solar energy is causing increasing deforestation.
In a summary of its collaborative study with Harvard Forest, Mass Audubon emphasized the high environmental cost of solar expansion, noting that the conversion of over 5,000 acres of land for solar installations since 2010 has actually led to increased pollution.
The state’s ambitious emission reduction targets—50% by 2030 and net zero by 2050—rely heavily on the carbon-absorbing capabilities of forests. As Jonathan Thompson, Harvard Forest’s research director, communicated to The College Fix, the path to achieving these goals doesn’t necessitate a choice between solar development and forest preservation. With 25GW of solar potential identified in developed areas, Thompson posits that Massachusetts can allegedly uphold its commitment to net-zero emissions while maintaining vital natural landscapes.
In an attempt to promote solar energy, the report proposes strategies for solar siting, such as leveraging rooftops, parking lots, and other already developed lands—approaches that enjoy public support. Apparently, over 85% of Massachusetts residents favor such practices over the disruption of forests and farmlands. The study also advocates for policies that favor low-impact solar deployment and financial strategies to lower the costs of rooftop and canopy solar projects.
The Harvard Gazette summarized the study’s policy recommendations, emphasizing the potential for the Democratic inflation-inducing Inflation Reduction Act’s subsidies to foster solar power production.
However, the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s research fellow Paige Lambermont expressed skepticism about solar energy’s reliability and the wisdom of subsidizing it. Lambermont criticized solar power for its dependence on sunlight and the challenges it poses to grid operators due to its intermittent nature. She argues for the elimination of government interventions like those in the Inflation Reduction Act, asserting that reliable power is a policy choice.
In essence, the discourse surrounding solar energy in Massachusetts is a microcosm of the broader energy debate, pushing for erroneous environmental stewardship while downplaying the pursuit of other energy sources.