In his sunny ode to his native North Carolina, “Carolina in my Mind,” legendary singer/songwriter James Taylor sings, “In my mind, I’m going to Carolina. Can’t you see the sunshine, can’t you feel the moon shine?” Well, the town council of Woodland, North Carolina has made a decision that could reasonably make us wonder if their love of a different moonshine has impaired how they see the sunshine.
Apparently, one resident of Woodland, North Carolina has seen fire and rain now fears that the sunny days he thought would never end may do just that, if the town allows a solar farm to be built in their county. According to today’s Huffington Post, the Woodland town council has rejected a zoning permit for a solar farm “after  residents voiced fears it would cause cancer, stop plants from growing and suck up all the energy from the sun.”
The plan, which was proposed by the apocalypse-inducing Strata Solar Company, was to rezone a stretch of land off of US Highway 258 for the farm. On the surface, many Woodlanders probably thought this was a good idea, since there seems to be global consensus that solar power is one of the cleanest and most renewable energy alternatives to oil and coal. Even the rest of North Carolina has succumbed to the seductive pull of solar power, as the state ranks 4th in the country in solar panel installments. Although the state’s investment in solar power has created jobs and grown the economy, according to Solar Power World, the solar bubble will eventually burst, leaving the state’s economy depressed and its landscape very dark.
At least, that was the warning of one courageous Woodland couple, Bobby and Jane Mann. They showed up at the citizens council meeting to warn their community of the disastrous consequences a solar farm would have for their community. First, Bobby shocked the council by informing them of the underreported scientific fact that the sun’s energy was finite (blame the liberal media). He explained that a solar farm would “suck up all the energy from the sun and businesses would not come to Woodland.”
While Bobby focused on the threat the farm posed to the sun’s energy reserve, Jane warned that the solar farm would kill the area’s plants and spread cancer. A retired science teacher, she offered expert testimony that the solar farm could sabotage photosynthesis in the area. In lieu of actual scientific evidence to support this claim, the local newspaper reported that Jane provided a narrative of how “she has observed areas near solar panels where vegetation is brown and dead because it did not receive enough sunlight.” How the panels were responsible for the dearth of sunlight in these areas is unclear, but the council seemed convinced, nonetheless.
In light of Bobby’s argument, Jane’s theory makes sense. If the solar farm deplete the sun’s energy supply–and the town council clearly has it on good authority that it will–then photosynthesis would obviously cease in the area. Simply put, Woodland wouldn’t just become very dark, but barren, as well, a pitch-black desert in northeastern North Carolina. No, James Taylor, they wouldn’t see the sunshine in that scenario, and to cope with this bleak wasteland they used to call “home,” many would likely need to consume much moonshine.
Jane’s concerns about the proposal did not just focus on the plant-killing powers of solar panels. She also added that solar panels cause cancer, citing the large number of cancer deaths in the area. Apparently, the causal link between these deaths and preponderance of solar panels in Woodland is so obvious that she felt no need to support the claim with scientific evidence, either.
Ultimately, Mr. Mann put everything in perspective with his doomsday forecast to the council. “You’re killing your town,” he warned. “All the young people are gonna move out.”
Strata Solar Company representative Brent Niemann tried his best to mitigate the damage the Mann’s courageous stand threatened to cause his proposal. “The panels don’t draw additional sunlight,” he feebly remarked. He also tried in vain to assure the council that the panels do not cause cancer: “There are no toxic materials on site. This is tried and true technology.”
However, Niemann’s words proved insufficient. When Mayor Kenneth Manual called for the vote, a 3-1 majority rejected the rezoning proposal, thus protecting the land and its people from more sun-draining, cancer-causing solar panels.