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An Environmentalist’s Dilemma

A California couple was ordered by a judge to cut down two redwoods on their property.  The trees blocked sunlight to a neighbor’s backyard solar panels in violation of California’s Solar Shade Control Act.  The law requires homeowners to keep their trees or shrubs from shading more than 10 percent of a neighbor’s solar panels between 10 am and 2 pm.  Existing trees that cast shadows when the panels are installed are exempt, but new growth is subject to the law, which is the issue in this case.

I did not see any outrage expressed by environmental groups in this case.  Chopping down redwoods would seem to be anathema to environmentalists.  There would be two less trees available to absorb “evil” CO2.  What is the right answer in this case?  Save the trees or render an investment in solar energy useless?  Alternative sources of energy are not perfect and pose risks to the environment.  The risks must be considered as well as the benefits.

Posted 03-05-2008 1:27 PM by Scott Choinski
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