[ExI] What's Wrong With Academic Futurists?

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Wed Jan 29 09:32:58 UTC 2014

On Wed, Jan 29, 2014 at 2:37 AM, spike wrote:
> On the contrary sir.  The grass will not grow without sufficient sunlight.
> Farmland sacrificed to ground based solar cannot be effectively
> double-purposed.  You could have wind farms with GB solar below.  However,
> the cost effective solar support structures physically rest on the ground,
> rather than raise them in any case.  So if you did something kinda weird
> like feed your sheep on grain in the same field as your PV panels, those two
> uses still don't play well together, unfortunately.

This system probably doesn't apply to desert areas where grass won't
grow anyway, without constant watering, but in more green countryside,
Grazing sheep are a practical means of controlling weeds and grasses
that otherwise would block the sun from ground-level solar arrays. The
practice, begun in Europe, may well become a world standard, and has
already spread to America.

> What you find puzzling is that the humans seem to be placing their solar
> panels in all the wrong places, way up in the northern hemisphere at
> latitudes and climates where they are so limited, all while ignoring some
> excellent places for PVs.  You see that solar panels are going in on top of
> excellent farmland, while unpopulated sunny wasteland is untouched.
> You and your fellow Martians conclude that humans are apparently smart and
> stupid at the same time.

Unfortunately this applies to other things as well. In general, the
sunny parts of the world are poor, third world countries with little
money to invest in projects that they sorely need.

As an idea, the Gates foundation which is currently concentrating on
World Health Care, might move on to providing every village with a
solar power energy system.


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