Sunday, January 20, 2019

Solar shouldn't be forced on city

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for December 19, 2018)

I'm in favor of solar energy. I'm not in favor of city commissions spending money on it, or on anything else.

The news that the Clovis City commissioners want to spend your money for land on which solar energy could be "developed" sounds like more government-as-usual to me. Once the money is spent, who is to guarantee the land would be used as promised, or that there would ever be a payoff? Spend other people's money now, benefit later... maybe, if everything works out exactly as we imagine, which it never does.

This kind of financial speculation is best left to the market rather than letting politics get involved. The market doesn't spend any money it didn't earn and any risk is voluntary. With politics, all the money is taken by threat (if you don't see the threat, refuse to pay the taxes) and the politicians assume no personal risk. The risk is passed along to you whether you want it or not.

Solar power panels-- which are what is being talked about when solar energy is mentioned-- aren't as environmentally friendly as portrayed. They use a lot of land unless they are placed atop existing buildings and manufacturing them creates toxic byproducts. Nothing is free. For these reasons, and more, governments should stay out of it.

As I say, I like solar power. I have a solar charger I sometimes use for charging my phone. Years ago when I was trying to make my first car-- an electric car-- more practical, I looked into installing solar panels on its roof to help charge the batteries while I drove, or while parked where I couldn't plug in. Unfortunately for my grand scheme, I quickly discovered any benefits were greatly outweighed by the costs, but it had seemed like a good idea at first.

Kind of like government spending your money on anything.

Had I forced other people to pay for my car's solar panels, regardless of any actual payoff, using the excuse that society benefits just because my car could potentially go a few yards farther down the road, I would have been behaving politically. This is something I won't do.

If I'd had the money I would have bought the solar panels myself. Any potential benefit would have been mine alone, but so would the risk. No one else would have been hurt if the idea was a complete failure. It's the civilized way to do everything.

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It's OK to be "white".
It's OK to be male.
It's OK to be heterosexual.

To believe otherwise is dumb. To punish someone for saying so is evil.

But wait, there's more!

It's OK to be "black" or any other "race".
It's OK to be female or a hermaphrodite.
It's OK to be homosexual or whatever.

None of the above categories or distinctions are important. It doesn't matter if you are "white", "black", female, male, heterosexual, homosexual, or anything else. Not one bit.

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It's hard to believe this is even controversial. That saying such things can get a person in trouble. I'll own the truth and accept the trouble.


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