Greg Scott, Livermore
Much appreciation to Friends of Livermore and Friends of Open Space and Vineyards for their lawsuits on the Aramis Solar Project in the North Livermore Valley. These are not "spurious lawsuits" as Alan Marling contends in his "More Solar, Less Lawsuits" letter in The Independent on 9/2.
The Aramis Solar Project is a development that will greatly impact the land and the ecology of the North Livermore Valley. It is not so simple that utility-scale solar electric is all good without deleterious effects. Neither is utility-scale solar electric the great panacea to climate disruption.
In California, 41% of our emissions are from the transportation sector and 18%, which includes 7% from the emissions from out-of-state imported electricity, is from the electricity-generation sector.
Overall, in the U.S., transportation is 29% of emissions and the electrical-generation sector is 25% of emissions. We will not meet President Biden's goal of 50% reduction in emissions by 2030 largely because of our failure to lessen transportation emissions.
We are reducing vast areas of biodiversity habitat and agricultural land production to install utility-scale solar electric. It is projected that by 2030, two million acres in the U.S. will be covered by utility-scale solar electric. Factor that in with the loss of yields from millions of acres of agricultural land in California receiving only 5% of usual surface water allotments. We are losing agricultural production to expand utility-scale solar electric production. Very expensive production from agrovoltaics is an infinitesimally small part of utility-scale solar electric installations.
Rarely is a problem from a single cause. Our forests are burning from both climate disruption and forest mismanagement. It is not "radical environmentalists" (Paul Stone, "Irony and Ideology", The Independent, 9/2) deciding to put so many cabins and houses in the wildlands interface where you cannot safely have control burns in the increasingly drier conditions. We have to think about what we are structurally doing in and around our wildlands and the management schemes involved in the response to climate disruption. Climate disruption is not going away anytime soon.
We have both a loss of biodiversity crisis and a climate disruption crisis. To accentuate one to solve another does not make sense.
Mr. Marling purports that the lawsuits "were funded in part through misleading information published in The Independent" without stating what that "misleading information" is. A rather weak argument without any support given.