Letter to the editor: Resistance to solar doesn’t make sense

To the editor:

Chad Lawhorn’s Town Talk about resistance to the proposed solar project north of Lawrence identified concern about the loss of “productive farm ground” as the basis for some of the opposition to the 1,100-acre solar installation. Lawhorn noted that solar panels can be installed so that productive farming and grazing can continue beneath them. Indeed, such systems are being developed in many locations in the U.S. and around the world. Industrial-scale production of corn and soybeans, using huge tractors and combines are not compatible with solar installations. Most industrial corn in Kansas and the U.S. is used for animal feed, mostly cattle and hogs, which have the largest carbon footprint of all agricultural products. Much of the remainder of this industrial grain is used to produce ethanol, which also has a large carbon footprint.

A solar installation close to Lawrence located on fertile soil presents a great opportunity to develop an innovative system of agriculture that produces food for humans. Rather than organize resistance to the solar project to protect industrial agriculture, we can organize to ensure that Savion and Evergy design and implement the project to be compatible with the production of plant-based food for humans. This is the core of the agricultural change needed in Kansas and the world. Resistance to renewable energy projects in Douglas County reflects a failure to recognize the gravity of the carbon crisis.

Wayne A. White,



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