Misinformation on Clean Energy Rampant in Heartland

December 12, 2022

Critical problem that I’ve been working on for quite a while is just starting to get the attention it deserves.

All of the great clean energy programs and goals will not mean much if we aren’t able to site clean energy, solar and wind, across the heartland. The fossil fuel industry knows this, and have trained and deployed dozens of operatives across the country, who are supported on social media by a network of “think tank” organizations who keep a steady stream of disinformation flowing to be shared by local “anti” groups that inevitably spring up wherever clean energy is proposed.

The template is to herd as many unsuspecting locals into a closed facebook page, where no dissent is allowed, and feed them a steady stream of disinformation. Pretty soon you have a small but very vocal cadre of angry true believers willing to descend on local township and county boards with a stream of nastiness and invective, even death threats. It looks very much like those videos you see of angry folks showing up at School Board meetings to ban books, and shout about “furries” and kitty litter in the school bathrooms.
Covid has just made the isolation, anger and paranoia worse, so it’s been like steroids for these bad actors.

In the areas I’ve been involved, we’ve won a few and lost a few, but the fight is real, and by no means is there a sure outcome.

Above, this is how you do it. Getting good information out by whatever means, in rural areas that are often “news deserts” where local newspapers have closed, and radio stations are often part of conservative conglomerates with political agendas. In most cases it’s face-to-face interactions, in this case, some local journalists have created a podcast to support local discussions and news.

Here, a very active disinformer shows up to a township meeting with a recording purporting to be the “noise” from solar panels.
Pretty good example of the type of misinformation we see again and again. But when you have a captive audience on Facebook, there is literally no pushback.

Below, recent communication from a solar supporter in Indiana.


5 Responses to “Misinformation on Clean Energy Rampant in Heartland”

  1. redskylite Says:

    Most of the Fact Checking services that are available to us are reasonable on “Climate Change” mis/information checking, but not much is available on energy. You could assume that energy is run by properly trained individuals that will choose the best, cost effective and cleanest options available with a long term plan, but it sadly seems it is not so, at least universally.

    Maybe the real professionals in the energy business need to startup energy fact checker outlets to counter the outrageous misinformation.


    “We found most of the claims being fact-checked were made by politicians, about 81%. That suggests fact-checking services tend to spend most of their time in a watchdog role, checking claims politicians made.”


  2. Anthony O'Brien Says:

    Even onsite consumption has big possibilities. Unless you are hit directly by a disaster, you have power. Use the carparks for solar, no one is going to complain about the shade. Generate more than the building uses and use the excess to provide some charging stations.

    Did I say no one will complain about the shade? You will get one.

    The area under solar panels is still good for grazing and animals also appreciate the shade. Electric combine harvesters won’t happen anytime soon, but lots of other stuff can be electric.

    You keep on wanting to see the big picture, envisage the little picture millions of times over.

    Imagine no power companies just everybody with their own renewable systems. Small towns with small town sized systems.
    A much smaller grid to handle excesses and shortfalls

    Power generated onsite does not have to go anywhere else.

    If the power distributors cannot get the picture, cut them out of the picture.

  3. Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

    How did the SUN 101 shows go Greenperson?

  4. mboli Says:

    Concerned citizen: Solar farms make too much noise!
    Greenman, holding db meter: Really? Solar farm opponents are far noisier.

  5. ubrew12 Says:

    If you’re worried about toxic chemicals leaking out of your solid-state devices, like solar panels, you might want to wrap your laptop in plastic and deposit it in a landfill. And please just don’t ever step in a car, ever again.

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