In 4 billion years, the sun will explode. A few hundred million before this affair, it will swell to the size of Earth’s orbit, at which point our planet will be consumed in red Armageddon.
For now, the sun radiates down a generous 3,766,800 exajoules of energy annually (that’s a billion billion joules). The sum of all human industry demands a mere 500 exajoules per year.
Let us not care about solar because of its economic value — viable as it is. Rather, by scaling up solar infrastructure, we can ensure that future generations might grow up as we did: with fresh air and clean water and thriving lands. Transitioning to clean energy is an inescapable goal if we are to preserve the health of the sculpted Piedmont in the west, the immense beauty of the coastline to the east and everywhere in between.
I implore the reader to act. Call your North Carolina legislators. Urge them to pass legislation to scale up solar. They should make it easier, not harder, to cultivate the bountiful energy offered by our sun. Doing so is necessary for the long-term stewardship of our state — and our planet. For the Earth to meet its final destiny at the hands of the sun, instead of inaction, would be a beautiful conclusion indeed.
— Eric Schwartz