(NaturalNews) A satire science story from NationalReport.net (1) has gone viral after warning readers that solar panels are draining the sun's energy. The most remarkable thing about the story is not its hilarity but rather the fact that so many readers took it seriously.
The article claimed to quote the Wyoming Institute of Technology issuing a warning: "...the solar panels capture the sun's energy, but pull on the sun over time, forcing more energy to be released than the sun is actually producing."
The user comments below the article deliver layer upon layer of uproarious laughter at both the science illiteracy and gullibility of various netizens. Many readers apparently thought the article was entirely serious and harshly criticized the bad science it seemed to espouse. Other people characterized the article as propaganda distributed by big oil companies to try to make people hate solar power.
Almost none of the comments offered thoughts like, "Hilarious satire piece! ROFL!" (Which would be the most appropriate comment.)
Instead, user comments say things like, "The sun has no idea if there is a solar panel on earth or not we get less than on billionth of the suns rays and the solar panel get less than a billionth of the light that hit the earth dumbest thing I have ever heard." (Yep, that's exactly the comment, word for word.)
Another user named Fovolitsa writes, "This is just pure evil. I understand a company's fear of bankrupcy when new technology makes its product obsolete. But to attempt to manipulate the public into ignorance and make people scared of a concept that may be a great solution for our planet to survive the massive wear we've put it through just to maintain a monetary fortune that won't mean anything when we start to become extinct due to our own selfishness and idiocy is just sadistic."
Commenter Keith Wiley at least contributes some sanity to the comment conversation, saying, "The comments on this article virtually erase all my hope for humanity." (Arguably the most sane comment of all.)
Bizarre lack of basic science education
I've found similar responses, by the way, when I publish satire articles here on Natural News. There always seems to be some segment of the internet at large which is wholly detached from even a rudimentary understanding of the laws of physics.
I've even seen journalists commit amazing acts of science illiteracy in their reporting. For example, there was a wave of stories a few years back about a scientific breakthrough that would "allow cell phones to run on water."
It turned out the inventor had merely found a way to convert the physical movement of water through tiny channels into a very small electrical current which could theoretically power mobile devices. Yet none of these stories bothered to consider the pump that would be required to move the water through those channels in the first place... and how would that pump be powered, then?
There are lots of similar stories floating around about "air-powered cars." They really run on compressed air, so they aren't "powered" by air. You have to use a lot of energy (electricity, coal, gas, etc.) to compress the air in the first place. The "air" is just a medium of compression, not a fuel. But this distinction seems lost on many members of the public who simply don't grasp the difference. (And for the record, compressed air cars are extremely inefficient in terms of energy use per mile, once you include the energy cost of compressing the air in the first place.)
On the subject of radiation, I've heard all sorts of bizarre distortions from the public. Some people literally believe that microwaving foods causes those foods to become "microwave emitters" which continue to beam microwaves all over the place after you remove them from the microwave oven.
So when a satire story claims solar panels will suck all the energy out of the sun, it's no surprise that a certain segment of the population believes the story to be true.
Global warming? Global dimming? Global cooling?
With all this in mind, consider the fact that many members of the public have zero capacity to assess evidence of global warming, global cooling, climate change, global dimming or any other such phenomenon.
Most people's beliefs on these matters -- regardless of which side of the fence they fall on -- have no basis whatsoever in critical thinking or scientific evidence. Because a population that believes solar panels will suck the energy out of the sun really isn't qualified to even begin to understand the complexities of atmospheric science.
I'm convinced you could tell the masses that icebergs will cause global cooling because they will detach from the "arctic plateau" and drift toward the equator where they will freeze the oceans. Frankly, almost any narrative could be sold to the public, regardless of whether it makes any sense at all. And in many cases, that's exactly what's happening: the public is being sold a bill of goods under the guise of "science" on issues like HPV vaccines, mercury in vaccines, the quack science of "safe" herbicides and pesticides, voodoo economic "science" that promotes banker bailouts and much more.
All the fake science we're being told right now
We've all been told, for example, that mercury in vaccines is actually "good for children" and may increase their academic scores!
For decades, we were all told that cigarettes were really healthy and that doctors smoked them, too!
We've been told that flu shots are really, really important for your health even though they only cover last year's flu strains. (Technically, flu shots only work if you are a time traveler headed into the recent past.)
We've been told that pesticides are safe to eat, DDT is safe to inhale and Agent Orange is harmless. These all fall into the same category of quack science idiocy as claiming solar panels will "drain the sun of energy."
Never believe corporate science
In truth, much of the "corporate science" we are all told these days is really just quack science repackaged to sound authoritative. The corporations have figured out that a population suffering from astonishing deficiencies in basic science education is incredibly easy to hoodwink on issues like GMOs, vaccines, fluoride in the water, antidepressant drugs, global warming and anything else under the sun.
Most of the advertising and propaganda on all this is designed to appeal to a citizen who quite literally believes the moon is made of cheese or that spaceships sound like fighter jets as they scream around in outer space. (Almost every space movie ever made is an absolute insult to the laws of physics.)
In truth, clear thinking about science is extremely rare in society today... even among lawmakers, journalists and many members of the medical profession, believe it or not. That's why I continue to call for improved science education in our public education system.
The more science our children are taught, the less easily they will be hoodwinked by quack corporate science, deceptive drug advertising and pseudoscientific government propaganda.
In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.
With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.