Oh for Fox sake, get your facts straight

This one is a classic misrepresentation of facts to support a political bias of a media company. In a Fox News interview the trio of journalists have worked out that the reason that Germany’s solar energy industry is so much further along than America’s is not because of the difference in the government of the country it is because Germany is “a smaller country, and they’ve got lots of sun. Right? They’ve got a lot more sun than we do.”

Yep. A categoric lie, or just a complete lack of understanding but the result is the same. Millions of people watching Fox News now think that solar energy won’t work in the States because there isn’t enough sun!

So, just to clarify. Do a google search on global solar irradiance and you can find a whole plethora of legitimate sources of information on how much solar energy is received around the world. As one example the Global Network Energy Institute has the image below.

20130212-204042.jpg

It’s possibly hard to make out the figures from the image so let me help, the following figures show energy output from a solar panel in different locations around the world.
Berlin (Germany) – 121 kWh/m2/year
New York – 169 kWh/m2/year
Seattle – 147 kWh/m2/year
Arizona – 353 kWh/m2/year

All higher than Germany! Even the east coast of America where the journalist said that California may get a lot of sun “but here on the East Coast, it’s just not going to work”. Wow!

The article at slate.com is worth the read. I’d not come across slate.com until I got sent a link to the article but it looks like a cool site. Thanks to Toby Coates of Cundall Sydney for finding the article.

As a strange aside, because I like strange asides, when you type fox or news on an ipad with a word inbetween it doesn’t capitalise the F or the N, but when you type fox and news together it automatically capitalises the F and the N!

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