Saturday, February 23, 2008


Interesting story I found out of California. Mark Vargas of Sunnyvale has won a lawsuit against his neighbours, who will now be forced to cut down 2 large Redwood trees in their backyard. The reason? They blocked sunlight to the extent that they limited the effectiveness of solar panels installed on Vargas's roof.

We are now cutting down trees to save the planet? Vargas argues that the CO2 reductions he is going to achieve from his $70,000 solar investment is the equivalent of at least three acres of trees, so the sacrifice of the two in his neighbours yard is the right thing to do.

Vargas's neighbour, Richard Treanor, argues that the trees pre-dated the installation of the solar panels but will not appeal the lawsuit.

It turns out California law protects a homeowners "right to sunshine" and guarantees that vegetation cannot block sunlight to more then 10% of a neighbours solar panels. Experts believe confrontations similar to this will happen more frequently now that more and more people are installing home solar systems.

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