"Dear Witbones" -- Ask A Humorist! is B. Elwin Sherman's agony uncle advice column for the laughlorn. Today's Witboner:
"Lost It In The Sun."
"I saw a story about a guy in North Carolina who is worried about solar panels installed in his town ‘sucking all the energy out of the sun.’ I laughed at first, but then I thought about it a while. I know that you’re no scientist, and it’s clear that I’m not one either, but is there ANY reason to fear that we could go too far with solar power? --- SUN BELIEVER IN BANGOR
Dear SUN BELIEVER: As an energy-seeking species, we went through something similar a few decades ago, when people worried that if we built too many tidal power stations, the resulting water friction would slow down the earth’s rotation.
I’m married to a scientist, and she informs me that yes, in fact, harnessing the power of the ocean does put the brakes on our big blue marble, but the effect is so negligible that we’ll be okay for the next few hundred million years or so. She explains this by telling me all about “angular momentum” and “rotational kinetic energy.”
Yowza! I don’t know why I find it so sexy, but it's always a turn-on when she talks science-y to me. Sometimes I’ll ask her things like why we all don’t have identical fingerprints or why no two snowflakes are exactly alike, just to hear her whisper sweet somethings like ‘volar pad regressions’ and ‘deuterium atoms’. That kind of pillow talk keeps the spice in our love life.
I did ask her about your life-sucking sun anxiety, and she told me to assure you that you needn’t worry. We can’t deplete the sun’s energy simply by redirecting it after it gets here. She then went on talking “parabolic troughs” and “heliostat power towers” and I’m now ready to jump her bones.
Thanks for Witboning, and please keep me posted.