For over a decade now, Fox News has been engaged in a perpetual propaganda-laden war against anything its management perceives as liberal. So: Obama, climate science, minorities, Joe Biden, Planned Parenthood, and, yeah, even clean energy technology.
Here’s a montage Media Matters put together of the network’s recent assault on solar power:
And Neil Cavuto alone has time and again lost his shit over electric cars.
But most recently, and most hilariously, Fox ran a segment claiming that the reason solar works in Germany and not the U.S. is because that nation is “smaller and gets more sunlight.”
Shibani Joshi’s “reporting” is so off base that it’s inspired widesread mockery around the internet—the most popular story on Slate right now is titled “Fox News Claims Solar Won't Work in America Because It's Not Sunny Like Germany,” and it features the above clip. It also contains the following map, which demonstrates the amount of sunlight Germany receives vs. the United States.
It's full-on viral humiliation for the Fox folks.
But as the Germany v. US laugh line bounces around the web, let's not forget that the segment gets everything else wrong, too. Claiming that foggy, perennially overcast Germany is sunnier than the nation that’s home to Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and Southern California is only the most idiotic thing she says—it’s not the only thing that's 100% factually bankrupt.
First, she only shows the amount of stimulus money each of the failed solar companies were initially given—she neglects to show how much the government recouped. Also, she neglects to mention that Congress had expected at least $2.5 billion worth of the investments not to pan out—that’s what happens when you invest in high-risk, high-reward technologies—and we’re nowhere near that level of failure yet (the gov lost $60 million on Abound, no more).
The total DOE loan portfolio for renewable energy has actually performed better than expected, but showing the heaps of solar companies that have succeeded is inconvenient for the Fox folks.
Finally, and maybe most strikingly of all, those Fox Friends marvel at Germany’s success while moronically pontificating about how it must be smaller and sunnier or something, as if it were a quaint tiny tropical island nation. Germany has 82 million citizens, of course, and it is among the most heavily industrialized countries on the planet—and it’s not sunny at all. So why is solar booming?
Simple: because the government subsidizes solar way more heavily than we do—and its citizens are fine with paying a little more for energy. Germany’s extensive feed-in tariff program allows businesses and individuals to profit by investing in local solar projects, and it’s paid for with what amount to higher energy taxes. But because Germans haven’t been inundated with nonsense from outlets like Fox News, and thus believe in climate change (along with the populace of every other nation in the world), they’re mostly happy to do so.
In other words, we could easily emulate Germany’s success, if we agreed it was worth raising energy costs to empower local communities and individuals to invest in clean energy.
But as long as conservative dogma insists that solar power is a hippie leftwing daydream, you will never see anything resembling an honest assessment of clean energy technology or policy on the longest-running for-profit propaganda arm in recent history.