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EVERYONE PANIC! Solar Panels Will Drain the Sun of Its Power! Internet Freaks Out Over Fake National Report Article

Good. Something else for gullible idiots to believe.

Solar Eclipse

The National Report is a satirical bullshit website that publishes fake stories the Internet loves falling for. Its latest hit is an article claiming solar panels drain the Sun’s energy and that they could kill the Sun within a few hundred years. THAT IS NOT TRUE, but it sure hasn’t stopped the story from spreading.

Metrics on the National Report page with the story say it’s been shared almost 260,000 thousand times — and that’s just directly from the article page. Countless more people will see the headline without actually reading the story, and some percentage of those people will now just go through life thinking it’s true that solar panels drain the Sun’s energy.

Here’s a quick primer on how the Sun works from MinutePhysics:

And here’s one on how solar energy works from Hank Green and Sci Show:

Yes. Solar panels convert energy from the Sun into electricity, but they don’t force the Sun to output any more energy than it already does. Solar panels only capture a very small fraction of a percentage of the Sun’s energy that reaches Earth, which is only a small fraction of a percent of the total energy the Sun puts out, and I CAN’T BELIEVE WE EVEN HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THIS RIGHT NOW.

The Sun will die — yes — but not for hundreds of millions (some say billions) of years from now. Solar panels have no impact on that. What they do impact is how long humans can expect to be around to enjoy the Sun and its energy.

And can we please stop calling The National Report satire? Satire implies humor, and there’s nothing funny about making people believe bad science. The only thing more disheartening than this National Report story are all the comments on it.

(The National Report via I Fucking Love Science, image via Takeshi Kuboki)

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Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.