Who? Michiel Korthals, Professor of Applied Philosophy
What? Must remove solar panels from his roof.
Why? The panels are not in keeping with the protected village status of Het Spiegel, a neighbourhood in Bussum.
‘Six panels measuring 1 m by 1.50 m on the front of the roof of my semi-detached house. They are pretty high up, above two small dormer windows. If you want to see them, you really have to crane your neck.'
Do you have some sympathy with the prohibition?
‘None at all. Actually, it is unbelievable. The aesthetic requirements permit high chimneys, which are expressions of a reprehensible fuel regime, but not solar panels. How hypocritical!'
Shouldn't you have gathered more information at the outset?
‘Yes, perhaps. But I was reassured by the installers. They said it wouldn't be a problem. But I am definitely going to appeal. I don't accept this. On the contrary, I feel energized by it all.'
What's your take on this as an applied philosopher?
‘The application of new techniques is something that, as a government, you have to take into account. You must adapt to the dynamics of the society, not halt all progress. From the perspective of environmental philosophy, of course, this puts a damper on citizens taking any initiative.'