They are far less harmful than the cost of providing the energy in other ways. If you would kindly do the research ( we've discussed this same point before) you would soon see that solar and wind are the least environmentally harmful means of providing electricity. Everything has a cost both economically and environmentally. The problem is adding new sources of carbon into the atmosphere like by using fossil fuels. They add new amounts of carbon not already in the environment. All manufacturing of any sort requires electricity. Using solar and wind is the most efficient, cheapest and least harmful to the environment ways we have (tidal turbines too and where applicable geothermal as well).
Btw you are still looking at old style solar. Here is a site you might find interesting concerning new developments in solar and renewables. e360.yale.edu
Also for general science news (magazine style articles not in depth scientific papers) try ScienceDaily.com... They have lots of short quick updates on just published science stuff like you would find on CD or any popular site about everything from Neanderthals to When Swiss Cheese got holes and why...lol. Not heavy duty stuff but factual not entertainment fluff. A fav site that is easily approachable by non scientists and pesky debaters like me...lol
We have only one hope which is to get off fossil fuels as fast as we can. That is the truth. Our only hope. Solar and wind are the answer because they provide clean energy and will employ tens if not hundreds of millions of people (eventually). Our best bet and pretty much the only one.