How many years ago was it promised that the White House would have solar panels installed on the roof? Three that seemed more like twelve. The disappointments that resulted from the unfulfilled promise were great and not at all necessary. How hard is it to get a small number of them on the roof of the White House?
Offers were made to provide the technology and installation for free, and they were ignored. Finally, the installation appears to be happening, according to the Washington Post. It’s hard to tell if this great news or just sort of a buzz kill drawn out over what seemed like a less than magical drought.
The premise behind having them installed back in the 1970s by then President Jimmy Carter was simple enough and that was the main appeal. If the number one house in America could be powered by solar, at least partly, then many members of the public might come to see they could use them too. They didn’t last too long though, because the center of American culture was a little more fossil-fuel oriented, or a lot more. Ronald Reagan was elected and he ordered the solar panels to be taken down.
They weren’t hurting anything, except our unquestioning reliance on coal and petroleum products, but Reagan didn’t like them. So, flash forward several decades, and it seemed like it was a slam dunk that new solar panels should be quickly added to the White House roof. This view only seemed sensible considering the 2008 Obama campaign was presented as an urgent activism to restore hope to the country. The spirit of it was change in the form of new policies that were supposed to give power back to the people, and remove it from the huge corporations and lobbyists that had become far too dominant.
In the end, we got more rhetoric than action, as we might have expected. That it took so long to complete a fairly simple project, only has underscored that action has been on the short side in some aspects of the current two-term administration. Speeches made about climate change might been a little more credible if the commitment to greening the White House had been stronger.
Image Credit: Matt H. Wade