A Solar Revival at the White House?

Photo by Wayne National Forest, <a href=http://www.flickr.com/photos/waynenf/3725051641/">via Flickr</a>.

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Will President Obama pull a Jimmy Carter? No, I’m not talking about failing to get reelected. I’m talking about throwing up some solar panels on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The group 350.org and the solar company Sungevity is petitioning Obama and other world leaders to take their residences off the grid. After all, Obama did promise to green the White House shortly after he was elected.

Here’s their pitch:

Should Sasha and Malia be studying by the light of a solar powered bulb?

Today, environmental author Bill McKibben and his international campaign350.org are joining the solar company Sungevity in a new effort to encourage President Obama to reinstall an updated set of solar panels on the White House roof.

In 1979, President Carter installed solar panels on the roof of the White House only to have them taken down by Reagan a few years later. (Reagan also slashed subsidies for solar and now other nations dominate the industry).

They end with this hope: “Who knows, maybe before too long President Obama will be signing a new climate law by the light of a solar powered bulb?”

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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