The White House Goes Solar

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced this morning that the White House will be installing solar panels. I should say that they are re-installing solar panels, as the White House was outfitted with solar back in the Carter White House. President Reagan promptly had the panels removed, along with the stash of Cardigan sweaters that Carter had left.

Here's the announcement:

"President Obama has a strong commitment to solar energy...The White House will lead by example," he said.

It's worth noting that the pressure on the White House has been increasing lately, with activist author Bill McKibben recently taking a road trip to the White House with the original Carter-Era panels in the hopes of getting them reinstalled. A solar installer -- Sungevity -- the U.S. has also been promoting the idea.

Chu said that the solar panels and a solar hot water heater will be installed by the Spring.

What do you think? Is this a good use of symbolism or is this a distraction from the Administration's failure to pass climate legislation?

Presented by

Adam Werbach is the co-founder of sharing startup Yerdle, formerly the chief sustainability officer for Saatchi & Saatchi and the president of the Sierra Club. He is the author of Strategy for Sustainability: A Business ManifestoHe lives in San Francisco and Bolinas, California.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Technology

Just In